- January 30, 1936 - November 7, 2016
- Fallston, Maryland
of Gillian's Passing
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“Dear Bob and Family, Our sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved "Jill". We are so saddened to learn of her passing. Jill was such a lovely...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: Mickie Sachs
MC COMAS FUNERAL HOME, P.A.
Gillian M. Banker passed on November 7, 2016 due to complications following emergency surgery on November 6. She was eighty years of age. As the daughter of Leonard and Mary Lansdown, Jill was the Great-Granddaughter of Benjamin Lansdown, the founder of the Wiltshire Times Newspaper published in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England since 1858. She was born in Trowbridge. She attended boarding schools for her elementary education followed by attendance at Stonar School for her High School education. Following High School, she attended Secretarial school. She had an amazing gift for this field and became very proficient. She was employed as a Legal Secretary for many years. At age 21, she and a friend made a trip to Toronto, Canada to stay and work over a year before they returned to England. While there she reconnected with her Uncle. After her time was complete in Toronto, she and her friend made a lengthy train trip taking them to the Southwest of the U.S., with a side trip to the Grand Canyon, across to the West Coast and then up to Vancouver followed by a trip across Canada to Montreal where they took a flight home. Four years later she returned to Canada in Montreal to be with a good friend she met in Toronto who now lived in the area. She arrived in June 1962. In July 1964 she met her future husband Robert Banker a U.S. citizen, who was located there through his employer. They fell in love, engaged four months later and married in January 1965. The temperature on that day was a minus 20 degrees with a wind speed of 25 gusting to 40 mph. Yet Jill often commented that she was so happy that she could not feel the cold on that day. In September of 1965, they relocated to the Detroit area where their daughters, Katharine and Alison, were born. A later move sent them to the Atlanta area and thence to Baltimore to live in the Bel Air area from 1974. She became a strong vocal advocate for the needs of Special Education students and began to regularly attend the monthly Board of Education meetings. A Federal Law, PL 94-142 included a provision to enable the Parents and Guardians of Children with Disabilities to discuss their needs in Special Education with the School system on an annual basis. The Boards of Education considered the law as a recommendation rather than absolute and no meetings ensued. In the early 1980's she led a review of this consideration and later the Office of the Attorney General, in Maryland, issued a letter informing the Boards of Education that they had no discretion and that the meeting must be held on an annual basis. Jill continued to be involved with students with disabilities for many years. She was a volunteer advocate for many families and helped explain the laws and attend meetings. She presented issues to the Board of Education on a regular basis. Later she served on the Board of the Highland School, a private school for students with disabilities, in Harford County. The students knew her as "Miss Jill" as she provided instruction on gardening to the students. She had many interests including cooking, gardening and needlepoint. Jill was a member of the Country Garden Club of Harford County for many years. Jill and Bob enjoyed cooking together and created their own cookbook that contains all of the family favorites. Her needlepoints are beautiful and they decorate the family home. She also gave many away as gifts to close family and friends. She is survived by her husband, Robert, and daughters, Alison Creswell with husband Bruce and Katharine Steinwandel, with husband Mark and children, Robert and Matthew. In memory of Jill, donations can be made to The Highland School at 2409 Creswell Road, Bel Air, MD 21015. Because of her love for flowers, a Celebration of Life will be held for her in the early spring of 2017. Details for that occasion will be released at a later date.
50 W. Broadway Bel Air, MD 21014
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