On May 7, 1963, the late Allen Julius and Maggie Lee Banks welcomed their beautiful, beloved baby girl, Gertie Mae Banks. Thursday night, July 8, 2021, at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital our beloved Gertie transitioned into eternal rest. Gertie accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age and became a woman of great faith and virtue, using and believing in the power of prayer in every aspect of her life. She was a partner at Mt. Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church (“The Mount”) in Chesapeake, VA, where she attended and enjoyed services faithfully.
Gertie attended Norfolk Public Schools and graduated in 1981 from Booker T. Washington High School. After graduating, she attended and graduated from Hicks School of Beauty, where she perfected her passion for cosmetology. For many years she served as a traveling beautician, where many of her clients became close friends and family. Gertie also worked as a cashier and manager at BP gas station for over 20 years, where she was able to serve and create personable relationships with her customers. Our beauty queen, our fashionista, our diva, and dancing machine are just a few of her most memorable attributes. She was always dressed to impress; faithfully rocking her blonde shortcut, gorgeous jewelry, tasteful clothing, designer purse, and a pair of heels to rave about. Her passion for fashion never lacked, as one of her favorite pass times was shopping. Not only did she love to look good, but she loved making others look good by doing hair and make-up. She also loved Zumba class and would practice her moves in and outside of class. No matter the day, time or moment; you could bask in her shimming her shoulders, snapping her fingers, dancing and singing, giving us all something to smile about.
Gertie exuded beauty not only in appearance, but from the inside as well. She graced every room she was in with her style, class and spirit. She was kind hearted, selfless, and a blessing to those around her. One of her greatest passions was the love she had for her family and friends. Most fondly, she shared a beautiful relationship with her grandson Mylo, whom she absolutely adored. Full of life, full of fashion, full of faith, love, laughter and beauty; Gertie was truly one of a kind and can never be replaced.
Gertie was preceded in death by her parents, Allen and Maggie Banks; her eldest sister Veronica Banks, and both her maternal and paternal grandparents. Gertie’s life is treasured and mourned by her husband Michael Tanner, her one and only beloved son Michael J. Tanner, the love of her life, her grandson, Mylo M. Tanner; two step daughters, Shanita Tavers (Ben) and Shadae Settles of Norfolk, VA, 6 beautiful step grandchildren of Norfolk; two lovely god children, Chanelle Wiggins of Maryland and Kevion Gallop of Richmond.
Also to cherish her memories she leaves her sisters, Vicky Moore (Kelvin) of Virginia Beach and Arlethia Banks-Bowser of Norfolk; her brothers Allen Banks (Valerie) of Suffolk, Antonio Banks (Thomasine) of Norfolk, and Terry Banks of Hampton; her lifelong friends and sisters, Veronica Wilkerson, Charlene Wiggins, Gloria Bazemore, Arsenia Clark, and Brenda Ballard; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.