102-year-old woman born during pandemic dies of COVID-19


(WMTW/CNN) – In a somber way, a coronavirus victim in Maine came full circle with her recent passing.

Frances Jordan-Banks was born during one pandemic but passed away during another.

“I was born in 1918, at the end of the First World War,” Banks said in an interview prior to her death.

Frances Jordan-Banks led a remarkable life, which was bookended by pandemics, as noted by Maine’s CDC director a week ago.

“It’s conceivable that this is an individual who began her journey on this Earth during the 1920 pandemic and left us during the 2020 pandemic,” said Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah.

Born in Cape Elizabeth, Jordan-Banks embarked on a long, distinguished career in nursing, a career that led to her enlisting during World War Two.

“My friend and I decided we were going to save the world,” Banks said prior to her death.

This is Jordan-Banks four years ago, telling a film crew from the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society about her time serving at Fort Williams in World War II.

Jim Rowe conducted the interview and recalled her wry sense of humor.

“She is from Cape Elizabeth, she joined the army to see the world and her first assignment was Fort Williams in Cape and I think she spent less than a year there, 8-9 months, then she shipped off and then got to see the world, but that’s kind of a funny story start,” said Rowe.

Her life was marked by some of the most impactful events over the century, and she will be missed.

“I went in for the war, I probably should have stayed, I probably would be a general by now,” said Banks.

When Ms. Banks was born, the world was fighting a massive influenza pandemic that’s believed to have claimed at least 50-million lives.


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