Carolyn Katharine Banfield, 94, community volunteer, philanthropist, devoted wife and mother, peacefully passed away at her home on November 4, 2019. A lady who thoroughly enjoyed family, friends, music, church and her community, Carolyn treasured each day. She loved to laugh, which brightened the days of all who were around her. Carolyn will be deeply missed by her family, friends and the community.
Carolyn was born in Needville, Texas on September 22, 1925 to the Reverend Jerry Vilt and his wife Anna. Carolyn was gifted academically, graduating from Rosenberg High School after completing her junior year. Thereafter, she worked for several years at United Gas in Houston. When Neil was discharged from the Air Force, they were reunited and married in 1946. Soon after, they started a family. Both agreed that she would forego her career to raise the children and manage their household affairs.
Through her five children, Carolyn became involved in many school district activities, including the PTA. She helped organize the “Clefs,” a support organization used to raise money to fund high school choir trips and activities. A longstanding member of the Fort Bend Museum Docents, Carolyn enjoyed volunteering at their events. Through trips with the Docents, she was able to enjoy some of the most beautiful places in America.
Born to a Presbyterian pastor, Carolyn served the church in many capacities, but playing the piano/organ was her true, lifelong desire. She was the church pianist and organist for many years. Carolyn was self-taught, played “by ear,” and until recently continued to enjoy playing the piano at home to the delight of her audience. In the church, over the years she was an Elder and a Deacon. Carolyn worked with other various groups and committees. Just recently, Carolyn celebrated her 94th birthday at the church with a luncheon and cake after the worship service.
Carolyn enjoyed playing bridge, shopping, antiquing, playing slot machines on trips with Neil, and “happy hour” with her friends. She was a gifted conversationalist, who could make anyone feel blessed to talk with her and aware that she cared about them. Carolyn especially treasured celebrating birthdays and all of the holidays with her family and friends.
Carolyn is preceded in death by her husband, Neil. She is survived by her children Beverly Banfield, Ann Duffy Banfield, Sally Gaskin and her husband Stan, Andy Banfield, James Banfield and his wife, Désirée. Her grandchildren are Neil Gaskin, Nathan Gaskin and his wife Reneé, Haleigh Katharine Gaskin, Cameron and Carson Banfield and Angela and Ashley Banfield. Also surviving are great grandchildren Emelia Grace, Ryland Cole and Olivia Katharine.
The Banfield family expresses deep gratitude to her kind and devoted caregivers, including Dr. Ivan Mefford and his staff, A-MED Hospice Community, Home Instead Services, and Angela Taylor, Grace Nga Nga and Pat Ankrah.
Carolyn’s memorial service, celebrating her life, will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, November 8, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church, 1400 Radio Lane, Rosenberg, Texas 77471. Those wishing to honor Carolyn’s legacy are welcome to send memorial gifts to First Presbyterian Church, to the Fort Bend Museum Docents, in care of the Fort Bend History Association P.O. Box 460, Richmond, Texas 77406 or to the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation, 3911 Ave. I, Rosenberg.