Carrie Pope Banks

Banks, Carrie Pope

Carrie Pope Banks was born in Champaign, Illinois at 808 North Prairie Street, the daughter of Cecil and Carrie Lee Pope. She attended the Gregory School, the Champaign Junior High School (now Central) and graduated from the Champaign Senior High School (now Edison Middle School) in 1940. She attended the University of Illinois for two years.

During WW II, Carrie took and passed the Civil Service Exam, entered and completed a brief training period in Chicago after which she worked until the War was over. Meanwhile she became engaged to Mr. Nathaniel Banks who was stationed in Germany as Army Personnel and upon his discharge on December 7, 1945, they planned for a wedding on June 2, 1946, in the Bethel A.M.E. Church. To this union were born three children, Nathaniel C. Banks, Deborah Banks and David Banks. Carrie was a stay-at-home mom until 1962 until their children were at an age when she could apply for and accept employment outside the home.

Carrie Pope Banks started her career with the Illinois Power Company in 1962 and retired in 1987 after 25 years of service. Her late husband spent more than 30 years as an employee of the University of Illinois, retiring in 1984. He died in 1998. They were married for 52 years.

Carrie belonged to the Bethel A.M.E. Church where she was a member of the Choir; the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Lay Organization and the Lou Anna Riley Missionary Society. She was a member of the Deborah Chapter #27, Order of Eastern Star (founded by her Grandmother Louetta Smith Lee) and the Committee on African-American History in Champaign County. She was also a member of the Champaign County Africa-American History Committee of the Early American Museum since its first meeting in 1992.

Carrie Pope Banks passed away in August 2002. She was the proud Grandmother of three wonderful grandsons, the children of Nathaniel and Lisha Banks.