Ardell Merwyn Banker, 90, passed away peacefully July 30, 2018 at his home in Meridian, Idaho surrounded by his wife Jean and daughter Mary. He was diagnosed with a fast growing cancer just 2.5 weeks earlier. He was born November 8, 1927 in Spicer, MN to William and Manda Banker. He attended Fountain Country School and high schools in Preston and Chatfield. He entered the US Navy at 17 years old and served two years on Aircraft carrier Bunker Hill returning troops home after the war. He went on to Waldorf Junior College, graduating Magna Cum Laude, where he met his bride of 69 years, Jean Ottem. He then attended St. Olaf College and received his Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Nebraska in 1952. He was employed by South Dakota Child Welfare, Lutheran Social Services of SD, taught Social Work at Augustana College for 10 years, was the CEO of Bethesda Children’s Home from 1954-66, and the CEO of Bremwood Treatment Center from 1966-94. Upon his retirement from Bremwood, he and Jean moved to be close to their daughter Mary. He continued to assist Mary and Lance with their business, logging 380,000 miles on his Ford Explorer delivering freight around Idaho. He stopped driving on his 90th birthday. Ardell held positions on various organizations, including South Dakota Mental Health Association, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly, IA, Wartburg Symphony, Waverly Child Care and Pre-School, and National Association of Social Workers. Ardell’s hobbies included making over 400 Norwegian wedding cakes, camping, canoeing, sailing, skiing, travel, and mowing grass with any John Deere he could. He received the following honors: Paul Harris Fellow by Waverly Rotary Club (1993), Distinguished Alumni Service Award of Waldorf College in Forest City, IA (1993), Iowa Social Worker of the Year (1994), Residential Treatment Cottage named Ardell M. Banker Hall at Bremwood (1993). All of these honors show Ardell’s outstanding commitment and exceptional service to church and society and unfailing devotion to the care of troubled teenagers . He was preceded in death by his father, mother, sister, brother, a half-sister, and 2 half-brothers. He is survived by his wife Jean of 69 years, his daughter Mary and son-in-law Lance, his granddaughter Jennifer and husband Ryan and great grandson Compton, his brother Sturgiss, and many nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank St. Luke’s Home Care and Hospice team for their compassionate care for Ardell so that he could die with dignity at his home. Funeral services will be Sunday August 5th at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Boise ID. His ashes will be spread near McCall Idaho-his favorite place on this earth. Memorial donations may be made to Camp Knutson, 11148 Manhattan Point Blvd, Crosslake, MN 56442-a camp in northern Minnesota where he took troubled youth for 40 years each summer. Ardell Banker would challenge everyone to “Dare to Care”!
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Ardell Merwyn Banker 2018.
Death notice for the town of: -, state: Iowa