William B. Banks, 98, executive

October 01, 2006|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN REPORTER

William Bradford Banks, a retired packaging executive and accomplished watercolorist, died in his sleep Wednesday at the Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville. The former Ruxton resident was 98.

He was born in Baltimore and reared in the 1700 block of Park Ave. He was a 1925 graduate of City College and earned a bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1929.

Mr. Banks began his 40-year career with Lord Baltimore Press in 1929. During the 1950s, he developed the Fidel-I-Tone Color Process, which resulted in Lord Baltimore Press being regarded as one of the premier companies in the folding paper box industry, family members said. He was company president from 1964 to 1969.

The company, which later became a division of International Paper Co., specialized in high-quality multicolored packaging for such nationally known companies as Coca-Cola, McCormick & Co., and Revlon. In 1969, he became a vice president of International Paper Co. in New York City, and moved from his Roland Park home to Southbury, Conn. He retired in 1971.

His former directorships included the Folding Box Association of America, Consolidated Packaging Machinery Corp., Multi-Pak Inc. and International Paper Mexicana, S.A, de C.V.

Mr. Banks was an active alumnus of Johns Hopkins, where he had been reunion chairman and agent for the Class of 1929, which held its 75th reunion in 2004.

He also established the Johns Hopkins University Class of 1929 Endowed Scholarship Fund, and then raised $1 million between 1995 and 2000 to help support it.

Influenced by the paintings of Winslow Homer, Mr. Banks enjoyed painting Connecticut farm scenes, Atlantic Coast lighthouses, ocean scenes and landscapes. He frequently mounted one-man exhibits of his work in Baltimore and Connecticut.

While living in Southbury, he was a member, treasurer and vestryman of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City. He had lived at Broadmead since 1991.

He was a past president of the Churchmen's Club in Baltimore and a longtime member and past president of the Paint and Powder Club, for which he wrote the play Never Again. He was a former member of the University Club of New York, Baltimore Country Club and the L'Hirondelle Club in Ruxton.

His wife of 69 years, the former Sarah Parker Koppelman, died this year.

He was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton, where a memorial service was held yesterday.

Surviving are two daughters, Sarah Banks Fengler of San Mateo, Calif., and Rebecca Banks Mowbray of Baltimore; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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