Barbara Banker Kamar collection, 1885–2012, undated
Collection Scope and Content
The Barbara Banker Kamar collection is composed of correspondence and memorabilia, with supporting biographical material. In Series 1, correspondence is arrayed over three major periods of Kamar’s life: her years at Mount Holyoke College when she and her family wrote almost daily at times, her years as a WAC in Georgia and Washington, and from the 1950s and 1960s when Charles Kamar was in the Army. Series 2 contains memorabilia from Barbara Banker’s time at Mount Holyoke, and undated notes. Series 3 contains biographical materials that were collected during processing, primarily from the Mount Holyoke Archives.
Barbara Banker Kamar was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 31, 1917 to Grace G. Pascal Banker and Lyman Van Vliet Banker of Newton Highlands, Massachusetts. She was educated at Newton High School and Mount Holyoke College. She spent summers during her youth and adulthood at the family home on Chebeague Island, Maine. She also waited tables in Ogunquit during her college years.
After graduating from Mount Holyoke she had further training at The Fairfield School, formerly known as the Chandler Secretarial School. She first worked as a stenographic secretary in the Bond Department of Aetna Casualty and Security (Boston) in 1940-1941. She went on to work in the secretarial departments of both Wellesley Hills Junior High and the Wellesley School Department (1941-1942).
Barbara Banker enlisted in the WACs in May 1943 and received her commission in December 1943. After her training at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, she worked as a Special Service Officer at Fort Lewis, Washington from January 1944 to March 1945. She married Charles Martin Kamar in October 1944. He was a career Army officer and reached the rank of Captain before retiring in the early 1960s. Barbara and Chuck Kamar had two children: Charles Martin V (1945) and Beth (1955). Chuck died in 1995 and Barbara Banker Kamar lived in the Newton Highlands area until her death at the age of 87 on May 9, 2004. She is buried in the Pine Hill Cemetery in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.