M ary Catherine (Banks) Strathman died Thursday, January 3, 2013, at the Sabetha Manor, Sabetha, Kansas, after a lingering illness. Mary was born on November 5, 1930, to John Harold and Bridget (Farrell) Banks at Fairview, Kansas. She attended grades one through eight at New Hope Country School south of Fidelity, and attended high school at Fairview, Kansas, graduating from high school with the class of 1948. She received a teaching certificate from Emporia State and taught school at Powhattan, Kansas, and then at Whiting, Kansas. On January 26, 1952, she married Benedict C. Strathman at St. Augustine’s Church, Fidelity, Kansas. The couple settled on a farm near Fairview, and began their family. In 1955, they moved to Sabetha. Mary was a loving mother of ten children and enjoyed baking and cooking for her family. In 1980, Mary began working at the Sabetha Community Hospital and gave many years of service in the housekeeping department. She was a member of the Sacred Heart Parish in Sabetha.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Bridget; her husband Ben, her brothers, Gene and Paul; and her daughter, Cathy Ward. Mary is survived by her children and their families: James of Nortonville, KS; Ruth (Ray) Lopez, of Canon City, CO; Bill (Tami) of Sabetha, KS; Wayne (Sharon) of Kansas City, MO; Ed (Lynette) of Bern, KS; Gerry (Lori) Strathman of Bern, KS; Dean (Thelma) Strathman of Sabetha, KS; Jeff (Cyndi) Strathman of Metuchen, NJ; Chris (Melissa) Strathman of McPherson, KS; and son-in-law, Jim Ward of Topeka, Kansas. She is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, her sister, Betty (George) Bien of Sabetha, Kansas; her brother, Mike Banks of Topeka, KS; sister-in-law, Mary Banks, of Russell, KS, and many nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, January 7, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sabetha. Friends and family are invited to attend a rosary Sunday evening, January 6, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. at the Popkess Mortuary in Sabetha, with visitation to following until 8:30 p.m.. Burial will be at St. Augustine’s Church Cemetery at Fidelity, Kansas. Memorial contribution may be made to the Birthright of Topeka sent in care of the Popkess Mortuary 823 Virginia Sabetha, Kansas 66534