Doreen "Ruthie" (Gear) Banes
1925 - 2020
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Doreen "Ruthie" Banes, 95, passed away peacefully Thursday, July 9, 2020, at Rosewalk Village in Lafayette.
Ruthie was born June 19, 1925, to Frederick and Gertrude Gear, in Sherborne, Dorset, England. Delivered by a midwife, she was the fifth of six children and the only girl in the family. Being the only girl worked to her advantage as she got her brothers to do her math homework and cover for her during various escapades as she grew up.
She attended Sherborne Abbey grade school and at the age of 11 received a scholarship to attend the Lord Digby School for Girls as a day student. As it was during World War II, she often recalled the air raid drills they had at school and the rude noises the girls learned to make with their gas masks. Ruthie always loved to have fun!
After graduation, Ruthie worked for three years in the local Ministry of Food Office. During that time, she met Wilbur Banes, an American soldier stationed in Sherborne. They married and Ruthie's American adventures began.
She sailed from Southampton, England, on the S.S. America and arrived in New York Harbor in December 1946. She often remembered seeing the lights of New York and described them as "fairyland" since England was still under brownout conditions.
Although Ruthie became an American citizen in 1952, she remained a Brit in her heart and loved to go back to visit family and friends in her home country.
She traveled by train from New York to Monon, where she lived most of her adult life. She raised a son and two daughters in Monon. While in Monon, Ruthie was an active member of the Monon United Methodist Church. She also was the first woman to serve as a member of the Monon Town Board. Ruthie was a member of the Current Literature Club and the Red Hat Society. She also enjoyed playing bridge and bingo.
Ruth was office manager at Monon Trailer for 30 years. She later worked at Kelley's Interiors in Monticello for 17 years. She moved to Lafayette in 2012 and had been a resident at Rosewalk Village since May of 2016.
Ruthie is survived by her son David (Cathy), Lafayette, and daughters Deborah (Greg) Keller, Indianapolis, and Trudi Banes-Fender (David Riggs), Greenfield. Also surviving are grandchildren Scott (Carman) Banes, Jeff (Sandra) Banes, Stephanie (Chad) Hostetler, Jason (Jill) Biss, Ian (Anna) Biss, John (Kate) Keller, Maddie Fender, Libbie Fender and Cameron Fender; 14 great-grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.
She is also survived by nieces and nephews in England.
Ruthie was preceded in death by her brothers George, Ronald, Richard, Peter and David Gear, all of England.
Memorial contributions may be made in Ruthie's name to Food Finders at 1204 Greenbush St. Lafayette, IN 47904, or online at
Due to the current COVID restrictions, a private family service is scheduled, with burial to follow at Bedford Cemetery in Monon.
You may sign the guest book and leave memories at

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Published in The Monticello Herald Journal from Jul. 10 to Jul. 17, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Soller-Baker Funeral Homes, Inc. - Lafayette Chapel - Lafayette
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3 entries
July 11, 2020
She was a wonderful Aunt Ruth and an exceptional woman. I loved her dearly. She loved to hear me sing. The last time I seen her she asked me to sing Amazing Grace, which I did. She loved the Lord. She will truly be missed by the Nightingale family. She always made it a point to go to the Banes reunion every year and we looked forward to seeing her. Lots of love and prayers to our family.
sherrie Nightingale Hauptli
July 11, 2020
Scott and Carman
What a beautiful lady and wonderful life and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.
Kathy Davis
July 10, 2020
May God's promise found in John 6:40, of the hope to see our loved ones again, comfort your heart and give you peace, strength, and hope in the days ahead.
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