News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 22, 2012

Elena Adams Banks

Elena Adams Banks, 94, of Terre Haute, IN died Sunday, September 16, 2012. She was born October 13, 1917 in Monroe County, Indiana, just west of Bloomington to Henry Sherman Adams and Myrtle Mae Butcher Adams. Elena retired as a Professor at Indiana State University.

Survivors include her son, Jonathan Ray Banks and his wife, Geni of Malibu, California; four grandchildren, Rebecca Elena Banks, Claudio Jon Henry “Hank” Banks, Ruth Garcia and Joanna Rae Banks-Morgan and her husband Rob Morgan; a great-granddaughter, Rheannon Morgan; a niece, Aletha Bonnette Foster and her husband Robert; and a cousin, Virginia Fields. She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Vesta Dorinda Adams, Orville Louis Adams, Carrie Elizabeth Adams Bonnette and Olive Ruth Adams who died in childhood; and a nephew, Kenneth Lee Bonnette.

Both the Adams and Butcher ancestors settled in what is now Southern Indiana, while it was still inhabited by Indians, who were traders and friends of her grandparents. Elena was the last survivor of the first cousin descendants of America and Jaacob Butcher and the last member of the Henry and Mae Adams family. Her parents named their youngest daughter Emma Elena. Her mother ran the two names together and called her Emalana; her father called her Bill (never any other name except Bill). She chose to use her middle name, Elena.

Elena attended Ellettsville High School and later Indiana University, where she obtained a B.S. degree from the School of Business. Later in life she earned an M.Ed. degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Maryland, in College Park, Maryland (suburban Washington D.C.).

Elena worked for the Departments of the Navy, State, Treasury and the Post Office, including the Post Office Inspectors. At the end of her U.S. Departments career, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.

During Elena’s teaching career she worked thirteen years at the high school level, two years at the junior college level, and, for the last twenty years of her teaching, she was an Associate Professor at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.  At ISU she was in charge of the Future Secretaries Association for several years, working closely with the National Secretaries Association. She was also a member of the National Business Education Association, the Indiana Business Educators Club and had received a Teacher of the Year Award from the School of Education. She was a member of both business and education honorary associations, including the Beta Omicron chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma in Terre Haute. Through out the years, Elena taught Adult Education classes and summer school classes to supplement her income as the head of her family.

Funeral services will be private. Arrangements are under the direction of Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 S. 25th Street. Burial will be in Clear Creek Cemetery, Bloomington, Indiana. In lieu of flowers, Billy Adams would like for you to give with your heart to the charitable organization of your choice.


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