Boise & Garden City

Obits reveal personalities of family who died in Lucky Peak

Anika Noel Voermans
Anika Noel Voermans

Anika Voermans, 13, dreamed of owning a farm and becoming a veterinarian or doctor.

Her sister Gwyneth, 8, was a fearless force to be reckoned with who loved writing math problems for her father to complete.

Logan Voermans, 11, relished planning and designing varied projects, including a lightsaber.

Those and other glimpses of lives cut short emerge in obituaries for the three Voermans children of Boise and their 40-year-old mother, Noel Bankhead, a paralegal and legal secretary who loved to host family gatherings.

All four Boise residents died the morning of Thursday, June 2, when a Land Rover driven by Bankhead plunged off a cliff into Lucky Peak Reservoir. The Ada County Sheriff’s Office is still trying to determine what caused the crash.

Grieving family members have declined to speak about the four publicly, asking for privacy as they come to terms with the staggering loss. The full obituaries will run in the Idaho Statesman on Sunday.

The obituaries stress the children’s love for the outdoors and their church. The two eldest were baptized in the Boise River two years ago.

Anika attended East Junior High, while Logan and Gwyneth went to Riverside Elementary School.

Anika was an artist and writer who competed in swimming and volleyball and was known for her compassion, according to her obituary.

Logan’s many projects included treehouses, observation decks and sleds. He enjoyed playing the trumpet and liked Minecraft and chess, and had “a brilliantly strategic mind,” according to his obituary.

The youngest, Gwyneth, loved acting, singing, board games and making lists of things to do, her obituary said, noting that “if there was anyone in the family who would have climbed Mount Everest, it would have been her.”

Noel Bankhead was an avid runner who enjoyed being outdoors and loved her three children, her obituary said. She was born in Modesto, Calif., the first of eight children, and earned an associate’s degree from Boise State University.

Public records show that she and Robert Voermans, both graduates of Cambridge High School, got married in 1995. They divorced two years ago.

In addition to numerous uncles, aunts and cousins, the Voermans children are survived by their father and three grandparents: Laurie Bankhead, and Bob and Whitney Voermans.

Services set

A memorial service for all four family members is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18, at Calvary Chapel Boise, 123 S. Auto Drive. Services are under the direction of Bowman Funeral Parlor.

What happened?

It could be several weeks before investigators determine what caused the family’s SUV to accelerate off a cliff and into Lucky Peak Reservoir, an Ada County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Friday. There were no signs of braking, and the wreckage is being studied to determine whether the SUV had any mechanical problems.

The crash happened shortly before 7 a.m. June 2 immediately north of High Bridge, near the intersection of Idaho 21 and Arrowrock Road. All four family members drowned, the Ada County Coroner’s Office reported.