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Carol Joan Banta, nee Marsh, of Steelville, Mo., was born on Saturday, October 5, 1929, in St. Louis to Jefferson Dewitt Marsh and Doris Marsh (nee Davies). She died on Monday, October 16, 2023, at her home in Steelville at the age of 94 years and 11 days.
Carol’s parents moved from St. Louis to the family farm in Steelville two weeks after she was born because of the stock market crash that started the Great Depression. She became a lifelong resident and spent her entire life on the farm, which has been in her family for more than 100 years.
Carol attended Pleasant Valley School about two miles down the valley from her home until going to Steelville High School where she graduated as Valedictorian in the Class of 1947. She was also the first president of the Steelville Alumni Association and served as the Association’s treasurer for more than 25 years.
Right after graduation, Carol pleaded with her parents to let her go to college, but her father said he couldn't afford to let her go. Instead, he got her a job at First Community National Bank where she worked her way to Assistant Vice President until her retirement in 1991.
On Saturdays, she enjoyed going dancing at Ozark Playgrounds where it was 50 cents to get in and 10 cents for a Coke at intermission. She would dance from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. and still make it to church every Sunday.
Carol was baptized on the Easter Sunday after she was born and joined the Steelville Presbyterian Church with her brother and sister. Carol had an active role at church and served as an elder, deacon, secretary, clerk, Sunday School teacher, trustee, and served many families in the kitchen over the years.
She married Denis Larned Banta on June 26, 1960, at the Steelville Presbyterian Church and to this union four children were born.
Carol enjoyed cooking, sewing (she made all her clothes and her children’s clothes), gardening, and serving bereavement meals at the church. She volunteered at the food pantry for nearly 30 years until she was 89 years old. She was a charter member of the Aim High Extension Club, which she belonged to more than 50 years, and was voted Steelville’s Citizen of the Year for 2010.
Carol was a 4-H project leader on and off for many years, starting in the 1970s, and taught her children and then her grandchildren.
Carol was also a serious recycler and influenced many others to start recycling including family, friends, and the Steelville Presbyterian Church. She was even recognized by the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District for her recycling efforts.
Carol touched many lives, hosting people for Thanksgiving dinner who had no place to go, giving people rides to church, making and donating handmade quilts and baked goods for community fundraisers, and so much more.
She was also an avid bowler for more than 70 years. She was a member of a women’s league in Steelville with her daughters and granddaughter well into her 80s.
Most of all, Carol loved her family and spending time with them. She was a loving and devoted mother, grandmother, sister, and friend.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Jefferson and Doris Marsh; parents-in-law Royal and Margaret Banta; ex-husband Denis Banta; sister Janet Delcour; brother Joseph “Buddy” Marsh; and grandson Craig Schmidt.
Carol is survived by her children David Banta, Caroline (Rob) Viehman, and Marilyn (John) Lakaner, all of Steelville, Susan (Ed) Schmidt of Sullivan, Mo., her children's half siblings Dennis (Dawn) Banta, of Jefferson City, and Mindy (Eric) Benedict, of Tonganoxie, Kansas; brother-in-law Chester (Fay) Delcour of Steelville; grandchildren Ryan (Zoie) Banta, Joey Banta, Drew Kennedy, Daniel Lakaner, Rebecca (Chris) Daniels, Kelly Lakaner (fiancé Austin Sumpter), Mitchell Schmidt, Kara Schmidt, Endi (August) Rolufs, Justess Viehman, and Shay Viehman; great grandchildren Jaxon Rolufs, Riley Rolufs, Josie Banta, and Leo Sumpter; special friend Sally Becker; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Visitation was from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at the Steelville Presbyterian Church. Funeral Service was at 11:00 AM on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at the Steelville Presbyterian Church with Pastor Wendy Downing officiating. Burial was at Steelville Cemetery. Memorials were suggested to the Steelville Food Pantry.
All arrangements under the direction of Hutson Funeral Home, Steelville, MO.