HESSTON — Iris June (Wetz) Banman, 86, died on Aug. 14 at Kidron Bethel in North Newton. Born May 26, 1926, at Wichita, she was adopted soon after birth by Herman and Myrtle (Ray) Wetz. Raised on a farm near Kiowa, Iris went on to graduate with a degree in music education from the Wichita University and played with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. She taught in Wichita, Clearwater and Ellinwood elementary schools and for many years gave private piano and violin lessons.
On May 26, 1953, she married John Banman.
Iris was an active volunteer throughout her life, serving as a church youth group leader and on church boards and committees. She was a key supporter of the Ellinwood youth Bible Study Group and after moving to Hesston she was a volunteer with Prairie View Mental Health Center and helped to establish the Hesston Resource Center. Iris was a confidant to many young people and was often referred to as a “second mother” by many. She and John provided a host home for several Vietnamese refugees including Ngan Ha of Wichita, who with his family continues to be an important part of the Banman’s life. Iris’s life touched many people.
Survivors include her husband, John Banman of North Newton; daughter, Nancy Banman and spouse, Stanley J. Scott; son, John Paul Banman and spouse Robin A. Avery and stepson Aaron. She was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Myrtle Wetz; and brothers the Rev. Wayne Wetz and Edward Wetz.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Bethel College Mennonite Church of North Newton. A social time will be held in the church’s Fellowship Hall following the service. Following cremation, a private family inurnment at Bethel College Church will take place at a later date. A memorial has been established to support childhood adoption in care of Petersen Funeral Home.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Petersen Family Funeral Home**
25 N. Main
Newton, KS 67114
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Aug. 17, 2012