Saturday, March 19, 2011

With Great Sadness

Martha M. Banks

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Martha M. Banks, 61, died at home on Wednesday. She was preceded in death by her husband, Michael J. Banks. Martha was a five-year breast cancer survivor.

Born in Scranton, on Aug. 23, 1949, daughter of the late Robert J. and Martha Ferber McGregor, she was a 1967 graduate of Abington Heights High School. During high school, she excelled in gymnastics and field hockey and was a repeat diving champion on the YWCA swim team. She was a 1971 graduate of Ithaca College, where after competing in national and international diving competitions, she capped a distinguished athletic career by becoming New York state collegiate women's diving champion of 1971. Martha co-founded the Jewelry Room in Clarks Summit in 1976 with Michael J. Banks and operated it with him until his death in 2007. She then continued the business with the assistance of her stepson, David Banks.

The Jewelry Room was founded to specialize in fine gold and silver jewelry, genuine stones and antique/estate jewelry, with a strong emphasis on personal service. Martha continued her jewelry studies with classes and seminars at specialized educators in the jewelry trade, among them the Gemological Institute of America and Stewart's International School for Jewelers. She also attended mineral and gem shows throughout the United States and summer jewelry conferences. New York City's trade jewelry neighborhoods and high-end stores provided her with a continual learning experience for 35 years.

Martha also was a jewelry educator, sharing her enthusiasm and expertise by speaking at clubs and meetings.

She died peacefully, surrounded by her family. The family deeply appreciates the compassionate care provided by Hospice of the Sacred Heart and by our devoted home caregivers.

She is survived by two sisters, Heather McGregor, New York; and Anne M. Fries and husband, Richard, Michigan; a brother, Robert R. and wife, Virginia D., Scranton; four nieces, Grace, Margaret, Virginia E. and Mary Martha McGregor; four nephews, Timothy and Daniel Fries and Robert S. and William McGregor; four stepchildren, Kimberly B. Gahl and husband, Peter, California; Michael Banks and wife, Jennifer, California; David Banks and wife, Kimberly, Lake Winola; and Jason Banks and fiancée, Vanessa, California; and seven stepgrandchildren, Hannah, Maxwell, Brittany, Molly and Mia Banks and Lily and Peter Gahl.

The family will receive friends at the family home, 511 Colburn Ave., Clarks Summit, today from 4 to 6 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Abington Community Library, 1200 W. Grove St., South Abington Twp., PA 18411; or First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, 300 School St., Clarks Summit, PA 18411.

Arrangements by the Lawrence E. Young Funeral Home, 418 S. State St., Clarks Summit. Online condolences may be sent to
Published in Scranton Times from March 18 to March 19, 2011
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