Services for Geraldine Carmen Smith, 76, of Longview will be at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, in Wallace-Thompson Funeral Home Chapel with Matt Idom officiating. Burial will be at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Geraldine passed away on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, after a brief battle with cancer. A long-time resident of Longview, Geraldine "Jerry" was born in Irving, on Aug. 14, 1933, to Keith and Florence Skaggs. She was a great-granddaughter of French settlers Lucy Santerre and Charles Voirin, who were among the original pioneers of the Irving community. She married Elbert Banks in 1953, and raised two children.

Born during the Great Depression, Geraldine grew to become hard-working and self-reliant. She was accustomed to making do with very little and facing life's adversity without complaint. Nevertheless, she was always generous with what she had and was willing to make any and all sacrifices for the sake of her children. A working mom before working moms were common, she helped support her family for many years working as office manager at Industrial Steel Warehouse in Longview.

Despite her humble roots, she was known for her quiet dignity and grace, qualities that seemed to come naturally to her. She also had a quick wit and dry sense of humor that continued (or manifested itself) throughout her final days. In her later years, she was cared for by thoughtful friends who would often look in on her or share their dinner. And no matter what they had prepared, she would honor their attention with gratitude and appreciation. Her friend was once overheard to say "If I had brought her lizard soup, she would have enthusiastically accepted it as though it was her favorite."

Gentle and unassuming, Geraldine never spoke an unkind word. Accepting by nature, she reserved her harshest judgments for herself. She took responsibility for her shortcomings and never stopped working to improve herself. She was a long-time member of Alcoholics Anonymous and helped many others to achieve sobriety.

Geraldine was preceded in death by her husband, Elbert Ernest Banks of Longview, her mother and father, Florence and Keith Skaggs of Longview, and her brother, O.K. "Buddy" Skaggs of Phoenix, Ariz.

She is survived by her sister, Ruth Ponce and husband Gilbert, of Phoenix, Ariz.; her son, Richard Banks and wife Laura of Pflugerville; her daughter, Charlotte Coyne and husband Kirk of Lewisville; her grandchildren, James Clay, Tiffany Clay, Travis Banks, Haley Coyne, TJ Coyne, and Jordan Coyne; great-grandchildren, Kama and Cheyenne Clay; a niece Cathleen Ponce; and a nephew, Val Ponce.

She faced her life and her death with fearlessness, courage and dignity. Her determination and resolve was inspiring to those who were with her in her final days. She will be remembered with love and respect by all who knew her.

Family will receive friends from noon until service time on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, at the funeral home

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