Sandra Ann Bankert, 76, passed away peacefully at her home in rural Kirklin, surrounded by her family, on Thursday afternoon, July 1, 2021.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 8, 1945, she was the daughter of the late Robert Eugene and Ruby Christine (Shackleford) Lumpkins.
She attended Broad Ripple High School. During those days, there was a local hangout named the Tee-Pee. Being a drive-in made for the perfect combination of fast food . . . and fast cars. As it was, the Tee-Pee was the cruise-in spot for guys to show off their cars, make the ladies swoon, and more often than not, leave the parking lot in a wake of smoked tires and exhaust, and definitely at a much faster speed than they arrived.
Occasionally there was a lady with the need for speed, and a guy or two who would take notice. That was the case with Sandra and a young Paul Bankert. Paul and Sandra began to date and were later married on March 29, 1963. If ever there were two people who were supposed to meet and fall in love, it was Sandra and Paul.
Together, they set to raising a family and keeping house. She assisted Mr. Bankert with the family business, Paul’s Scavenger Service, as the company’s bookkeeper and office manager. She had a particular way of doing things, and over the years, Mr. Bankert finally figured out it was easier to just stay out of her way and follow his marching orders. Together they were a perfect team.
When the children were young, Mr. and Mrs. Bankert would put out huge vegetable gardens. As the years went on and the children got older, the vegetable gardens slowly transitioned to flower gardens – and oh, what a sight those flower gardens became throughout the years! Much to the chagrin of her husband, and later her children (who were promoted to mowing and groundskeeping), that particular way of doing things transferred to the flower beds as well. Mrs. Bankert kept her beds perfectly manicured, and she expected nothing less from the grounds crew. Yellow was her favorite color, and the yard was always a sea of yellow flowers in all shapes and sizes. Iris, Day Lilies and Peonies were some of her favorites, and she always enjoyed showing them at the State Fair and other flower shows throughout the year. She often sold her flowers to earn a little extra spending money.
Family was the most important thing in in her life, and the home that Mrs. Bankert built around her family was the place she loved more than anywhere else in the world. She never wanted to leave the home that she spent a lifetime building and felt blessed to be able to remain there for more than 50 years with the love and support of her family. In addition to her flowers, she had a deep love for animals.
After Mr. Bankert passed away, her dogs took over as her protectors, guarding her every move and sleeping by her bed at night.
She was a woman of strong faith and conviction. She never missed an opportunity to tell her family that they needed to make sure they were “right with God.” Her favorite song was Farther Along and was the anthem that gave her strength during her illness.
She was a member of the Iris Club, American Kennel Club, and attended the Tetersburg Christian Church.
Survivors include her sons, Paul Wesley (Jeanette) Bankert, Jr. of Kirklin and Curt Bankert of Carmel; daughters, Christy Jo Hopkins of Zionsville and Gina Lynn (Mike) McKinley of Carmel; 10 grandchildren, Jessica, Daniel, Alysa, Charles, Joseph, Wesley, Lucas, Oliver, Sam and Nicholas; five great-grandsons, Quenton Troy, Logan, Levi, Landen and Colton; two great-granddaughters, Payton and Sophia; many nieces and nephews; and her canine protectors, Sonny (her favorite), Buddy, Rascal and Cody.
She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Troy Wesley Bankert; granddaughter, Christine Bankert; sister, Wanda Lou Greene; brother, Bobby Gene Lumpkin; her husband’s dog, Sissy; her dog, Troy; and by her husband, Paul Wesley Bankert, Sr. on Aug. 29, 2018.
A private family celebration was held to honor her wishes and memory. It took place in the home that she loved so much, on the property where her flowers were showcasing their beauty, and the words to her favorite song being sung over and over by the family that she loved more than life itself.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Kercheval Funeral Home in Sheridan.