Robert Banker

Robert Banker

September 20th, 2019

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Obituary for Robert Banker

BANKER, Robert Business Leader and Harvard Square Devotée, at 82 Beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, and local business leader, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, September 20, after a long illness. A longtime resident of Cambridge, MA and Jaffrey, NH, Robert was born on March 31, 1937, at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge to the late Herbert Banker and Sally Banker (nee Black), both of Boston's West End. Known to longtime friends as "Red" (for his thick auburn hair), Robert spent his boyhood in Brookline, attended the Runkle School, and treasured boyhood summers spent at Camp Alton, in Wolfeboro, NH. A graduate of Belmont Hill School (class of 1954) and Harvard College (class of 1958), Robert was a keen horseman, lover of jazz and writing, and developed lifelong passions for tennis and squash. Robert briefly studied writing at Columbia University after college, before finding a new career path: real estate. Returning to Boston, Robert joined the Boston real estate firm Saunders & Associates before striking out on his own and founding The Banker Company in Harvard Square in the early 1970's, which owns and manages properties in Cambridge and Boston. He was married to Judy Banker (née Galner, now Banker Mehrling) from 1961 to 1972. They had three children, Adam, Lisel (1964-2003), and Timothy. In 1982, Robert married Charity Anne Brown and lived for a time in the Back Bay, before moving to Cambridge in 1995 with their two sons, David and Jonathan. The family also has a home on Thorndike Pond in Jaffrey, NH. Robert loved time spent with his family and friends and dogs, and was happiest when in their company. He had an endless appetite for ice cream, good jokes and travel, visiting and re-visiting dozens of countries on and off the beaten path. He loved competing (and winning), and for decades was a daily presence on the squash courts at the Harvard Club, where a doubles tournament now bears his name. He found joy playing jazz standards on the piano, outwitting crossword puzzles, and in quiet moments spent with a favorite novel or friend. His warmth, sharp mind and humor will be forever missed by all who knew him. Robert leaves behind his beloved wife, Charity, of Cambridge; younger brother, James and wife, Michele, of Belmont; children: Adam and wife, Joanne, of Arlington; Timothy and wife, Anne, of Leverett; David and wife, Sarah, of San Francisco; Jonathan of Cambridge; and grandchildren: Sam, and fiancée, Jessie, in Tanzania; Lula of Brookline; Frederick of New York City; Aaron of Cambridge; Max of Washington, D.C.; and Eva of Arlington. He was predeceased by his brother David and his sister-in-law Gail. Funeral Services will be private. Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Robert on Wednesday, September 25, at 2 pm at Harvard University Hillel at 52 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

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