Ira (Rick) Johnson Banta, III, entered his Heavenly home on May 13, 2020. He passed away at the McCurtain Memorial Hospital, in Idabel, surrounded by his loving family. Rick was born November 12, 1944, in Napa, CA, to Ira Johnson Banta II and Frances Lenore (Davis) Banta.
Rick had lived in McCurtain County for most of his life, and he had been a deacon of the First Baptist Church of Wright City for 40 years. He enjoyed pottery, crafting, carpentry, and stained glass. Rick loved singing Christian songs, and he had a huge knowledge of the Bible. He also enjoyed fishing and playing golf. Rick was a huge family man, and he loved spending time with his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He was a great daddy, and he leaves behind big shoes to fill. His children remember visiting nearly every capitol as well as different historical sites. Rick was a historian and loved learning new things. Almost every two years, he taught himself a new hobby.
Rick married the love of his life, Linda Swafford, in Idabel, on May 29, 1971. Within the nearly 49 years of marriage, Rick and Linda enjoyed traveling and going to different countries.
Rick was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Lenore Gay Rhodes; brother-in-law, Charles Leonard; mother-in-law & father-in-law, Lena & Thomas Swafford.
Rick leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife, Linda Banta, of the home; sons, Ira Johnson Banta IV, of Broken Bow, & Keith Banta, & wife, Adrea, of Salt Lake City, UT; sister, Barbara Leonard, of Siloam Springs, AR; brothers-in-law, Loyce Swafford, & wife, Nancy Swafford, of Broken Bow & Joe Rhodes of Idabel; thirteen grandchildren, Amy Arms, Melissa Arms, Heather Woodral, Kyra Taylor, Ira Johnson Banta V, Derek Banta, MaKennlee Banta, Kelsen Banta, Eden Banta, Zoey Banta, Raegan Banta, Katrice Banta, & Jaden Banta; great-grandchildren, Aaron, Adam, Addallee, Jaxon, Emmett, & soon to be Ira Johnson VI; nieces & nephews, Joanna Hall, & husband, Michael, Debbie Atchley, & husband, Danny, Michael Swafford, & wife, Carie, Aaron Leonard, Carl Leonard, & Brian Banta, along with several other nieces & nephews. Rick is also survived by other special relatives and a host of special friends, church family, and former students.
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