James William Banko, 77 of Taylorville, passed away at 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.
He was born on March 9, 1943 in Taylorville, the son of John and Augusta (Krautwald) Banko. He married Marcia McClanahan on April 10, 1971 in Charleston.
Jim graduated from Taylorville High School where he was an accomplished athlete, lettering in basketball, baseball, and football. He went on to graduate from Western Illinois University where he played baseball. Jim served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in England and Germany. He began his teaching career in Witt where he worked a year before coming to the Taylorville School District as an elementary PE teacher for a year. He then transferred to the high school where he taught for 28 years until his retirement in 2000. He will forever be remembered by his students and colleagues for being a jokester and for his sense of humor. While teaching, Jim also spent many years as a coach for track, baseball, football, and basketball.
In 1984 he led the THS baseball team to the Final 4 of the state tournament. He was inducted into the Taylorville High School Sports Hall of Fame as both a student athlete and a coach. Mr. Banko made a lasting impact on all the students he taught and coached. He was a member of Davis Memorial Christian Church and the VFW. In his free time, he enjoyed golfing, playing cards, and he loved dogs.
He is survived by his wife Marcia Banko of Taylorville; sisters, Pat Klinger of Ft. Myers, Florida and Shirley Ferguson of Decatur; and nieces and nephews, Elizabeth Banko (Buddy Clark), Kent Banko, Dr. Lainie Banko, and Grant Banko.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Barbara McWhinnie; brother, John Banko; and nephew: Jared Banko.
Jim will be cremated. Due to the pandemic, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. McClure Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories of Jim, or condolences to the family, may be shared online at www.mcclurefuneralhome.com