We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Kent-Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Cemeteries
Edward A. Wilbanks (age 96), a long-time resident of Panama City, FL, passed away on Sunday, April 10, 2022, at Mathison Retirement Home. He was pre-deceased by his first wife, Ingeborg Johanna Gabrusiewicz Wilbanks who was the mother of his four surviving children and by his second wife, Veronica Frowert Wilbanks.
Edward and Ingeborg had four children: Gary Allison Wilbanks of Panama City, Leslie William Wilbanks of Panama City, Dennis Edward Wilbanks (Dayna) of Imperial Beach, CA and Cynthia Wilbanks Russell (Rusty) of Lynn Haven, FL. Edward is also survived by four grandchildren: Cale Wilbanks of Lynn Haven, FL, Adam Wilbanks of Imperial Beach, CA, Mandy Russell Parrish (Clay) of High Springs, FL, and Justin Russell (Sarah) of Gainesville, FL, and five great grandchildren, Ava, Maddy, Max, Ivy and Dawson.
Ed Wilbanks was born October 18, 1925, in Paterson, New Jersey, to Lois Bentley Wilbanks and Samuel Lucius Wilbanks. He was raised in Greenville, South Carolina attending Berea High School and then in 1942, he enrolled at Furman University to major in Physics and Mathematics. In 1943, Ed enlisted in the Navy and attended the Newberry College Navy Midshipman program. Following the Midshipman program, he was sent to Harvard University to attend the US Navy Communications and Crypto Training Program. He then served on the islands of Tinian and Okinawa as a Navy Communications Officer until 1946.
After his discharge from the Navy he returned to Furman University and completed his BS degree in Physics in 1948. He then enrolled at the University of North Carolina for two semesters of post-graduate studies in Higher Mathematics. He was then recalled into the US Navy and served on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Aircraft Carrier for 12 months in the Mediterranean.
In 1950, he enlisted in the US Air Force and was sent to New York University for post graduate studies in Meteorology. Upon completion of the program he was sent to a USAF weather station in Vienna, Austria where he met Ingeborg Johanna Gabrusiewicz who he married in Switzerland and then on his discharge from the USAF he brought her back to the US and took a position as a physicist in Panama City at the Mine Defense Laboratory.
After retiring from the Naval Coastal Systems Laboratory in 1976, he was employed as adjunct faculty at Gulf Coast Community College teaching mathematics, physics, fluid mechanics, meteorology, and basic electronics.
During the next 40 years he was active in many local, state and national organizations. He served as the president of the Panhandle Chapter of The Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency (FCCD), president of the Bay County Mental Health Association (1980, 1981 and 1982), president of the Panama City Scientific Society (1968, 1977 and 1978), the Director of the Northwest Florida Regional Science Fair, The Florida Association of Professional Hypnosis, a founding member of the Panama City Philosophical Society, founder and past president of the Capstone House and he provided forensic hypnosis services to the Bay County Sheriff’s Department during the terms of three sheriffs. In addition, he served in various capacities in many other local, county and state organizations.
The family of Edward Wilbanks would like to thank the care givers and staff at Mathison Retirement Community and at Covenant Hospice Care for the professional and personal care they provided Ed Wilbanks. Ed Wilbanks considered Mathison his home and the staff a part of his extended family.
Friends will be received 10-11 am Saturday April 23, 2022 at the Kent-Forest Lawn Funeral Home where memorial services will take place that morning at 11 am. Interment will be a private ceremony with family at St. Andrews Episcopal Church.