October 17, 2017
Letter from the Banks family:
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
It is with sadness and joy that Our family brings this news to All of the friends of our father Orval E. Banks. It may be a shock to some due to Orval being an extremely private and modest man.
On 17Oct2017 Orval lost his battle with cancer. He passed quietly and in peace, without pain at approximately 2200 hrs. Orval was surrounded and lifted up by family and friends during these past few weeks and all were there to see him off. We know how much all of his SAR and Law enforcement friends meant to him, and that all of you would have been there to support him in his time of need. However, it was Orvals wishes not to tell anyone. It was also his wishes not to have a funeral or memorial. “I don’t want people praying over me, or staring at me. They can pray for me just not over me” is exactly what he told us. Can’t you see it him saying that?
Yesterday was an extremely difficult day due to a strange, yet somehow wondrous event that took place that can only be explained as “meant to be”.
When Orval started getting very sick and had to be hospitalized he gave his dog Buddy to his grandson to take care of. “If I’m going to retire so is buddy”. Over the past few days’ buddy would want in our house and would go down to the room where Orval stayed and lay at the door. My wife would let him in Orvals room and he would check everything and then lay down in there.
At about 1800 hours’ yesterday my son and I had to rush Buddy unexpectedly to the animal emergency hospital.
Unknown to everyone, buddy had a large, possibly cancerous mass that was found to be ruptured and buddy was fading fast.
At 2000 hours buddy passed away. My son and I were with him. While Buddy was on his way out I told him to travel well and told him when he got there to “stay” that Dad would be along shortly.
Two hours later Orval passed at 2200 hrs. My son says that Grandpa told buddy “show me” which was one of his commands, and that is what Buddy did for Grandpa.
It was meant to be, Orval followed Buddy around for years. Only fitting that he follows him now. I truly believe that neither one of them wanted to leave without the other. Buddy will also be cremated and his ashes will be spread with Orvals.
I believe that Orval’s Heaven will be endless mountain ridges and valleys. And that he will spend his time crossing each of them, with a pack of dogs in front of him and Buddy leading the way. Orval will be able to breathe again and his body will work again. And all along the way he will find the people he has been searching for, along with friends and family, who have gone before and will follow in the future. And Dads face will be lit with Gods light as he chases the setting sun. And for any of you who have been on searches with my Dad and followed him thru the woods, there is bound to be occasionally one of the gnarliest briar thickets and Dad will go straight thru the middle of it.
From our family to all of you, we wish to thank you for what you do and for your friendship with our father, we know it was cherished by him.
We would ask if you post on his face book page please put the organization you are with so that his grandchildren could see all of the different organizations that their Grandfather worked alongside. And we would ask anyone who wishes to memorialize Orval to make a donation in his name to your local first responders or Hospice.
Thank you, The Banks Family.