Hattye Ruth (Banks) Strong was born August 24, 1935, to the late Hattie (Reno) Banks and Lee Nolia Banks, Sr. in Lafayette County Mississippi.
She joined Burns United Methodist Church at an early and shared her gift of singing in the choir there until she graduated from High School and attended Rust College where she became a member of the world-renowned Rust College Acappella choir. On the campus of Rust College, she met her college sweetheart, Fred Strong, and the two were joined in holy matrimony, to this union one son, Anthony Strong, was born.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Rust College, Hattye moved to Memphis, TN and began her teaching career with Memphis City Schools, where she retired after approximately 38 years of service. While employed with Memphis City Schools, Hattye received her master’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University.
Also, after moving to Memphis, TN Hattye joined Centenary United Methodist Church where she remained a member until her death. While attending Centenary, Hattye enjoyed singing in the choir and serving on numerous committees.
Singing, working in the church and spending time with her family and friends were just a few of Hattye’s favorite pastimes. She was well-known for her impeccable singing voice which granted her acceptance into Julliard School of performing arts, but she declined to attend due to personal reasons. Hattye was also known for her sense of humor, fun loving personality and contagious laugh. Her favorite holiday was Christmas, and she was recognized for her elegant Christmas décor.
She leaves to cherish her memories, one son, Anthony Strong of Memphis, TN; one sister, Barbara Banks of Oxford, MS; nieces, Sharron Banks of Oxford, MS, Adrienne Hampton of Oxford, MS, Kimberley Mills of Southaven, MS, Chasitty Banks of Hendersonville, TN, and Ashlee Banks of Los Angeles, CA; nephew, Brandon (Yamika) Banks, Sr., a close sister-in-law, Patsy Strong, a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Hattye was preceded in death by her parents, Hattie and Lee Nolia Banks, Sr; husband, Fred Strong; brother; Lee Nolia Banks, Jr.; sisters, Hazel (Banks) Webb, Melvia (Banks) McReynolds, Mary Louise Banks and special niece, Velvet Denise Banks.