M. Banks

M. Josephine Banks

1928 - 2023

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Obituary of M. Josephine Banks

Minerva Josephine Smith was born on April 27, 1928 in Ontario, Oregon to Minerva Florence and Edgar Shelby Smith. She passed on May 22, 2023 in Dallas, Oregon. Jo has said the most important decision of her life was accepting Jesus Christ as her savior and being baptized by her father on March 10, 1939. She remained loyal to this commitment all her life and remarked that “my Lord carried me through many valleys and over mountain tops being faithful and steadfast to the end.” Her second best decision was marrying “the only man I ever loved”, Robert N. Banks. Jo was married to “Bob” 53 years until his death in 1999. She was blessed to be “Mother” to 5 children, 2 foster daughters, 16 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. She was the youngest of nine children: Harold, Lindell, Cecil, Louetta, Gertrude, Ralph Edgar, and Darrel. Her father was a preacher but received little pay, so he supported the family by selling Watkins products door to door. “Phenie” as she was nicknamed in childhood, wrote the following of her early memories. “My two oldest brothers came to Portland and got jobs as bell hops at a local hotel, and brothers Cecil and Lindell told Mother they would help move the family to Portland. So, in October 1935 they loaded up 7 children, mother, father and my little black Kitty in a panel body 1928 Model A Truck and moved to Portland. Kitty went crazy upon arrival. We were poor but I didn’t know it. I was clean, warm and loved!” “In 1937 mother bought our first home at SE 52nd and Sherman in Portland with the help of third brother Cecil. To support the family, Mother took in boarders and the rooms were always full. There was no money for college, but I wanted to be a housewife and mother anyway. My boyfriend was overseas most of the war (1943, 44, 45). He got home in September, 1946 and we married.” The first child, Linda was born in 1948 followed by Christine, Robert Jr, and Richard Carl. Richard Lance became part of the family in 1971 and grandbabies began steadily arriving in 1970. “Both daughters brought home a girlfriend through High School. Becky and Wanda became a part of our family and are still part of this family.” The Banks home was always open, and numerous children, family and friends prospered there throughout the decades. Jo wrote, “Bob wanted me to be home with children and I felt blessed because I loved being a mother. God was good! I always felt like God’s special child.” “Our faith was tested with multiple family tragedies that brought us to our knees and yet God’s provision carried us through the roughest years of our life.” Jo will always be remembered as a follower of Christ, and an extraordinary wife, mother, and grandmother. Her legacy as an artist, writer, sewer, and avid traveler remain as she spent countless hours creating gifts now treasured by her family and friends. Jo is survived by her 7 children: Linda Morrow (Rudy), Eugene, Or., Christine Dorr (Scott), Dallas, Or., Robert Banks, Jr. (Vada), Washougal, Wa. Richard Carl Banks (Karen), Portland, Or., Richard Lance Banks (Liz), Boring, Or., Becky Baldwin, Bellingham, Wa., Wanda Goshorn (Gary), Fayettville, PA. Sixteen grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and a host of friends.
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Funeral Service

11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Monday, June 5, 2023
Sunnyside Little Chapel of the Chimes
11667 SE Stevens Road
Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

Committal Service

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Monday, June 5, 2023
Willamette National Cemetery
11800 SE Mount Scott Blvod
Portland, Oregon, United States