About Lula B. Fears
Lula Banks was born on August 19, 1943 in Minden, Louisiana to James and Betty Banks. Lula is the youngest of nine children. Lula accepted Christ at a very early age. She graduated early from Webster High School in 1961. She was an outstanding student who loved reading. While visiting an aunt in Shreveport, she worked in the library and said she read almost every book over the course of her time there. While spending the summer in Kansas City with her oldest sister Lullaby, she saw Russell Fears singing in the church choir. He saw her too. They married on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 1962. Soon after, their first child Randall was born. Six years later, she gave birth to their daughter Kimberly. Russell and Lula have remained in Kansas City through their nearly 58 years of marriage. Russell has been a devoted husband, friend, advocate, and caregiver.
Lula is fun-loving, imaginative, nurturing, comedic and fiercely protective of her children and family. A beautiful woman, she could light up a room, and was always the life of the party. Lula had high expectations of her children, she tutored and coached, and insisted on excellence. She was very involved in their educational journeys. Lula and Russell, both extremely creative, built a home environment that nurtured faith, fun, imagination, learning, laughter, and music. She lavished her love on her family. Lula ensured her children had amazing experiences, adventures, and training in the arts, culture, and etiquette. She also loved to shop and delighted in having her little family impeccably dressed.
When grandchildren arrived, Lula didn’t want to be called grandma. She chose the regal title of Grandmother, which she taught them all to properly pronounce. She has been a doting grandmother, too, having a hand in raising her grandchildren with “fantabulous” sleepovers, teaching them to read, feeding them too much sugar, and encouraging their dreams. She was as much involved in their lives as in the lives of her children.
When she first arrived in Kansas City, Lula worked at Winstead’s on the Country Club Plaza, Sunshine Biscuits, National Bella Hess, and as a Ward Clerk at KU Medical Center before starting a career in accounting. She held positions at three federal agencies—Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Agriculture before she took an early retirement due to illness. Following her retirement, when she was well, Lula sold Avon and intermittently worked part-time. Determined to go back to school, she graduated in 1998 with an associate’s degree in recreational therapy from Kansas City Kansas Community College.
In her later years, Lula has been known and beloved by the heroes in the medical community who have treated her. Always the favorite patient, she kept nurses, caregivers, other staff and doctors endeared to her by being the character that she is. She made them laugh. No matter who came into her hospital room, her exam room, or her home, she would have something witty (and not always politically correct) to say. Most of all, in sickness and health, she witnessed to everyone she met about her sweet Jesus through singing, dancing, laughing, praising God, and sharing the Gospel.
Lula attended Pleasant Green Baptist Church and Mount Olive Baptist Church. She found her final church home at Oak Ridge Missionary Baptist Church. She loved Pastor Ricky D. Turner, his wife Tinalisa, and the entire church family. She said Pastor Turner is “The Best Shepherd.”
Lula still is, because she only left this life to take on new life with her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. She blinked “au revoir”—goodbye until we meet again—and drifted into glory peacefully surrounded by her beloved husband and children.
On Sunday, May 24th, Lula was greeted by her parents, James and Betty Banks; siblings, Lullaby Dillard, Jessie Mae Henderson, Roosevelt Paul Banks Sr., Jimmie Banks Sr., James Julius Banks, Claude Banks, Leola Banks, and Minnie Ola Fears; her mother-in-law Thelma Davis; and her special adopted sister Lahoma Watson. Waiting to see her again is her husband Russell Fears; her children Randall Fears (Rochelle) and Kimberly Hines (Reggie); her grandchildren Keesha Vasquez, Courtney Hines (Kayleigh), Shayla Fears, Sameia Kendall, Kayla Kendall, and Phoebe Hines; her great grandchild Zoë Vasquez; adopted children Ron Watson (Sheranda) and Kisha McIntosh; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She also left her beloved caregivers Anna Lou Barnes, Annette Collier, Marilyn Garrett, Linda Sweet, and Brittani Owens, as well as her dear and treasured longtime friends.
The Fears family has created a memorial for Lula Fears where additional information and photos can be viewed. the website address is https://www.lulafears.com
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