Susan Banks Obituary (1932 – 2022) – Salt Lake City, UT
Susan Kearnes Banks
1932 – 2022
Susan Kearnes Banks, beloved by all, passed away peacefully on July 5, 2022, attended by her loving husband and best friend of 70 years, Benjamin Berry Banks.
Sue was born on February 29, 1932, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Edwin Josephus Kearnes, Jr. and Blanche Beesley Kearnes, as the youngest of 3 children. She had a happy childhood, attending Wasatch Elementary, Bryant Junior High, and graduating from East High School. Sue then attended the University of Utah where she joined the ski team. While at the University she met Ben, the love of her life. She loved telling the story about later learning that the sleek leather jacket Ben wore on their first date–thus sealing a second date–had been borrowed from his brother-in-law. Ben and Sue were married in the LDS Salt Lake Temple on June 25, 1952, and just weeks before her passing, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Their life together began in Delwood Court, near downtown SLC. After a short stint working at Continental Bank, Sue gave birth to the first of their 8 children – Ben Jr. In quick succession, three more sons followed – Brad, David and Marty. While pregnant with her first daughter, Sue took the lead in opening her home and heart to Holger Kirchhausen, after the unanticipated passing of his guardian grandparents. Sue embraced Holger as one of her own, and they later formally adopted him into the family. Shortly after Holger’s arrival, her long-awaited daughter arrived – Nanette, and in the ensuing years, two more sons – Steve and John. After John’s arrival, their small house was getting crowded, so they moved their family of 10 to Peaks Circle in Murray, Utah. Sue was a natural-born mom, who made life fun for her children, her many nieces and nephews, and all the neighborhood kids. Those years were packed with organizing camping trips, shuttling kids to little league sports, training pet dogs, helping kids raise chickens, pigeons, rabbits and guinea pigs, teaching her kids to ski, packing for innumerable boating trips (especially Lake Powell), and of course, applying endless bandages and refereeing occasional brawls. She was heavy on laughing and smiling, and light on preaching and disciplining. Her children always knew by her words and actions that they were her priority and were unconditionally loved.
As her children got older, Sue continued to keep everyone connected, by hosting festive holiday get-togethers, Sunday dinners, and other family celebrations. She particularly enjoyed traveling with her family, including a Mediterranean cruise, a Caribbean cruise (96 immediate family members), and a Holy Land tour. On rare occasions when she was not busy helping her children or husband, she enjoyed gardening, swimming, biking, knitting, and walking with friends.
In addition to tending to her 8 children, 30 grandchildren and 61 great-grandchildren, she generously shared her time and talents in serving within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including in Relief Society organizations, Young Women programs and, with 7 sons, Boy Scout groups. She later began what became a nearly 25-year, full-time, Church-service adventure with her husband when they oversaw the LDS Scotland Edinburgh Mission (1987-1989); and assisted her husband on various foreign Church assignments (Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Philippines, Tahiti, Fiji, Thailand, and many other places) (1989- 2002); served as the Jordan River Temple Matron (2002-2005); and then served as the Assistant Director of Church Hosting (2005-2011). In her fun and loving way, she served, encouraged and uplifted many throughout the world. She also discovered many new interests and adventures, including collecting unique seashells, coins and ornamental eggs, tasting new cuisines (especially lobster), devising makeshift showering systems, riding in rickshaws, eating exotic fruits, and listening to bagpipes.
Sue Banks will forever be remembered as a fun, happy, loving and self-less wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. We thank those who assisted her husband in so kindly caring for Sue in her last months, including Kathy Mahoney, Jocelyn Walker, Janae Rindlisbacher, Amanda Hatch, Larene Hobbs and Nora Wendel.
Sue was preceded in death by her parents Edwin Josephus Kearnes, Jr. and Blanche Beesley Kearnes, and by her older brother Patrick Kearnes, and her older sister Joan Bosen. She is survived by her children: Holger (Pennee) Kirchhausen, Ben (Tamara) Banks, Brad (Melanie) Banks, David (Katie) Banks, Marty (Anne) Banks, Nanette (Jeff) Amis, Steve (Elise) Banks, and John (Debbie) Banks.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, July 23, 2022, at 11:00 am, at the LDS Wesley Road Church, 5290 South Wesley Road, Murray, Utah. Visitation will be Friday, July 22, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and again Saturday 9:30 to 10:45 am prior to services at the Church. Services will be livestreamed, and family and friends are invited to share memories of Sue, at www.jenkins-soffe.com.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Jul. 8 to Jul. 12, 2022.
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