Gladys Banke, 85Gladys Adelaide Armstrong Banke peacefully passed away surrounded by her family on September 10, 2011.
Gladys Adelaide Armstrong Banke peacefully passed away surrounded by her family on September 10, 2011.
Gladys was born April 20, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Edwin and Lucy (McIntyre) Armstrong.
Her family moved to Connecticut when Gladys was 3 years old, where she attended grade school in Wethersfield, CT. After moving to Middletown, CT she graduated from Middletown High School in 1944.
In 1945 she entered the School of Nursing of the Women’s Medical College Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., graduating in 1948. Returning to Middletown, she worked as a psychiatric nurse for three years. She applied for the position of ship’s nurse in 1951 and began sailing aboard the General M.B Stewart of the Military Sea Transportation Service. The ship carried 2,500 U.S. troops from the port of New York City to Bremerhaven, Germany. On the return trip it carried 1,307 displaced persons from Europe to the U.S., docking in New York City. Many of the European passengers were women and children.
While aboard ship she met her future husband, Bill Banke, who was from Howard Lake, Minnesota and was in the U.S. Navy. They were married in May 1952 in Middletown, CT. They lived in Connecticut and San Francisco until Bill’s discharge from the Navy. Their first son, Rick, was born in 1954 in Middletown, CT.
In September of 1954 they moved to St. Cloud, where Bill attended St. Cloud State University. Their second son, Jeffrey, was born in St. Cloud in 1957. After Bill’s graduation from college, they moved to Alexandria, where Bill started his teaching career of 31 years. A daughter, Carol, was born in Alexandria in 1966.
Gladys started employment at Knute Nelson Memorial Home in 1974 and retired in 1987. She also taught nurse’s aid classes at Alexandria Technical College from 1975 to 1981 and from 1990 to 1999.
She was a member of the Pioneer Heritage Conservation Trust and a long time member of Zion Lutheran Church and also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bill; sister, Mae Armstrong of Connecticut; brother, Edwin Armstrong of Florida; and son, Jeffrey, in 2010.
Survivors include two children, Rick and wife Jan Banke of Alexandria, and Carol Meiners of Minneapolis; daughter-in-law, Kathy Banke of Sauk Centre; five grandchildren, Aaron and Shonna Banke, Meghan (Banke) Birt, Mitchell Banke and Alyssa Meiners; two brothers, Paul Armstrong of Houston TX, and Bill Armstrong of Chebeaque Island, ME; along with many special nieces and nephews.
Gladys’ children and grandchildren have been the delight of her life. She enjoyed reading, knitting, flower gardening, bird and sports watching. Gladys will always be held close to our hearts as a wonderful mother, nana, sister and friend.
Memorial services were held September 15 at Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria with the Rev. David Hinz officiating. Mitchell Banke and Laurie Krueger provided music. Interment was at Kinkead Cemetery in Alexandria.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.