Monday, August 3, 2009
Ephraim Knowlton "E. K." Hanks (1896 -1984)
E.K. Hanks, Saratoga sales manager, author
Funeral services will be held today of Ephraim Knowlton "E.K." Hanks, 88, a Saratoga author who sold tailor made clothing throughout the western United States.
Mr. Hanks died Monday at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara after short illness.
He was a sales manager for Leonard Custom Tailors for 30 years before retiring in about 1966. Mr. Hanks sold custom made clothing "never by canvassing - just by word of mouth," said Mr. Hanks' wife, Gwen Hanks of Saratoga. "He loved that because it gave him a chance to talk with people. If he was contacting someone on the farm, he would roll up his sleeves and say, `Let's go milk the cows.'
"He could take care of people who needed special measurements. So many people can't just take something off the rack and wear it. This company always had his name at the head of the list as the very best. Friendship was his
theme rather than anything material.
"He was a very convincing speaker. His personality was dynamic. He influenced them - influenced their lives. That was what he liked. He wanted to leave footprints on the sands and leave the world just a little bit better than it was."
Mr. Hanks was born in Caineville, Utah. His late parents, Walter and Mary Hanks, were early Utah settlers.
He established a high jump record in high schoool track and field while a student in Loa, Utah. Mr. Hanks majored in animal husbandry at the Utah husbandry at the Utah agricultural College.
"He was a bronco rider," Mr. Hanks' wife said. "He rode broncos at the state fair since he was kid. He broke wild horses all over the county. If anybody had a wild horse to break, he broke him."
Mr. Hanks wrote several books on the philosophy of living a happy life, including "Scouting for the Mormons on the Great Frontier," which has gone into several printings. The book is the life story of his late grandfather, Ephraim Knowlton, for whom he is named. Ephraim Knowlton was an early Mormon frontier scout and mail carrier.
"He (Mr. Hanks) was a voluminous writer," Mr. Hank's wife said. "Until recently he put out a publication every month that he sent out all over the world to missionaries and friends.
"He was a rugged individualist. He did what he thought was right. He sent these periodicals to Europe, to China, to people that he knew and would appreciate his writing. He published his periodical monthly and scattered it all over the world.
"It was not essentially religious, but it had a religious overtone. It was faith-promoting things to give people hope and happiness in whatever they were doing. It was full of philosophy and fun things, quotes and humor, as well as food for thought.
"He's a quote man. He has books and books of wonderful quotes from Emerson and all the great writers in the world. He combined a lot of these things and put in his own personality."
Mr. Hanks and his wife celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary last November.
Besides his wife, Mr. Hanks is survived by two sons and a daughter. J. Wayne Hanks of Thailand, Richard Hanks of Utah and Nancy Hoppe of New Jersey; a brother and two sisters, Urban Hanks of Utah, Retta Gilbert of Albany and Nellie Rymer of Utah; and 12 grandchildren.
Services will be today at 10 a.m. at Saratoga Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 19100 Allendale Ave., Saratoga.
(San Jose Mercury News - Saturday, January 28, 1984)