Banfield, Patricia Angell
Patricia (Pat) was born in Ithaca, NY on April 13, 1923, daughter of Robert and Mary Herson Angell. While she was born on a Friday the 13, many will agree that it was a lucky day. She had a younger brother, Jack, whom she admitted to tormenting in their childhood, but was devoted to him until his death in 2011. When she was young, living in downtown Ithaca, she told stories of how the kids of all ages would play together on their own. She and the neighborhood kids organized a "circus," complete with their pets as the exotic animals and performances by the kids. Pat's performance was her favorite: tap dancing. She went to the Immaculate Conception School and was very involved in the church until she moved to Lansing. She and her friends would bike to "Enfield" (now known as Treman State Park) to swim nearly every day in the summer. She spoke of going to the 1939 World's Fair in NYC and seeing an early version of television on display. In high school, she met Harry Banfield and the two became sweethearts. As World War II came on, Pat and Harry graduated from high school. Pat went to Cornell for 2 years in the Home Economics School and then finished a degree at Rochester Business Institute to become a Legal Secretary. By then Harry was a machinists mate in engineering on a destroyer escort doing convoy duty in the Atlantic. In April of 1945, his ship was in the Brooklyn Navy Yard being refitted for duty in the Pacific in preparation for landings in Japan. On a quick leave, they were married, and shortly after, his ship left for the Pacific Theater. After the war, he returned to Ithaca in mid-December for their first Christmas together. Her six children were born from 1946-65. She always joked she'd be going to PTA meetings in a wheelchair. Humor was a big thing in her home and her life, inherited no doubt from her Irish mother. Her best April fools joke was to color a few non-cooked eggs for Easter and send them in Harry's lunch pail. She organized family picnics with her cousins almost every night at Scott's dam (Upper Buttermilk) or Enfield when the kids were small. After 1958, the family spent summers in the "shack" at her father's cottage at Myers point. In 1970 they added on to the original cabin and built a year round home on "The Point". She loved to watch the birds and the seasons pass: the wind-blown horizontal snow at the lake, wildflowers, and the great V's of Canada geese. She enjoyed annual family trips with the cousins to her brother Jack's "farm" on the eastern shore of Maryland. Great parties were held at Myers Point. Her favorite was the annual 4th of July soiree with 100's of people and lots of fireworks. She was most happy with her kids and friends around - always the life of the party. She loved her church, All Saints in Lansing, especially socializing at coffee hour. She enjoyed Lansing Senior trips, particularly to the horse races. Christmas meant thousands of lights all over the point, even out on the dock. Pat loved to read, especially mysteries, and always did the crossword puzzles, even up to the last week of her life. Assisted by many of her children, she was able to stay home during her last months and watch the first green shoots peeking up from the ground, and the great blue herons winging by. She died quietly in her sleep, March 28, 2013, sixteen days short of her 90th birthday. When asked why she threw off the covers one evening near the end of her life her wry humor was exemplified as she winked and said "I'm hot … the Devil's after me." She is survived by her children: Bill (Marilyn) Banfield, Carol Banfield (Sally Hershey), Terry Zifchock, Sally Klein (Kathleen Morrow), Rob (Kirsten) Banfield, Don Banfield (Michele Steffey), eight grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and her favorite cousin Donny Herson. She was predeceased by her husband, Harry Banfield and her son-in-law C.J. Klein. A memorial Mass and reception is planned for 1:30PM at All Saints Church in Lansing, NY on Saturday, May 4, 2013. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Pat's name to All Saints Church at (http://www.holycrossdryden.org/as.html) or Hospicare at (http://www.hospicare.org). Bangs Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Published in Ithaca Journal from Apr. 2 to Apr. 27, 2013