In Memory of Dara Banks





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Dara Banks

Dara Caron Banks, 39, was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1981, the first of two daughters to Cheryl (nee Langford) and Wilbur Banks. She peacefully departed this life on May 8, 2020, at home surrounded by her family after a courageous battle with a lengthy illness. A lifelong resident, she was educated in the local public schools graduating from Atlantic City High School, class of 1999. While there, she was a member of the Atlantic City High School Vikings marching band and a varsity cheerleader; and created a social group with friends, Candace, Caroline, and Maria, which they called “CLAN” standing for their middle names, Caron, Lee, Alicia and Nykole. She continued her education at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia and later returned home to work at Tropicana Casino and Reliance Medical Group. Always having an interest in healthcare, she was a student in the first class of the NAACP/AtlantiCare Nursing Program. Dara was lastly employed by the City of Atlantic City in the WIC Department until her health began to decline. Dara was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at the age of eighteen months. She became the poster child for Juvenile Diabetes and featured on Billboards. She was also featured and often highlighted on Saundra Usry’s Annual Diabetes Telethon. Dara participated in the Tiny Tots Cotillion and became a cheerleader with the Atlantic City Dolphins Football Team. As a youngster, Dara became a member of the New Hope Baptist Church and was a proud member of the New Hope Baptist Church Youth Choir. She was a strong Soprano and one of the first recording soloist with the New Hope Baptist Church Youth Choir under the discernment and tutelage of Franklin “Bubby” Fann, Jr. She spent many years traveling to the Gospel Music Workshop of America enhancing her musical abilities for New Hope Baptist Church and abroad. At the age of fourteen, Dara had the privilege to journey to Senegal West Africa on a pilgrimage with her paternal grandmother. Dara was a fun-loving person who loved singing, and dancing. Most of all, she enjoyed the company of her family and friends. Dara loved to eat and would remind you all the time to make sure you did not forget to get her “sides.” She enjoyed listening to music from her favorite artists, Mary J. Blige and New Edition, who she later had the opportunity of meeting. Dara would dance and sing to every New Edition song and made sure she was in attendance at their concerts. She also loved to watch her favorite sitcoms and movies, to name a few: Martin, Cosby Show, Good Times, Family Matters, Sister Acts, Lean On Me, The Jackson Five, Crooklyn and Coming to America which she watched over and over and would recite every word. She was devoted to keeping her hair and nail appointments. She made sure Kim had her appointment in the book, made Lonniyell stop what she was doing to do her hair, and she would track Darielle down for a hairstyle. Even on her bad days, Dara made sure her hair and nails were straight. Dara was also a member of the Atlantic County Lions Blind Center, where she enjoyed participating in activities. As of late, she loved spending time sitting on the porch or in the yard, "chillin." Dara was predeceased by: paternal great-grandparents, Sadie and Isaiah Bartley; paternal grandfather, Wilbert R. Banks; maternal great-grandparents, Nettie and Otis Langford, Sr.; and grandfathers, Otis Langford, Jr. and Samuel Beard. She leaves to cherish her memory: her children whom she adored, Jah’mir Jaqui and Ja’synae Cherel Henry; devoted parents, Wilbur and Cheryl Banks; one loving sister, Joya Cherel Banks; grandmothers, Vashti A. Langford and Marjorie A. Beard; uncles, Anthony, Lorenzo (Nynell), and Jerome (Tanya) Langford; cousins, Al, Jerel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jerae and Jordan; extended family who Dara loved to be around, The Owens'; Goddaughter, N’ayiana Tolbert; special and dear friends, Candace Ford, Tyrene Eakins, Katrina Alexander, Caroline Louis, Maria Brooks, Camilla and Danielle; Godparents, Ronald and Denise Cash, Sandra Motley, Mark Hamilton, Donald Marsh and Faith Camper; Godsisters and brothers, Keiona Spellman, Safisha Simpson, Tamia Motley, DeRon and Maya Cash, Gianni Brooks, Nasir Salahuddin and Braxton Plummer; special brothers, Che Burch who brightened her day no matter how she felt, Ralph “Pete” Hunter, Bryan Fleming, Hassan Kirk; a host of cousins, and other family and friends. Due to COVID-19, funeral services are private. A service will be announced at a later date for everyone to attend and celebrate Dara’s life. Arrangements entrusted to Greenidge Funeral Homes, Inc., where condolences may be left at