John Banks Talley

May 31, 1924 - June 17, 2015
John Banks Talley


John Banks Talley died June 17, 2015 at his home. John was the son of the late Dr. John Samuel Talley and Edith McLaughlin Talley. He was born May 31, 1924, in the Statesville, NC hospital, delivered by his father, the beloved “Dr. Sam” Talley. John grew up in nearby Troutman, NC, in a large old house that is now the very popular Talley House Restaurant.

John was baptized and grew up in the American Associate Reform Presbyterian Church. He joined Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wilmington, NC when he married his wife Melissa. At St. Paul’s he served as a Christian caregiver and on an usher team.

John is a graduate of the 1941 Class of Troutman High School. In 1943, John joined the United States Navy where he served his country with honor in World War II. He was selected to be in the Navy Medical Corp and was embedded with United States Marines in the Pacific. John served as a medic on ships traveling to the Pacific and on the islands of Guam, Roi and Namur. He also served in hospitals in Hawaii.

Following his service to his country, John returned home and attended and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. John returned home to Iredell County and founded a contracting company. He supervised the building of several large chemical and electric plants in the south.

John served his hometown, Troutman, as a city alderman and also as mayor pro tem.
While living in Charlotte, John served as a Boy Scout leader for Troop 6 of Mulberry Presbyterian Church for which he received several leader awards including The Order of the Arrow.

John was an accomplished craftsman who built four houses with his own hands, including the country house he built as his Wilmington home. He was also an avid boatman and fisherman.

John was very interested in agriculture and gardening from a young age encouraged by his parents. While living in the country, he grew much of his food. When he married Melissa and moved to her garden on Metts Avenue, he became very interested in camellia culture. He was a member of the Hobby Greenhouse Club, where he met his wife, Melissa, and The Tidewater Camellia Club, and for his work in both organizations, he was awarded life memberships. He was also a member of the Wilmington Cape Fear Rose Society, The American Camellia Society and The American Hemerocallis (Daylily) Society.

John was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Frances Elizabeth Bailey Talley, and his brother-in-law, Ralph Mullis.He is survived by his beloved wife, Melissa Lee Beale Talley; daughter, Patricia “Patty” Lynn Talley Hollifield, of Wilmington; step-daughters, Elizabeth Robertson Padgett and Jennifer Melissa Padgett-Hemsley, his son-in-law, John Penn Hemsley of Atlanta, Georgia; three grandchildren, Johnathan Fox Hollifield, Katherine Talley Hollifield, and Nicholas McCrae Padgett, all of Wilmington; son-in-law, Mark Hollifield; and sister, Julia Rebecca Talley Mullis of Statesville.

A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Monday, June 22nd at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, 6th and Market Streets, followed by committal of his ashes in Saint Paul’s Memorial Ash Garden. The Reverend John Misenheimer and the Reverend Mark Opgrand will be officiating. A reception will follow in Saint Paul’s Keever Hall.

The family wishes to especially thank Richard Hollenbeak, and also Kaitlyn Graham, CNA for their loving care of John. They also wish to thank the wonderful care to John by Liberty Home Hospice including Crystal Harrelson, R.N.; Yvonne Young, CNA; Matthew Walker, R.N.; Kelly Wheat-Rivers, Chaplain; Sally Showers, CMSW; and Theresa Hall, volunteer coordinator.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, The Boy Scouts of America or a charity of your choice.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st. Street, Wilmington, NC 28403. 910-791-9099


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  • June 21, 2015
    Ogden Allsbrook says:
    Melissa and family, I am sorry for your loss. John was a joy to see and visit on my walks past your home. I'm sorry to be away from the service at St. Pauls. My thoughts are with you all.

  • June 21, 2015
    Judy McGuire says:
    Dear Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss. John was a special man. I will always remember him at the Metts Ave plant sale. The perennial sweet peas he shared with me are a special delight in my garden. He will surely be missed. The blessing is knowing his love for the Lord and that one day we will see him again. I expect God needed some help in his garden upstairs. Love, Judy

  • June 21, 2015
    Jane B Henry says:
    Melissa, sincere condolences to you & the family at this time. Praying that God will give you comfort and peace.

  • June 24, 2015
    Linda Fredrickson Anthony says:
    Melissa & family, I am so sorry to read of John's passing. I so enjoyed John and Melissa's company when I was active with the Hobby Greenhouse Club. I wish you peace in the coming days and months ...

  • July 02, 2015
    George Gardner says:
    I was so sorry to learn of John's passing. He was very kind and helpful to me when I was a new member of the Hobby Greenhouse Club. I regret that I was unable to interact with him in recent years. My sincere sympathies to the family. George Gardner