top of page

Shirley Banks


Shirley (Fagan) Banks, a remarkable woman whose life was a testament to resilience, adventure, and artistry, peacefully transitioned from this world just weeks shy of her hundredth birthday on April 24, 2024, in Greenbrae, California.

Born on June 6, 1924, in San Francisco, Shirley’s early years were shaped by love and care from her grandparents, Charles and Dorothea Gebhardt, following the loss of her mother, Dorothy, when she was just nine years old. In 1951, Shirley embarked on a lifelong journey of love and companionship when she married Victor Banks, a pilot she met while working in Honolulu. Settling in Tiburon, California, they built not just one, but two homes. Their waterfront house became a haven where they hosted countless gatherings with friends and family. They enjoyed excursions in their Chris-Craft and socializing at the club.

A spirit of exploration danced through Shirley’s veins, and alongside Vic, she traversed the globe, embracing cultures near and far. They embarked on epic year-long journeys around the world not once, but twice, collecting experiences and forging friendships wherever they roamed. Even in her 80s, Shirley remained undaunted by new horizons, embarking on a memorable trip to India and Dubai, her adventurous spirit undimmed by age.

Beyond her wanderlust, Shirley was a woman of many talents — she was an accomplished oil painter, jewelry designer, bridge player, and seamstress. In the later years of her life, Shirley built a new home for herself at The Tamalpais retirement community, where she continued to embrace life with gusto.

Shirley is preceded in death by her parents, Dorothy (Gebhardt) Fagan and James J. Fagan Jr., husband Victor Banks, and son, David Banks. In honoring Shirley’s memory, let us not mourn her passing, but celebrate the extraordinary life she lived. Private services will be held.



Recent stories

Support The Ark’s commitment to high-impact community journalism.

The Ark, twice named the nation's best small community weekly, is dedicated to delivering investigative, accountability journalism with a mission to increase civic engagement and participation by providing the knowledge that can help sculpt the community and change lives. Your support makes this possible.

In addition to subscribing to The Ark for weekly home delivery, please consider making a contribution to support independent local journalism. For more information, contact Publisher & Advertising Director Henriette Corn at or 415-435-1190.​

bottom of page