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  • Geneva JoAnn Gorem Banks

Geneva JoAnn Gorem Banks

Geneva JoAnn Gorem Banks, born Jan. 19, 1937, went to be with the Lord on Dec. at 1:50 p.m. in Groesbeck.

JoAnn was born in a little house in Kosse to Ola Beatrice “Bea” Henry Gorem and Silas Weldon Gorem.

Her father served in WWI and was in Pearl Harbor on D-Day and after the war was a roofer. Her mother was a telephone operator in Kosse. JoAnn’s mother died when JoAnn was 2 years old due to complications from giving birth to her sister, Shannon Raye, who also died. She spent years asking people about her mom, trying to get to know her. Her Grandma and Grandpa Henry raised her for several years because her father left her.

When she got in junior high school she started staying with whichever family member would take her in. She was active in all sports including volleyball, basketball and softball. JoAnn’s best friend was Billie Clyde Smith in Kosse. JoAnn was Homecoming Queen for Kosse Grayhounds and graduated high school there in 1956. She was the first in her family to graduate high school and go to college.

She attended basic nursing school in Marlin and then went to advanced nursing school at Methodist Hospital in Houston, where she specialized in OB/GYN. She was working in Houston where she met her future husband, Albert George Banks Jr. and they were married for 15 years. They had two children, George Weldon Banks and Laurinda “Laurie” Jo Banks and they eventually moved to Thornton where they became active members of Central Baptist Church. She was active with the youth at Central Baptist Church in Thornton.

JoAnn was an intricate part in starting the Thornton Teen Civic Club and TRIED to keep the teenagers busy earning money for park equipment doing various deeds for locals. To keep the teens out of trouble she also played hide-and-seek in cars on the backroads of Thornton.

After she had to leave nursing career due to medical issues, she worked at the Mexia State School for several years and then at Griggs Café in Groesbeck for many years.

JoAnn loved to garden and had two green thumbs and gardens the size of Texas. JoAnn was spunky, fun-loving, honest, caring, and hard-working who didn’t let anyone run over her or those she cared about. She didn’t believe in taking handouts or asking for help; she always tried to do it all on her own. She loved to have a good time with friends and family. When some good country music or her favorite singer, Elvis, came on, she’d dance! In her younger years she was a published poet and wrote articles for the newspapers. She loved to sing, “I love you, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck” to all the kids. She also loved to eat shrimp and drink Milwaukee Best Light beer.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, grandparents and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

She is survived by her son, George W. Banks, and his children, Heather and husband Brett Wilkinson, Candy and husband Mike Howie, Brandy Banks and stepchildren Brent Thorp and Crystal Thorp; daughter, Laurinda and her husband Ronnie Bates and her children, Brian and wife Amber Newcomb, Christina and husband Allen Sanders and Michael and wife Ellie Newcomb; stepchildren, Dustin Bates and Kassie Bates; also, numerous great-grandchildren; and her aunt that was like a sister, Dorothy “Dot” Henry, whom she was raised with.

Family and friends are invited to gather in remembrance during the visitation hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, at Corley Porter Funeral Home. A funeral service of JoAnn’s life will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 28, at Corley Porter Funeral Home with Pastor Tracy Simmons officiating. Burial will follow at Kosse City Cemetery.

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