Vada was born on December 8, 1909. She was the daughter of Jasper and Lizzie Collins Bowens of Camp
Branch, Kentucky. She had 4 brothers: Arlie, Fred, Corbett and Luther and 2 sisters; Verna Thomas and Oma
She married John Banks, a school teacher and son of Irvine and Cornelia Combs Banks, in March, 1929.
They had 5 children; Jack, Jerry, Imogene, Lorraine Kunacka ad Anna Reath Holbrook.
Life was hard growing up as a young girl. She married when she was 19 and started a family during the
depression years. Summers brought helping in the corn fields and raising a vegetable garden. Then she had
canning to do. Winters brought chopping wood and carrying in coal for the fireplaces and taking out ashes. All
year long there were horses, cows, pigs and chickens to care for.
Along with all the hard work of every day life came good times of sitting on front porches visiting with
neighbors, going to Isom stockyards on Saturdays and the Old Regular Baptist Churches on Sundays. A trip to
Whitesburg was a rarity that happened about 3 or 4 times a year.
She lived all her life in Letcher County. She raised her children at Isom, Kentucky without the benefit of
modern conveniences, as indoor plumbing, heat pumps, automatic washer and dryer and electric stove.
She never learned to drive a car, yet she was always ready to go and looked forward to her daily rides so
she could wave to her friends and neighbors. She had friends that would take her to church until she fell and was
unable to walk without help.
She had 4 grandsons: Derrick Kuracka, Eric Banks, Jamie Banks, and Tyrome Holbrook. Also 3 great
grandchildren; Hailey Kuracka, Autumn and Caleb Banks. With the help of her family and caretakers, she got to
stay at home where she died on May 2, 2003. She is buried beside her husband, who preceded her in death on
March 1, 1966, on the hill of the family farm.