Helen Louise Banks

Helen Louise Banks (né Kilbourn) passed away, surrounded by friends and family, on March 13, 2019 at Kirkwood Manor in the care of Hope Hospice.  She was 69.

The first of four children, Helen was born on January 13, 1950 in Georgetown, TX to her parents Jo Ann and Herschel Kilbourn.  She married Jack Edward Thorpe III in 1971 and they moved with their son Jason to New Braunfels in 1977 where Helen worked at such unique places as River Gardens, Natural Bridge Caverns, and New Braunfels Hospital after earning her certification as a Medical Lab Assistant. Helen and her son moved to Silsbee, TX in 1985 where she worked for Mobil Oil as a Roustabout.  She transferred to Bakersfield, CA in 1988 and continued her award-winning work as Lease Operator with Mobil until she retired in 1995 and moved back to New Braunfels, the town she called home.

Helen loved her family, close friends, gardening, mineralogy, reading, music, crafting for her friends and family, and supporting her community.  She had a passion for adopting and caring for animals all her life.  A fierce advocate of animal rights, she belonged to many charities such as Save the Elephants, the ASPCA, and the World Wildlife Fund.  

Helen will forever be remembered by her son Jason Thorpe, daughter-in-law Melissa Thorpe, her sister Carolyn Preston, her brother Dr. Robert Kilbourn, her brother Donald Kilbourn, and their families, her Aunt Alice “Cookie” Barron and her spouse Kaye Garms, and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and their families.  She is preceded in death by her parents Jo Ann and Herschel Kilbourn.

A memorial will be held on August 3, 2019 at the Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home at 1pm.  All are welcome to attend and celebrate the life of a beautiful human being.  Flowers are welcome, but donations to your local animal shelter/rescue on her behalf are encouraged.