We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at West Funeral Home - West Fargo
Cecil Peter “Pete” Von Bank was born to Alphonse “AJ” and Margaret (Muldoon) Von Bank during the blizzard of March 15th, 1941. AJ had the foresight to get to Fargo before the blizzard hit. Pete attended and graduated from Buffalo High School. He played Football, Baseball and Basketball for the Buffalo Bison and went to the state basketball tournament in 1959 where the Bison placed 4th.
He married Betty Joyce Zeeb on August 18th, 1962, in Buffalo at St. Thomas Catholic Church. They soon started a family with the birth of Tammy Lee on October 17th, 1963, and Tracy Michelle December 28th, 1964. At the time they were married Pete owned and ran Buffalo City Service Oil Company which he purchased form his father AJ. He ran that for 5 years and struggled to make ends meet. He found an ad for employment in Illinois and decided to move his new family. He found employment at Johnson Boat Motors, but this still didn’t pay the bills. So he got a second job at a service station and a third job at a scrap yard. This lasted less than a year when he saw an ad for welders to join the Plumbers and Pipefitters out of Chicago where he passed his welding test and was in.
Mitchell Ryan was born in Illinois July 27th 1968. From Illinois the Fitters led him to Wisconsin and then finally settling back in North Dakota. When work became scarce, he hit the road to support his family. Working as a pipefitter took him to Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Arkansas, Connecticut, Montana and two stints in Hawaii. He was a working pipefitter for 39 years helping with the construction of Beet plants in the Red River Valley and power plants in central ND. Pete retired from the pipefitters in 2002.
After retirement he didn’t slow down much. He kept busy building things around Washburn where he and Betty resided for 38 years. He built handrail for the Missouri River Park lookout, he hung the basketball hoops at the Washburn Memorial hall, and built the Cross for St. Edwin’s Catholic Church of Washburn which he made out of polished stainless steel just to name a few of his projects. He was very active in the Catholic churches where he lived and The Knights of Columbus. He built a softball diamond out of a grassy field that the city of Washburn owned but had no use for. That softball field still is in use today for softball and little league baseball and is the nicest field in Washburn. He managed his softball team and coached Betty’s team which both of his daughters also played on and all played on this field.
He and his brother Buzz bought their dad’s 1951 AR John Deere from Clem and Hazel Von Bank and restored it to its glory with Pete doing the mechanic work and Buzz doing the body and painting work. It is still in the family today. He loved hunting, fishing, and camping with family. Every year for 14 years he would meet with his family somewhere between Texas and North Dakota to go camping for a week. He made every member of his family a set of bean boards and Betty sewed the bean bags. It became a family staple to have a bean tournament whenever the family got together. He would usually win the whole thing too. Especially when he drew Betty as his partner.
He got his CDL license to drive 18 wheelers and volunteered for Farm Rescue several years. Pete and Betty moved back to Buffalo in 2013 where he continued to keep his motor running. He drove 18 wheeler for Killoran Trucking and Don Peterson just because he thought it was fun.
He loved to dance with Betty. They were pretty darn good at the Jitter Bug, The Twist and two stepping. He loved baseball which was engrained into the Von Banks by his father and brothers. He loved playing softball and watching his kids and grandkids play any sport. His favorite teams were the Washburn Cardinals, Maple Valley Raiders, Henrietta Bearcats of TX, Midwestern State Mustangs of Wichita Falls TX, NDSU Bison, and The Twins of Minnesota. He rarely missed a game.
Pete had a stroke 2½ years ago which forced him to pump the brakes. He didn’t like it much but what he loved was he got to spend some quality time with the Love of his life. He passed away peacefully with his family by his side at 10 a.m. May 20th, 2022. He touched so many and will be extremely missed.
Pete is survived by his wife of 59 years Betty, two daughters Tammy and Dave Peyer of Cole Harbor ND, Tracy and Jay Don Powell of Lake Arrowhead TX, and one son Mitchell and Kimberly Von Bank of West Fargo, ND. One brother Alfred “Buzz” and Judy Von Bank of Fargo. 10 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren that he was very, very proud of and loved dearly.
Pete’s greatest accomplishment and pride was the family that he started and watched grow. He was kind and gentle and had a love for all. When he was recovering from his stroke the hospital staff would always ask, “Is he always this sweet?”
He was preceded in death by his parents AJ and Margaret Von Bank, three sisters Claire Nasset, Theresa “Tess” Stroh, and Rita Halland and two brothers Clem, and Gary Von Bank
Visitation: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. in St. Thomas Catholic Church, Buffalo, N.D., with Recitation of the Rosary at 6:15 p.m., and a prayer vigil at 6:30 p.m.
Funeral Mass: Wednesday, May 25, at 2:00 p.m. in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, West Fargo, N.D., with visitation one hour prior to the Mass.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center