Mary Virginia Banks Nichols

Mary Virginia Banks Nichols


Mary Virginia Banks Nichols passed peacefully into eternal life on April 12, 2022, at the age of 96.

She was a long-time resident of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

Born on June 30, 1925, in Hagerstown, Maryland, Mary was raised in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, the daughter of Washington Grove Banks and Adah Scott Banks.

Mary is predeceased by her parents and brother, Grove Lee Banks and survived by her sister, Ruth Ellen Banks Gaum, of Indialantic, Florida, and her five daughters, Ruthanne Crean of Sacramento, California; Mary Patricia (Steven) Jebo of Milton, Delaware; Martha (Thomas) Vecchiolla of Alexandria, Virginia; Sarah (William) Walker of Swampscott, Massachusetts; and Nora (Mark) Lansing of Alexandria, Virginia, twelve grandchildren, Erin Jebo Cooper, David Jebo, Claire Lehnen, Adrian Lehnen, Joseph Walker, Samuel Walker, Scott Walker, Nora Walker, Timothy Lansing, Morgan Lansing, Robert Lansing, Maryanna Lansing; three great-grandchildren, Conor Jebo, Evianna Lansing, and Anika Alsemgeest, two nieces, Virginia Lee Collison, Carlann Fergusson and one nephew Scott Grove Banks.

Mary was devoted to her family and shared her zest for life, through family adventures, entertaining, travel and the piano.

She graduated from Berkeley Springs High School in 1943 and West Virginia University in 1949, where she was Vice President of the Student Body.

She married Robert Thomas Nichols (divorced) of Thomas, West Virginia in 1949 and subsequently lived in the Azores Islands, Okinawa, and Taiwan, with travels throughout Europe, South America and Asia.

Mary held professional roles as a home economics teacher and a kindergarten teacher and volunteered as a Girl Scout leader and English language tutor.

She also completed a twenty-year career as a civil servant with the U.S. Department of the Army. Upon her retirement in 1990 from the Army Personnel Command, she received the Commander’s Award. Mary then returned to her childhood home in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. and operated “On the Banks,” a bed and breakfast known for her warm hospitality, entertaining and storytelling.

While there, Mary was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and an active member of the community serving on the Berkeley Springs Chamber of Commerce, a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Eastern Panhandle, and the daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Mary will be remembered as a preeminent bridge player and for her outgoing and engaging personality; whether entertaining her family, friends or guests, playing the piano or cooking one of her special meals. She was committed to helping others; with many influenced through her wisdom and inspired by her life.

She made friendships that lasted for her lifetime and will be sorely missed by her family and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, April 22, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church followed by interment at Greenway Cemetery, in Berkeley Springs.

Those wishing to make memorial contributions are asked to direct them in Mary’s name to the St. Vincent de Paul Building Fund, 67 Liberty Street, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.