Longtime Soldotna resident William "Bill" David Banta died Friday, Sept. 12, 2003, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage due to complications from diabetes. He was 53.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds.
Mr. Banta was born June 26, 1950, in Anchorage. He moved to Ninilchik in 1954 and graduated from Ninilchik High School in 1968. After graduating he moved to Seward and attended the Vocational Skill Center where he met his wife, Joyce, and subsequently they were married Sept. 15, 1972.
Mr. Banta worked as part of the city of Soldotna maintenance crew and was employed with the city for 26 years. He served as the IBEW union steward for the city employees.
He was an avid car enthusiast, taking great pride in his many hot rod projects, including "Happy Bear" his well-known 1936 Chevy pickup. He was a founding member of the Peninsula Cruisers Car Club, a member of the Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions. He enjoyed fishing, circle track racing, building his own hot rods, drag racing, car shows, mini biking with his grandchildren and his family.
"Bill always put his family and friends first. He had an infectious humor and attitude that will be greatly missed. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Bill was a kind, compassionate and great person who was loved by many people and will be truly missed in our lives," his family said.
Mr. Banta was preceded in death by his sister, Nancy Chamberlain; and his mother, Barbara Banta.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce Banta of Soldotna; daughter, Michelle McKay of Soldotna; son, Michael Banta of Soldotna; father, Elmer Banta of Ninilchik; sister, Betty Jean Garrison of Roy, Wash.; granddaughter, Mariah Ulen of Soldotna; grandson, Jay Ulen of Soldotna; son-in-law, Brian McKay of Soldotna; and mother-in-law, Audrey Porter of Soldotna.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association in the name of William Banta.
Arrangements were made with Evergreen Memorial Chapel in Anchorage.
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