In memory of
Andrew (Andy) Banta was born January 23, 1938 in Middletown, OH and died at his home on December 2, 2020 in Fort Bragg, CA. He spent much of his childhood in the California bay area. Andy graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He did graduate work at Penn State, Lehigh University, and the University of Kansas where he received his Doctorate of Engineering. He was a lifetime member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Early in his engineering career he did large-scale experimental work that led to a complex computer model for steam power plant condensers using the punch card technology of the 1960s. Andy taught engineering design for 34 years starting at Northampton College in Bethlehem, PA and then at California State University, Sacramento, CA. He taught everything from freshman graphics to a graduate course on machine design. After many years of tuning into Radio Australia on his short-wave radio, Andy realized his dream of visiting Down Under. While on a sabbatical leave in 1996, he taught at the University of Technology, Sydney in NSW Australia. He considered this experience a high point in his career. During his tenure at Sacramento State he was the Mechanical Engineering department chair for 5 years and principal investigator on the construction of a unique gas turbine cogeneration laboratory. Combining his interest in cars and educating students, he developed and taught an undergraduate course on vehicle design. Andy was an avid automobile enthusiast from an early age with particular interest in mid-twentieth century European cars. Classic cars can be finicky and frustrating, but Andy felt a sunny day in an open top car on coastal highway California 1 made it all worthwhile. He dabbled in photography and late in life rekindled his interest in model railroading by building a small layout. An opera buff, Andy sent questions to the Saturday radio broadcasts of the Texaco Metropolitan Opera quiz. Andy and his wife, Linda, enjoyed traveling in Europe and Australia, including his ancestral home of Friesland (now part of the Netherlands), from which his ancestors emigrated to the American colonies in 1659. Andy's fascination with Australia extended to the Aussie author Neville Shute. Andy's search for first editions of Shute's novels took him to used book stores in almost every city he visited on 3 continents. He enjoyed interacting with the small but fervent community of other fans at the biennial Shute conferences where he presented papers. He was ordained as an elder at the Presbyterian Church in Folsom, CA. Subsequently he was vestry Senior Warden at Saint Francis Episcopal church in Fair Oaks, CA. Andy is survived by his wife, Linda, of 60 years, his sister Mary Banta Whittemore and her husband Ron, his daughter Lois, his son Andy and his partner Linda, his son Geoff and his wife Maria, and his grandchildren Karlan, Erik, and Emmalee. A celebration of life will be held at a future date.
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