Herbert L. Banton

ALBERT LEA – Funeral services for Herbert L. “Punchy” Banton, 84, of Albert Lea, Minn., will be 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013, at Bonnerup Funeral Service, Albert Lea. The Reverend Richard Spande will officiate.

Herbert died Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at St. John’s Lutheran Home. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Friday at Bonnerup Funeral Service, Albert Lea, and one hour prior to services Saturday at the funeral home.

He was born Dec. 4, 1928, in Buckingham County, Va., the son of John and Maude (Scott) Banton. Punchy, as he was known, graduated from Buckingham County High School and continued on to Randolf Baker College on a baseball scholarship. He worked in Lynchburg, Va., for a few years, and then entered the Brooklyn Dodgers chain as a professional pitcher. He played until 1956 in the Dodgers chain. He continued playing baseball for Elmira, N.Y., Fort Worth, Texas and Pueblo, Colo., then coming to Fairmont, Minn., to play with the Southern Minis. It was in Fairmont that he met Norma Tow. They were married on Jan. 25, 1959, in Fairmont. He managed Northrop Municipal Liquor for a few years and then, in 1961, he and brother-in-law Raymond Tow purchased Harley’s Liquor in Albert Lea. Herb loved hunting, fishing, golfing and all sports.

Herbert is survived by two sons, William (Charlotte) Banton of Alden, Minn., Scott (Lisa) Banton of Pueblo, Colo.; grandchildren: Andrea (Nick) Miller of Minneapolis, Minn., Jesse Banton of Fort Carson, Colo., Bryce Banton, Alden, Minn.; great-grandchildren, Zane and Asher Miller, Dominic Banton; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Don (Katherine) Tow, Jim Tow, Bonnie Tow, Lucy Tow, and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Maude Banton; his wife, Norma; brothers, Wesley, Herman, Edmond and John; sister, Elizabeth; brothers-in-law, Robert Tow, Raymond Tow, Vernon Tow, Harold Tow; and sister-in-law, Elizabeth Tow.