William Banta Obituary (2022) – Madison, WI

William J. “Bill” Banta

Jan 11, 1928 – Aug 26, 2022

FITCHBURG – William J. “Bill” Banta passed away on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, after a short illness. He was born on Jan. 11, 1928, to Esther and Sherman Banta, in Soldiers Grove, Wis. Bill attended an eight-grade country school near the home farm and then attended Soldiers Grove High School. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Soldiers Grove. Bill enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1945 during World War II and attained the rank of Sergeant. He was stationed in the Pacific for most of his service and was honorably discharged in 1949. Following his discharge, Bill returned to Soldiers Grove and began his law enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff and Traffic Officer from 1952 until 1959 for Crawford County. During his time, he met and married the love of his life, Pauline Peterson. They were blessed with two wonderful children, Kristi and Bill Jr.

In 1959, Bill was appointed Deputy US Marshal for the Western District of Wisconsin and the family moved to Madison. One of the most memorable and historic events during his career came in 1962 when he was sent to Oxford, Miss., to help with the integration of the University of Mississippi and specifically the rioting that ensued on the evening of Sept. 30, 1962. Following this action, Bill received personal letters from both President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Bill was promoted to Chief Deputy in 1963 and also served as the US Marshal from 1977 to 1978 before retiring as the Chief Deputy on Jan. 7, 1983. He also attended the 101st session of the FBI National Academy in 1975. Following retirement, Bill worked part time as a Court Security Officer and then as a part-time Deputy for the US Marshal’s office in Madison from 1984 until 2004.

Bill was a member of the American Legion Post No. 220 in Soldiers Grove for 72 years and a longtime member of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Officers Association. Hey was also a Mason. He was an active member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison from 1964 until his passing. Bill loved the outdoors, especially his beloved Kickapoo Hill Country. He spent many happy hours hunting and fishing with his buddies. In the summer, he was at the golf course, spending many happy but frustrating hours trying to make that little white ball go in the hole. Some days were better than others, but he enjoyed them all. Bill and Pauline also enjoyed traveling every year to the annual conference of the Association of Retired United States Marshals held at various locations throughout the US

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Frederic, Robert and Gary; sisters, Ruth, Marge, Thela, Gretchen, Elaine, Pat, Nancy, Barbara and June; as well as one brother and two sisters-in-law. He is survived by his wife, Pauline; children, Bill Jr. (Pam) Banta and Kristi (Rick) Zimmerman; grandchildren, Alysse Banta, Brandon Zimmerman and Erin (Ross) Harried; and great-grandchildren, Hayden, Winston, and Leighton Harried. He is also survived by a sister, Mary Lee Ivalis; and a very special nephew/brother, Geoffrey (Vicki) Banta. Family was the most important part of his life and he cherished them all.

A funeral service will be held at GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH, 5701 Raymond Road, Madison, at 11 am on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Visitation will be held at the church from 9:30 am until the time of the service on Wednesday . A graveside service will be held at a later date at Forest Hill Cemetery in Soldiers Grove.

The family would also like to thank the doctors and staff of 5SW nursing unit at St Mary’s Hospital and Agrace HospiceCare for their care and compassion. Memorials may be directed to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison and the American Legion Post No. 220 at Soldiers Grove. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

Gunderson Fitchburg

Funeral & Cremation Care

2950 Chapel Valley Road

(608) 442-5002

Published by Madison.com on Aug. 30, 2022.

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