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Barbara Banaka - October 30, 2011


Barbara Martin Banaka was born Jan. 2, 1937 to Ruth Jane (Sawin) Martin and Glen Eldon Martin in Holyoke. She died Oct. 30, 2011.

Barbara went to grade school at Pleasant Valley southeast of Holyoke and attended high school at Phillips County High School where she graduated in 1954.

Barbara married Donald Vernon Banaka in May of 1954. Three children were born from their marriage: Betty, Jerry and Becky. Barbara also had a stepson, Jim Hinnegan.

They lived southeast of Holyoke and did custom swathing and baling until 1969 when Don was diagnosed with cancer and had to change jobs. They moved to Hoquiam, Wash., where Barbara worked in a nursing home, cafes and a veneer plant. Donald died in 1973.

In 1975, Barbara became disabled with heart disease and moved back to Holyoke in 1977. In 1979 she worked for Triplette Brothers, and in the spring she workd for Harris Lett, and then back for Triplette Brothers, driving truck where she was in her height of glory as she had the opportunity to go south for harvest and then work her way back to Holyoke.

Barbara got to meet many people who touched her heart and helped to make her life so rewarding. Driving truck was probably the most enjoyable job she ever had the opportunity of working.

She worked at the 5 and 10 store in 1980 and married Bill Bahler in 1981 and divorced in 1982. She then went to work at the nursing home and Melissa Memorial Hospital where she worked until she became disabled again in 1987. In 2005, Barbara had her right leg amputated due to severe infection, but she always continued to enjoy life.

Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, Glen and Ruth Martin; husband, Donald Banaka; and sister, Jackie Mitchell.

She is survived by her sister, Glenda Krueger and husband William of Sparks, Neb.; children, Betty Breckenridge and husband Breck of Fort Collins, Jerry Banaka and wife Debby of Holyoke and Becky Sherlock and husband John of Holyoke; grandchildren, Dacey and Kenric Thompson of Camas, Wash., Travis Sherlock of Tallahassee, Fla., Elizabeth and Brent Shannon of Fargo, N.D., Larry Banaka of Sterling and Christina Banaka of Holyoke; great-grandchildren, Kyan and Celiesse Thompson of Camas, Wash. and Lillian Vasquez of Holyoke; stepson Jim Hinnegan and wife Janelle of Alliance, Neb.; stepgrandsons, Robert and Harley; and many nieces, nephews, friends and other relatives.

The memorial service will be held Monday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Baucke Funeral Chapel in Holyoke with Pastor Kurt Hatteberg officiating.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Plains.

Baucke Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.