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Lynnette Kay Banker


1944 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Lynnette Kay Banker Obituary
In the summer of 1970, my mother wanted my sister Jill (age 4) and me (age 5) to have new clothes. She had grown up poor on the east side of Aurora in a small house on Indian Avenue, where her father eventually added indoor plumbing. She met my father after both had graduated from East Aurora High School. My father, Terry Banker whom I was named for, worked as a first-line manager at Austin Western, a factory that made construction equipment. It was tough work for little pay. Every morning the family would be up early to take him to work before we returned home in a car that wouldn't always run in reverse. In 1970, psychedelic-styled fabric was all the rage. My mom bought patterns and material at the Ben Franklin Five and Dime and sat down at her sewing machine. Soon, Jill and I were sporting funky-colored jumpsuits. We did not go without. Neither did we go without swim lessons. My mother wanted us to learn to swim though she was afraid of water. My father had learned this back when he and his brother, Larry, would take their girlfriends (soon to become our Aunt Barb and mother to our cousins Brad and Marn) out to South 80 to swim, boat, and grow into young adults. Jill and I took swim lessons with various results. Mom understood as only mothers can. Going to the library was a different story. We read every day. Every night. Before bedtime. (Often after lights-out, with a flashlight.) During the schoolyear, we went to the library every week. During the summer, we'd go every other day. If we didn't like a book, we were free to read something else, as long as we read. Unlike swimming, reading became a way life no different than being born right-handed. My mother's favorite book was Jack Finney's Time and Again (1970), a time travel book. She loved time travel and had read lots of science fiction as a girl. Her father, Ernest Vernon Challis, loved to read, while her mother, Millie, preferred to socialize and served as an election volunteer for Kane county for more than thirty years. Vern was a soft-spoken man, who liked solitary walks and a good cigar, and he could fix anything that broke. Living through the depression taught people to fix their broken things and make-do with less. My mother's brother Ray joined the Navy, and her sister, Marilyn, had married and was busy raising our cousins, Lisa and Heidi, on a farm with free-range chickens and a grove of mulberry trees. We all learned to live with less, though as kids we never knew it. There was always a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup in the cabinet. Besides, time travel provided more sustenance than a can of soup ever could. Time travel promised exotic adventures, my mother explained. Every day she would bury herself in a book until she finished, when she would begin another. I wanted to read what she read and know what she knew. I wanted exotic adventures, too. Soon, our sister, Janeen, was born, and Jill and I became responsible siblings-according to Mom. We would include Janeen on our annual outing to Phillips Park for fishing with corn on hooks dangling from the end of bamboo poles, and then we'd release the bluegills we caught and cook pancakes and eggs on the worn park grills-no complaining of ash in the pancakes allowed. As we grew into teenagers, Dad ventured into real estate and Mom took a job as a cashier at Boulder Hill Market. The Jimmy Carter years weren't kind. Sometimes we ate that last can of chicken noodle soup. However, that never prevented her from taking us by train into Chicago for sightseeing and lunch at the historic Berghoff on West Adams. "This used to be the hottest restaurant in Chicago," she'd tell us. Before she had married, she took the train into the city for a brief stint as a secretary. We couldn't afford to eat at the Berghoff, but she wanted to share the experience with us. In time, her family moved on. The real estate market grew hot. She and my father traveled to London and Paris and saw the distant castles they had heard of but never visited. Their lives changed as lives do, and eventually, they went their separate ways. My mom took a job as a cashier at Wal-Mart and worked there until she no longer could. Over the course of my mother's life, she read thousands of books, loved time travel stories, treated children and animals with kindness, and loved her grandchildren Emily, Etta, and Riley more than herself. She welcomed my wife, Meri Beth, and Jill's husband, Bob, into our family with a generous heart. Lynne Banker died on August 28 on a hot summer day at the age of 74. She left a copy of The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century behind on her nightstand. As my mother was an advocate for helping lost and forgotten animals, our family asks that in lieu of flowers, you consider donating to www.HelpSavePets.org, a 501 C3 nonprofit. A Gathering of Family and friends will be held on September 12, 2018 from 5:00 PM- 7:00 pm with a Memorial Service at 6:15 PM at the DUNN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME with CREMATORY, 1801 S. Douglas Road, Oswego, IL 60543. For information: 630/554-3888 or www.dunnfamilyfuneralhome.com
Published in the Aurora Beacon News on Sept. 9, 2018
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