Harold William Banke

Funeral services for Harold William Banke, age 87 of Lester Prairie, were held Monday, June 15, 1998 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie. He died Thursday, June 11, 1998 at Winsted, Minn.

Harold W. Banke was born in Winsted Township, McLeod County, on Sept. 7, 1910, the son of Theodore and Ida (Tuchtenhagen) Banke. He was baptized on Oct. 10, 1910 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Winsted, and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church in Burns Township on Sept. 7, 1925.

The family moved to a farm near Elk River, Minn. and Harold attended school there, graduating on May 29, 1929. He continued his education at Concordia College, River Forest, Ill. and received his teaching certificate. On April 8, 1934, he became the principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School, Lester Prairie, Minn.

In June of 1935, he was united in marriage to Amanda (Gamm) and raised six children. Amanda passed away in 1959.

On June 7, 1965, Harold was united in marriage to Virginia Birkholz at St. John's Lutheran Church in Norwood Young America, Minn. Virginia had two sons and a daughter.

Harold enjoyed teaching and taught school in Racine, Wis., New Germany, and Sauk Rapids, as well as in Lester Prairie. He had a great love for music and was the founder of the local Lutheran Concert Band, which performed at church and community functions throughout the state during the 1930s and 1940s.

He was a proficient organist, choir director, vocalist, clarinet player, and music instructor. In his later years, he took up the violin, and also enjoyed his hobby of repairing and rebuilding stringed instruments.

Harold was an avid gardener and was known for his yard full of beautiful flowers and abundant produce. For many years, Harold built and maintained an ice skating rink each winter and happily shared it with the community.

On Thursday, June 11, 1998 Harold died at St. Mary's Care Center, Winsted, at the age of 87 years, nine months, and four days.

He is survived by his wife Virginia; three sons and three daughters: Carolyn Lung, Minneapolis; Ted Banke (wife, Lois), and Laurel Cox (husband, Jim), all of Ashland, Ore.; Tim Banke, Minneapolis; Marilyn Banke, Winthrop; Justin Banke, Minneapolis; a brother, Werner Banke (wife, Harriet), Buffalo; and a sister, Marie Boatman (husband, Peter), Clear Lake.

He is further survived by three grandchildren: David and Jonathan Lung and Krista Banke; three great-grandchildren: Zachery, Nathan, and Alyson Lung; two brothers-in-law, Garland Birkholz, Lester Prairie; and Eugene Birkholz, St. Louis, Mo.; as well as other relatives and friends.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife, Amanda; an infant son, Leon; daughters, Wilma Larson and Evelyn Banke; and sister Elvira Tennyson.

Funeral services were held Monday, June 15, 1998, 2 p.m., at

St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie with the Rev. Grant Bode officiating. The organist was Jane Holasek and the soloist was Beverly Bahrke, who sang "In The Garden." The congregational hymns were "Abide With Me," "Jerusalem The Golden," and "How Great Thou Art."

Visitation was held Sunday evening at the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel, Lester Prairie with a chapel service at 7 p.m.

Casket bearers were Chad Teubert, Mark Teubert, Brent Anderson, Jerry Cook, Dan Wittnebel, and Joe Blaser, with interment in the church cemetery.

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