Columbus, OH — Ronald G. Banks, 73, of Cannon Falls, Minn., died Oct. 24, 2020, at his home.
Mr. Banks was born Jan. 9, 1947, in Red Wing, the son of Eldridge and Doris (Rapp) Banks. He grew up in Cannon Falls, graduating from Cannon Falls High School in 1965. Following high school, he moved to Los Angeles where he attended the California Lutheran Bible School. It was here that he met Marilyn Westberg and the two were married Oct. 8, 1971, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fridley.
Mr. Banks returned to the upper Midwest and attended NDSU where he played football and was active in various intervarsity activities. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Ag. Education.
He was the Youth Director at Redeemer Lutheran Church for approximately three years before moving to the family farm. He farmed and obtained a certificate in Special Education. He taught Special Ed. at Cannon Falls High School where he also coached boy’s and girl’s basketball, was an assistant football coach, and the JV baseball coach. In 2019 he was inducted into the Cannon Falls High School Hall of Fame.
He was an active member of Our Saviour’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where he served on the church board and was a song leader. He enjoyed singing for weddings and funerals and had a strong clear voice.
Mr. Banks was also known as a horseman. He was a member and past president of the Minnesota Harness Racing Association. He trained and raced Standardbreds, and for many years he announced at the races across the Midwest. He assisted in getting a pari-mutuel harness track, Running Aces, going in Forest Lake. He was inducted in 2018 into the Minnesota Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
Other favorite pastimes were going to his grandkid’s sports, playing games such as 500 and dominoes, and doing the PA announcing for basketball games.
Mr. Banks is survived by his wife, Marilyn; children, Kerry (Dawn), Candice (McLanahan) Stevens, and Mitchell (Rebecca); grandchildren, Isaac, Marcus, Dylan, John Stevens, Ethan Stevens, Delanie Roland and Jackson Roland; brothers, Larry (Susan), DuWayne, Craig, and Kevin; sisters, Mary Banitt, Karen (Troy) Millar and Shayla (Brian) Anfinson; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Judy (Eugene) Ryan, Kerry, Timothy, Sylvia, and Kay Tolvay; sister-in-law, Evelyn (John) Schroeder; brothers-in law, August Banitt, Robert Wilderman, and Shirzad Aghazadeh; and parents-in-law, Robert and Bessy Westberg.
Visitation will be Friiday (Oct. 30) from 4-7 p.m. at Lundberg Funeral Home, 5839 Highway 19 Blvd, Cannon Falls, MN 55009. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 31) at Our Saviour’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 30370 Hardwood Way, Cannon Falls, MN 55009. Masks and social distancing will be required at both.
Online condolences are welcome at www.LundbergFuneral.com.