Obituaries » Mary Carol Damron Banks

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Mary Carol Damron Banks

September 29, 1931 - May 24, 2021

Burial Date June 27, 2021

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Mary Carol Damron Banks, age 89, passed away on May 24, 2021, in New Bern, NC.  Mary was a former resident for over 35 years of Forest, VA. She was the daughter of Lloyd Damron and Mattie Justice Damron and was born on September 29, 1931 in Pike County Kentucky. She was preceded in death by her parents and only sibling, Leona Damron Snyder. At the age of 14, Mary’s mother became ill and she quit school and took care of her mother for 5 years. Her father ran a country grocery store and she also helped with that.   She went back to high school at the age of 19. After completing high school at the age of 22, she went to secretarial school in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She then started working for Inland Steel Coal Company in Wheelwright, Kentucky. There, Mary met the love of her life, a widowed man – Ralph Banks, with two young children: Gregory Ralph Banks and Paula Lynn Banks Saihati (Ralph Hazen). She soon became his beloved wife. They were married for over 50 years and had one of the greatest love stories ever written. In sickness and in health – they took care of each other with great love one for the other. Mary involved herself with her church, serving as Treasurer for many years, cooked many meals for those that needed it and baked for friends and family.

Mom Mary will long be remembered by her grandchildren whom she loved dearly. Each grandchild thought he/she was her favorite as they grew up surrounded by her love. If there’s a medal for grandmothers, she would be given the gold.  These are the grandchildren she loved so much:  Angela Marie Benedict Smith (Steven Smith), Jennifer Joy Benedict, Rebeca Leigh Banks Ford (Eric Ford), Sami Abdul-ilah Saihati (Manal AlHerz), Sara Abdul-ilah Saihati Lear (Nate Lear), Michael Gregory Banks, and David-Ali Abdul-ilah Saihati. Great grandchildren are Gavin Benedict Smith, Harper Mae Smith, Daniel Sami Saihati, Elliott Josephine (Ellie Jo) Ford, and born the day after she passed, Leo Sami Saihati. In addition to her grandchildren and great grandchildren she loved her nephew Charles Snyder Jr and his wife Pam and their children. Her heart overflowed for those people dear to her.

We will remember Mom Mary for all the loving acts of kindness for her family and friends.   She was the quiet one of the family, but once she called you friend, you were hers forever.  Rest in peace Mom Mary – you were loved beyond measure.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on June 27 at 3:00 pm at Forest United Methodist Church, 1150 Burnbridge Rd., Forest, VA  24551.

In lieu of flowers, if you’d like to make a donation to the Forest United Methodist Women’s Group at the above address or to Mary’s favorite charity: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or at

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.  To send condolences, please visit

Click here to view Mary’s tribute video

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