James Rhea Banse, 84, of Cambridge, died Thursday, July 4, 2013, at his home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 9th, at the Cambridge United Methodist Church. Rev. David Joyce will officiate. Burial will be at Rosedale Cemetery, Cambridge. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the church, with a Masonic Service at 8:00 p.m. Memorials may be made to his church, the Back Pack Blessings Program, the Cambridge Fire Department, or the Cambridge Ambulance Service. Stackhouse-Moore Funeral Services, Cambridge, is assisting the family with the arrangementsJim was born January 13, 1929 in Kewanee, son of Wm. Rhea and Hazel Winter Banse. He attended Stark Co. Schools and graduated from LaFayette High School in 1946. Jim served in the Army National Guard in Kewanee. He married Ruth Vincent on Sept. 24, 1950 in Cambridge. After high school he worked for the Cambridge Dairy, Rishel & Son, and was a city mail carrier for 6 years. In l961, Jim joined Horton Lindburg's insurance agency, Bell Insurance, and continued in that business until his retirement in l985.
He was an active member in the Methodist Church, teaching Sunday school, serving one year as Sunday School Superintendant and on various other committees. Jim loved to sing. He gave his first solo when he was nine years old, and continued singing for various events. He sang in the choir for many years and also sang at numerous weddings and funeral in the area. He is past president of Henry County Independent Insurance Agents, was vice Chairman of Henry County Republican Central Committee, served as a precinct committee man, Township Moderator, and as Cambridge Civil Defense Director.
Jim also served on the Village Zoning Board, the Cambridge Township Library Board, and the Henry County Health Board. He was the Henry County Fair Grounds Chairman for four years, and he had been Secretary of the Cambridge Fire Protection District Board. Jim was a Little League Baseball coach for 12 years, and continued to repair ball gloves for many more years. He was a Life Member of the Cambridge Lodge #49, A.F. & A.M., a charter member of Cambridge Rotary Club, and a charter member of Valley View Club. In later years, he enjoyed volunteering in the grade school and has continued to visit the first grade to teach and sing songs with the children. Jim's hobbies included bowling, golf, and card games, but his favorite pastime was fishing, and each year he looked forward to his fishing trips to Canada.
Those surviving include his wife of 62 years, Ruth, a daughter, Julie Banse, East Moline, a son and daughter-in-law, Greg and Shona Banse, Higley AZ; step granddaughters, Brynn (Matt) Calender, Aurora, CO, Heather Nordstrom, Goodyear, AZ, Kinna Nordstrom, Roseville, MN, and a step great-granddaughter, Maya Calender. He was preceded in death by his parents.