Edith May Banks, 85
Howland — Edith (Edie) May Banks, 85, died peacefully at home with her husband of 65 years, Robert Banks, at her side on Jan. 20, 2013. Edie was born Feb. 24, 1927, the daughter of Mary Elizabeth (McCallum) and Ambrose Peter Verakes, in Howland.
Edie was married to Walter A. Clement Jr. who died in December of 1944 in route to active duty.
Edie later married Robert M. Banks on Nov. 1, 1947, in Belfast. Early in their marriage, they traveled in New England following construction work. While Bob worked the construction sites, Edie spent many hours cooking for the crews. In 1959 they settled on Hunt Road in Belfast, where they raised their three sons, Dennis, Randall and Michael, cared for a menagerie of pets, and tended beautiful flower gardens and raspberry patches.
A homemaker, Edie loved her home and spent countless hours papering and painting, making and hanging curtains, gardening and mowing endless acres of lawn. She was also very involved in the boys’ activities as a room mother at Governor Anderson School and as a den mother in the boys’ scout troops. When the boys entered high school, Edie began working at Sampson’s Supermarket, where she enjoyed meeting and greeting customers. Throughout her life, she spent countless hours caring for her older family members and her grandchildren. And she returned in her later years to the Governor Anderson School to volunteer in her grandchildren’s classroom. She was an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 43. And over the years she also enjoyed boating, motorcycling, snowmobiling and traveling with her husband, Bob.
Edie loved people and was generous almost to a fault. She was known for her delicious homemade raspberry and strawberry jams and crocheted baby afghans, which she gave to family and friends as well as new acquaintances she would meet. She brightened family gatherings and special occasions with the beautiful floral arrangements she made for far too many occasions to count. Each year she decorated lovely crocheted Christmas wreaths for veterans at Togus. And she spent many hours visiting loved ones and befriending residents at Tall Pines.
Edie was always looking for ways to brighten others’ lives. Her outgoing and joyful personality, her generous gifts and concern for others, and even her colorful sense of fashion made her a ray of light in many people's lives. She could light up a room with her smile, her sparkle and her warm greeting, “Hi, doll.” Her youngest grandchildren will remember Nanny for how much she loved people, flowers and her kittens. She loved animals deeply, and in addition to caring for her own, she supported many area animal shelters and causes.
Edie had a wonderful life and family was at the center. She was vibrant, energetic and full of life. She took great pleasure in extending simple kindnesses and spreading joy to all around her. She touched so many peoples’ lives.
Edie was predeceased most recently by her beloved son Randy. She was also predeceased by her father and mother; a sister, Pauline Sullivan; a niece, Cindy Brown; three nephews, George, Freddie and Stevie Philips; family members Herbert and Marie Mehuren; and special friend Violet Kenney.
She is survived by her husband, Robert; a brother, Reginald Withee, and his wife, Linda; her son Dennis Banks and his wife, Therese; her son Michael Banks and his wife, Stacey; daughter-in-law Jan Banks; and daughter Heidi Witzinowski and her husband, Herbert. And she is survived by her many beloved grandchildren, Dean Banks, Diana Solomon, David Banks, Douglas Banks, Dana Banks, Diamond Banks, Mallory Harnden, Claire Banks, Mackenzie Banks, Hannah Banks, Bobby Banks, Alexandra Witzinowski,and Manuel Witzinowski, as well as many great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service to celebrate Edie’s life will be held at the First Church in Belfast on Friday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Townline Animal Shelter, 46 Baker Rd., Belfast, ME 04915; Androscoggin Animal Shelter, 55 Strawberry Ave., Lewiston, ME 04240; or Knox County Animal Shelter. P.O. Box 1294 Rockland, ME 04841.
Arrangements are with Riposta Funeral Home 182 Waldo Ave. Belfast, ME. Visit www.ripostafh.com to offer condolences to the Banks family.