In Remembrance

Lorna Jean Banks Fosgate

April 11, 1953 - April 24, 2018

U.S. Veteran

Burial will be held privately by the family at a later time.

Obituary Viewed 1536 times

Lorna Jean (Fosgate) Banks, 65, of Virginia, MN died April 24th, 2018, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, MN with family by her side.

Lorna Jean was born in Shell Lake, WI on April 11th, 1953 to the late Durward and Esther (Petz) Fosgate.

Lorna Jean grew up in the Cloquet, MN area, graduating Cloquet High School in 1971. She attended the University of Minnesota- Waseca for a year.

Lorna Jean served in the US Air Force from 1974-1977 as a jet engine equipment mechanic and the Air National Guard from 1982-1985 as a radio operator. Lorna had her amateur radio license as well.

Lorna Jean married the late William Leroy Banks in Cloquet, MN in 1979. Lorna Jean then became a mother to Bill’s 4 year old daughter, Bobbi. They had a son, Joshua William Banks in 1980.

Lorna Jean and Bill became a foster family first in Carlton County. They welcomed into their home several teenage foster children for shorter periods of time. In 1982, they were asked to take in 2 foster children, Andrea and Loren.

Lorna Jean and Bill moved to the Cook, MN area in 1984, where they became a St. Louis County foster family from 1984-2004, but continued to foster Andrea and Loren. Lorna Jean and Bill enjoyed Andrea’s and Loren’s children and grandchildren. Lorna Jean and Bill, along with son Josh, moved to Blair, NE in 2005. Lorna Jean and Josh moved to Pilger, NE in 2011.

Lorna Jean had a myriad of jobs over the course of her life-some of which she spoke about the most were: When she worked as a mill worker at Diamond Matchstick factory in Cloquet,MN from 1973-1978. She was the first women to work in various mill positions- and earned the respect of the men she worked alongside. A commercial truck driver for CPS in Beemer, NE from 2011-2014. Lorna was always proud that she had her CDL & her commercial driver’s license.

Locally, Lorna Jean worked at Homestead Mills from 1992-2002 and for the St. Louis Solid Waste Dept. from 2002-2005.

Lorna Jean was talented in the fiber arts and was a longstanding member of the Range Fiber Arts Guild. She was a master knitter and spinner, and made beautiful woven rugs on her grandmother’s floor loom. She enjoyed sharing her knowledge with others, as she taught many people how to knit, crochet, and spin fiber. She also demonstrated her spinning and weaving skills as a demonstrator at Ironworld in Chisholm, MN.

Another passion of Lorna Jeans’s was writing. Lorna Jean enjoyed writing creative short stories and children’s books. She had been a reporter for the Cook News Harold in Cook, MN and for the Stanton Register in Stanton, NE. She also had been involved in grant writing projects for various non-profits over the years.

Lorna Jean was knowledgeable about heirloom plant genetics for grains and heirloom seed preservation. She also was knowledgeable about responsible breeding practices for various goat and sheep breeds, and responsible breeding for bloodline preservation of traditional Tennessee Walking Horses and Welsh Corgi dogs.

Lorna Jean was an intuitive person and had a strong faith in God. She was generous with sharing her knowledge with others. Lorna Jean enjoyed visiting with people, loved a good bargain, and was always up for a good clean debate.

Lorna Jean was a formidable women and fought her ALS diagnosis with a sense of humor, courage, and grace. Lorna Jean was diagnosed with advanced ALS in September 2017. Lorna had moved from Pilger, NE to Virginia, MN in July of 2017. She resided in the Virginia Care Center from October 2017 until briefly before her death.

Lorna Jean is survived by her daughter, Bobbi (Banks) and Shannon Halverson of Cook, MN; son, Joshua and Denise (Childress) Banks of Norfolk, NE; 2 grandsons; 1 granddaughter; 1 great-granddaughter; and many beloved family & good friends.

Lorna Jean’s memorial service will be held Thursday, May 3rd at 11am at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cook, MN

Condolences can also be left on the Affordable Cremation website @

Burial will be held privately by the family at a later time.

The family of Lorna Jean wishes to thank the St. Mary’s Medical Center- Medical ICU staff and the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic ALS clinic staff. Also the Essentia Health-Virginia hospital & ER staff and the Virginia Care Center staff.