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Bama Days

Former Tiger/Tider passes away

By Michael Butler

Danny Wilbanks was an all-state football player at Tallassee High School in 1954 and leading ground gainer at the University of Alabama in 1957. Best known as Dr. Wilbanks in his hometown where he practiced dentistry for 53 years, he died Sunday. He was 85.

Wilbanks retired in December of 2019. His practice was located at 1 S. Dubois in Tallassee where he served generations of Tallasseeans.

"People tell me, 'I was one of your first patients.' I look at the chart and sure enough they were," reflected Wilbanks after announcing his retirement. "It was 1966 when I came here. I've seen a lot of changes from a battery-operated radio that wouldn't work half the time to any kind of communication you want now in an instant."

Wilbanks in 2019

Wilbanks served over 50 years in the Tallassee Lion's Club. He was the longest-standing member.

Wilbanks said that coming to Tallassee was the "best decision (he) ever made."

"It's a great place to raise a family," he added.

He is survived by five sons who all grew up in Tallassee.

Tallassee's version of the "four horsemen" in 1954.
Photo courtesy of Dan Wilbanks

"All of them played ball here," he said. Each following in their father's footsteps.

The 1954 THS football team in Wilbanks' senior year went 9-1 and was named the Class A District 2 State Champions by the Birmingham News - before the advent of the state playoffs. Wilbanks played in the AHSAA-University of Alabama All-Star Game after the season.

At Alabama, Wilbanks played for J.B. "Ears" Whitworth. He was a Crimson Tide season ticket holder and member of the Red Elephant Club.

Funeral arrangements are being directed by Jeffcoat Funeral Home in Tallassee.