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Geza E. Bankuty

June 25, 1926 ~ May 24, 2018 (age 91)

vitéz.  Géza E. Bánkuty was born in Budapest, Hungary, June 25th, 1926. He studied at the Toldy Gymnasium (High School) and the Pázmány Péter University.  From 1948 to 1956 he served in the Honvéd-Hungarian Armed Forces and was an eight time Hungarian motorcycle champion.  In 1956, he led the Freedom Fighters of Buda during the Hungarian Revolution, following the revolt he was instrumental in the MUK movement (Márcuiusban újra Kezdjük, translated “In March We Start Again”).  In March of 1957 he escaped the Communist regime to Austria where he later immigrated to the United States of America.  In 1966, he began his career with Bristol Meyers Clairol while completing his graduate engineering degree in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  He was named Department Head of Packaging at Clairol.  In 1974, he established his own company, New England Machinery.  He developed and is the holder of 44 patents worldwide. 

Besides his business success, he was always very active in the Hungarian civil service, his work was widely recognized and honored.  He served as President of the 56th World Council of Hungarians and the American Hungarian Association.  In October of 2006, he organized an emigration event, the biggest event in Hungary, entitled The Emigration Homecoming (Emigráció Hazatér), for the 1956 Freedom Fighters.  A few of his honors include the '56 Memorial of the Hungarian Society, the Order of the Hungarian Republic, Hungarian Cross-Battalion, and Circle of the Hungarian Warriors.  He was also awarded the prestigious Order of Vitéz.  He was given the Kossuth Medal of Honor, by the Hungarian government for his humanitarian services.  Additionally, he was honored to join the Secretary of Commerce to Russia.

His work and passion for his native Hungary would not have been possible without the freedom gained in his new adoptive country.  He was very proud to be a United States citizen and was committed to giving back to this country and his community.  In 1989 he moved his machinery company to Bradenton, Florida, and has resided with his wife on Anna Maria Island since.  When asked a few days prior to his passing, “What would bring you happiness right now?” he replied, “This does of course” looking out onto the beautiful gulf waters from his beloved home.  While he was so fond of the scenery, nothing made him happier than sharing it with his family and friends, being surrounded by his loved ones and his precious grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 32 years, Ilona Reczi Bankuty.  He is also survived by his beloved son Geza F. Bankuty, daughter Judith Nickse, and stepdaughter Katalin McConell. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Annabella Bankuty and stepson Charles Nagy.  He is further survived by his beloved daughter and sons-in-law,  Maria Bankuty, Jeff Nickse and Tuck McConnell, daughter-in-law Diana Nagy, and grandchildren, Christina, Alyson, Nichola, Stephanie,  Geza, Zsofi, Csilla, Kata , Ashley, Caylee, Riley, Mondy, Attila and Reese.  He is also survived by his 11 great-grandchildren: 
Briane, Layla, Austin, Alexis, Doriana, Audrey, Sylvia, Spencer, Samantha, Daxton, and Finley.

Donations may be made to:

Hungarian Christian Society-Hungarian Scouts Association
165 N. Jackson Rd. #V, Venice FL 34292

The organization is created for youth of Hungarian descent. Scouting makes it possible for the young men and women to learn more about their Hungarian heritage, language and culture. The organization is dedicated to carrying out its obligations at four levels: God, their adopted countries, their fellow man and the Hungarian nation.

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