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Sister Susan K. Banks, wife of Elder Ben B. Banks, dies at age 90


Sister Susan K. Banks, wife of Elder Ben B. Banks, dies at age 90

After a life of devoted service to her family and to the Church, Sister Susan K. Banks, wife of Elder Ben B. Banks, died Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Salt Lake City. She was 90.

Sister Banks and her husband served as the leaders of the Scotland Edinburgh Mission from 1987 to 1989. In 1989, that service ended when Elder Banks was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Of their service in Scotland, Sister Banks said: “We love the people of Scotland, and we love the country itself. It will be hard to leave and hard to leave the great missionary effort. We have developed a great love for the missionaries; they have been a true blessing in our lives. But we love to go where we are called.” 

With Elder Banks’ call as a General Authority Seventy, the couple traveled around the world — including Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and more — throughout his 13 years of service. 

After her husband was given emeritus status in 2002, Sister Banks served as matron while Elder Banks served as president of the Jordan River Utah Temple. They then served as directors of Church Hosting for six years, welcoming and interacting with international guests at Church headquarters: from the princess of Norway to a prince of Saudi Arabia to the ambassador of Pakistan to the general consul of Thailand. 

Susan Kearnes Banks was born on Feb. 29, 1932, in Salt Lake City to Edwin Josephus Kearnes Jr. and Blanche Beesley Kearnes, the youngest of three children. After graduating from East High School, she attended the University of Utah where she met Ben Berry Banks in a choral music class.

They were married on June 25, 1952, in the Salt Lake Temple. They are parents of seven sons — including a foster son — and one daughter and have 30 grandchildren and 61 great-grandchildren.

Her obituary says she was heavy on laughing and smiling and light on preaching and disciplining. In an article published in the Ensign when Elder Banks was called to the Seventy, the Banks children said that standards in their parents’ home were high and demanding; yet they always felt loved and valued. 

Their family loved skiing — both on snow and water — as well as traveling and camping. 

The scriptures were also an important tool in keeping the family close. “I have always found that the best advice for Sue and me in teaching our children is in the scriptures,” Elder Banks said. “We have used them consistently. We are so grateful for the wisdom they offer. And when our children have wanted advice, the scriptures were always our first resort.”

One son recalled his mother’s happy and tender nature. To which Elder Banks added: “I’ve never heard my wife angry, and never have I heard her speak an unkind word to or about anyone. Her heart is pure.”

She enjoyed gardening, swimming, biking, knitting, and walking with friends. She also served and shared her talents in various positions in the Relief Society and Young Women organizations throughout the years.

Her husband once summed up: “Our gratitude for the joy our family brings us is endless. The love we share for our own and for all our Father’s children makes any service we could ever give the purest enjoyment.”

Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 23, at 11 a.m., at the Latter-day Saint meetinghouse, 5290 S. Wesley Road, Murray, Utah. Visitation will be Friday, July 22, 6 to 8 p.m., and again Saturday 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. prior to services at the church.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Sister Banks’ age. She was 90 years old.

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