Meet Carlton Senior Living’s spotlight resident, Carol Banks — Carol was born on May 7, 1930 in Fresno, California to Charles and Ruth Sortor. Carol and her brother were raised on various farms through the Central Valley and they learned to love nature, like their parents. The Sortors loved to camp in Yosemite National Park and the entire family made it a point to stay active and productive. Carol’s mother was a homemaker and was very diligent about keeping her children busy when they were not in school. Her father was an engineer, a farmer and also he also worked in an office prior to his retirement.
After graduating high school, Carol attended college at Fresno State. While in chemistry class, she met her husband, Amberse Banks. Not long after their graduation, Amberse and Carol were married in June 1951. The couple then moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee where they began their careers. Within two years, Amberse was drafted into the Army.
By the time Amberse was scheduled to be deployed, Carol was expecting their first child, a daughter they named Sandra. At the end of Amberse’s service with the Army, the couple happily welcomed a second daughter, Lynn, into the family. Wanting to further his career, Amberse decided to continue his study of chemistry and he work part-time while attending school part-time with Carol staying home to care for their young daughters.
Once Amberse finished his studies, the Banks family moved back to California in search of new career opportunities and to start a new life. The family settled in Modesto where they purchased a home. While her husband worked for Gallo Winery, Carol was a homemaker and also ran her own business tailoring the clothes of her friends and neighbors for extra cash. Her seamstress skills were in high demand and she continued her tailoring business until both of her daughters graduated from high school.
As her daughters were growing up, Carol made it a point to instill in them the same values taught to her by her own parents. She kept her girls active and productive. The family enjoyed taking road trips as well as camping trips to Yosemite. When both daughters were off at college, Carol and Amberse decided to continue their travels with trips to Holland, France and England. They also went on a few cruises.
After Amberse passing, Carol remained in their family home where she tended the garden and took walks around the neighborhood. Wanting to be closer to her daughter in Orinda, Carol moved to the Creekside building at Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill in January 2017. Like her parents taught her during her childhood, Carol remains active and participates in the exercise groups regularly. Her all-time favorite activity is balloon volleyball and she loves to attend the musical performances on Tuesday evenings as well as the weekly Happy Hours. Carol can often be found walking around the community during her daily walks or visiting with her neighbors.
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Written by Cookie Apodaca