Dr. Robert P. Banks Jr. OD

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Dr. Robert P. Banks Jr. OD, 86, went home to be with the Lord at 3:25 p.m. Thursday, June 27, 2013, at his home in Chapel Hill, N.C., with family close by his side.

He was born Dec. 4, 1926, to the late Dr. Robert P. Banks Sr. and Helen M. Banks, in Mifflintown.

He is survived by: his wife of 58 years, Virginia Quednau Banks; a sister, Helen Morris Banks; one son, Robert P. Banks III and wife, Susan, of Palm City, Fla.; a daughter, Bonnie Banks Holmes and husband, Paul, of Cary, N.C.; one grandson, Ian Quednau Holmes, of Cary, N.C.; and three granddaughters, Aundrea Catherine Holmes, of Cary, N.C., and Sarah Catherine Banks and Jennifer Lauren Banks, of Palm City, Fla.

He graduated from Juniata Joint High School in 1944, Dickinson College and Massachusetts College of Optometry.

He served in the U.S. Army with the 12-28th division from 1944 to 1946 and established a successful optometry practice in Mifflintown, where he provided eye care to the community for 35 years.

He was an accomplished skier who conquered expert terrain at major ski destinations worldwide: Chamonix, Val d’ Isere, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Zermatt, Vail, Aspen, Banff, Jackson Hole, Telluride, and Taos, to name a few. Some years he would even ski in the summer, trekking south of the equator to find snow in the Andes Mountains of Chile and the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

After retiring from optometry, he became a certified ski instructor, and was the director of the Ski School at Snow Peak, in Thompsontown. At the age of 83, this facet of his life came to a conclusion in the Green Mountains of Vermont, not far from where it all began some 60 years earlier. After one last downhill adventure, he surrendered his skis to his grandson, who, like his grandfather, is an avid skier and to this day wins races on them for his college ski team. Needless to say, Grandpa is very proud.

He also enjoyed dancing and spending time with his four grandchildren. He belonged to Capital City Polka Dancers, Town and Gown, Central Pennsylvania Ballroom Dancers, Syncopation Dance Club and dancing at the Elks Club.

He was a life member of the American Optometric Association and the Pennsylvania Optometric Association as well as St. Johns Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Boston, Mass., Harrisburg Consistory, Tall Cedars of Lebanon Forest 88, and the Susquehanna Ski Club.

Never one to sit still, he enjoyed the challenge of a project, took pride in his work, and as a gifted handyman had a knack for restoring the old and worn to a good as new condition. This of course meant friends and family always looked forward to his visits.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. July 18, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 21 S. Main St., Lewistown. The family will provide all flowers, and kindly asks that memorial donations in Dr. Banks’ memory be made to St. Marks Episcopal Church.