Mary Elizabeth (Bien) Banks, 89, of Russell, Kansas, passed away Sunday, February 20, 2022 at Main Street Manor of Russell.
Mary was born August 19, 1932 in Sabetha, Kansas. She was the daughter of Elmer and Helen (Slater) Bien. She grew up in Sabetha and graduated from Sabetha High School. While working at the Sabetha Theater as an usher she met Paul Francis Banks. They were united in marriage on January 8, 1952 in Fidelity, Kansas at the St. Augustine Catholic Church. This union was blessed with nine children: Deborah, Tim, Robert, Patricia, David, Phyllis, Carol, Duane and Doug. Together Paul and Mary worked at the Sabetha Seed Plant for a short time and Mary then was a devoted Homemaker. They moved their family to Russell, Kansas in 1967, where she continued being a Homemaker as well as a babysitter and later a Daycare Service.
Mary was an active member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Ladies Church Guild. She also was a member of the Russell V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary. Paul and Mary both had a passion for square dancing, being members of the Russell Crosstrailers and the Shoot Stars of Hays, and loved traveling to dances and conventions. She also enjoyed reading, especially Christian Romance novels.
Mary’s surviving family include her four daughters, Deborah Kreutzer (Allen) of Lawrence, Kansas, Patricia Mead (Mark) of Russell, Kansas, Phyllis Billinger (Jeff) of Russell, Kansas and Carol Pummell (James) of Sabina, Ohio; five sons, Tim Banks of Russell, Kansas, Robert Banks of Hays, Kansas, David Banks (Mel) of Russell, Kansas, Duane Banks (Kathleen) of Russell, Kansas and Doug Banks (Michelle) of Russell, Kansas; 34 grandchildren, 65 great grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; husband Paul on November 24, 2007; three sisters, Louise Simmon, Barbara Keesey and Nellie Pearl Bien; four brothers, Fred Bien, George Bien, Glen Bien and Ralph Bein; two grandchildren, Sean Banks and Sierra Banks; and a great grandson Carter Leones.
Celebration of the Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, February 26, 2022 at St. Mary, Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Russell. Burial will follow at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Russell. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Friday, February 25, 2022 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary. Vigil and Rosary will be held at 7:00 PM, Friday at St. Mary, Queen of Angels Catholic Church.
A Memorial has been established with St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.