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Joseph Dennis Hanks of Hoover, Alabama, passed away on June 9, 2023, at the age of 72. His battle with serious medical issues in recent years showed his courage in facing life’s challenges with dignity. 

Dennis was born November 24, 1950, in Charleston, South Carolina, to Joseph Asa Hanks and Nelda Lorraine Crowder Hanks. He was the older brother to Donald Ray Hanks and David Lynn Hanks. As a child, Dennis lived in various places in the southeastern U.S. and abroad in Europe, as his father was in the United States Navy and the United States Army. Some of his fondest childhood memories include the time he spent living in Germany.

The family moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when Dennis was fifteen years old, and it was there that he met the love of his life, Katherine “Kathy” Joyce Mayfield. He attended Tuscaloosa High School and eventually moved to Hoover, Alabama, after he and Kathy were married in 1970. They went on to have a daughter, Katherine Ivey Hanks, and a son, Joseph Ryan Hanks.

Dennis graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and began his career as a human resources manager for such companies as Pullman-Standard, Drummond Coal, and Essex Crane. At one point, he was co-owner of Madsen Machine Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Dennis possessed an avid interest in history and spent much of his free time studying the genealogy of the Hanks and Mayfield families, traveling all around the South with his wife Kathy to meet extended family members, visit old family homes, and collect old family photographs. As a result of his dedicated family research, he was a contributing writer to several published genealogical texts. Additionally, he had a keen interest in antiques and restoration of historical sites – both collecting and restoring historical artifacts. Some of his favorite activities were helping with large restoration projects of historical sites. Particularly, he was proud of his involvement in the restoration of historic Tannehill State Park. Dennis always believed in the importance of knowing one’s own family history, and he did, indeed, love his family dearly and was always willing to help a family member in any way he could.

Dennis is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Asa Hanks and Nelda Crowder Hanks; his brother, Donald Ray Hanks; his first wife, Katherine Mayfield Hanks; and his second wife, Carla Brooks Panettiere Hanks.

He is survived by his children, Ivey Hanks Little (Dan) and Joseph Ryan Hanks; his grandchildren, Joseph Benjamin St. Cyr, Sally Frances Little, William Anderson Little, and Sarah Katherine Little; and his brother, David Lynn Hanks (Nancy).

Per Dennis’s wishes, he will be cremated and then have his ashes placed in the ground next to his beloved Kathy. A brief family graveside service will be held at Memory Hill Gardens in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at 1:00pm on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

Professional services entrusted to W.E. Lusain Funeral Home and Crematory of Birmingham, Alabama. 

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