Patricia Anne (Wackerlin) Banis, age 84, passed away at a Great Falls health care facility on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008. She had been hospitalized since Monday, Dec. 8.
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Cremation has taken place under the direction of Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory.
A gathering of family and friends will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, in the Parish Hall of The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Great Falls. Interment of her cremated remains will be in Highland Cemetery on June 1, 2009.
God saw she was getting tired
And a cure was not to be,
So He put his hands around her
And whispered, "Come with Me."
With tearful eyes, we watched her suffer
And watched her fade away,
Although we loved her dearly
We could not make her stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Artistic hands to rest,
It broke our hearts to see her go,
We've lost one of the best.
She is survived by a son, Robert J. Banis, and a grandson, Justin R. Banis, both of Bozeman; and numerous friends and relatives in the Great Falls and Bozeman areas.
Patricia was born June 1, 1924, in Fort Benton, attending schools in Great Falls, Havre and Shelby. She graduated from high school in Fort Benton in 1942, and during World War II she worked at the East Base (Malmstrom) at Great Falls in the base commissary office.
She married Adolph J. Banis, a master aircraft mechanic, in October 1943. They also operated the family farm north of Collins. Adolph died in April 1946.
After Al's death, Patricia and her son, Robert, moved to Great Falls, where she worked for 23 years in the insurance industry. She subsequently worked for the Great Falls police department as an administrative assistant to the chief of police. She was able to use the Law Enforcement Assistance Act to attend college part-time and graduate magna cum laude from the College of Great Falls with a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1981. After 19 years, she retired from the police department in 1989.
She was active in Zonta and insurance women's groups. She enjoyed oil painting, china painting, reading and genealogy. When younger, she was in a tap dance group, sang in the Episcopal church choir and began a lifelong avocation in art with drawings, watercolors and oil painting. She left a large legacy of art to friends, family and her community.
In addition to her husband, Adolph Banis, she was preceded in death by her father, George W. Wackerlin; mother, Jane Boyd Bell; and a brother, George W. Wackerlin Jr.
Memorials are suggested to Peace Hospice of Montana, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59403-7008.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com.
Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory
1307 Central Avenue
Great Falls, MT 59401
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 17, 2008