Jonathan Boyce Bankhead, Sr., died Sunday, January 12, 2020, after a hard-fought battle against brain cancer. He died at home, surrounded by his wife and children. Jonathan was 45 years old. Jonathan loved a good party, cold beer, cheap red wine, khaki shorts, Rainbow flip flops and all things Auburn University. His life was rich with family and friends. He was a loyal friend. The son and brother you'd hope for. The son-in-law and brother-in-law you pray for. And a once-in-a-lifetime husband and father. He was the son of the Reverend Doctor James Boyce Bankhead, Jr., and Martha (Cissy) Bankhead of Spartanburg. He was the son-in-law of Addie Crolley McAlister of Columbia and the late Van McLaurin McAlister. A native of Opelika, Alabama, Jonathan was a two-sport star at Opelika High School where he lettered in tennis and basketball. He was a high school state champion tennis player, and his high school basketball coach said he was the best player he had ever coached. He earned a basketball scholarship to Presbyterian College where he graduated with a degree in biology. He was also a member of Theta Chi fraternity. Although his college years were spent at PC, he was born an Auburn Tiger. And he died an Auburn Tiger. Jonathan joined Hertz/Herc Corporation in 1997 and spent his entire professional career as a commercial sales rep. His colleagues referred to him as the ultimate co-worker. He was a top salesperson regionally and nationally, receiving numerous awards. He served as a mentor to many and was called the most selfless individual on the Herc team. Jonathan maintained the top sales positions even through his 15-month battle with glioblastoma. He twice won the President's Award, the highest and most prestigious award in the Herc organization. Jonathan was a lifelong Presbyterian and a member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church. An avid golfer, he was a member of Forest Lake Club. An exceptional tennis player, he played both singles and doubles and won too many state championships to count. He coached youth league basketball and baseball and played recreational and church league basketball even after he was diagnosed with cancer. He particularly loved the post-game celebrations with The Posse. Jonathan had the gift of bringing people together, listening to good music and making good memories. He could always be found with his speaker and a current favorite song on repeat. He loved a party, and we loved him back. Jonathan is survived by his wife of 21 years, Vanessa McAlister Bankhead; and their three children: Jonathan Boyce Bankhead, Jr., William Gardiner McAlister Bankhead and McLaurin Elizabeth Bankhead. In addition to his parents and mother-in-law; he is also survived by brothers, Steven Bankhead (Lori) of Los Angeles, CA, and Michael Bankhead (Jen) of Waco, TX; sisters, Carolyn Thomas (Leonard) of Opelika, AL, and Catherine Dunagan (David) of Jacksonville, FL; aunts, uncles and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by grandparents, Johng'y Bankhead McCaskill and James Boyce Bankhead, Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Marvin. Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, 7600 Trenholm Road Ext., Columbia, from 5 until 7 o'clock. Services will be held at 3 o'clock, Wednesday, January 15th, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church with The Rev. Dr. Bradley D. Smith officiating. Burial will follow the service in Greenlawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the youth program at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 3200 Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29204; to Live Oak Counseling Center, 600 King Street, Columbia, SC 29205; or A.C. Flora High School Booster Club, PO Box 6912, Columbia, SC 29260. Memories and condolences may be shared at

To plant a tree in memory of Bankhead Sr. Jonathan Boyce as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.
Load entries