Robert Wilbanks obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Robert Wilbanks

October 1, 1931 - November 26, 2016

Obituary


Robert "Bob" Wilbanks, 85, of Urbandale passed away Saturday, November 26, 2016. Visitation will be held Tuesday, November 29, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a 6 p.m. prayer service at Ankeny Funeral Home, 1510 West First Street. Burial with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

Bob was born October 1, 1931, in Kokomo, Indiana to Claude and Lucile Wilbanks. He was raised in Indiana and later made his home in Urbandale, Iowa after he was united in marriage to Mary Jane...

Robert "Bob" Wilbanks, 85, of Urbandale passed away Saturday, November 26, 2016. Visitation will be held Tuesday, November 29, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a 6 p.m. prayer service at Ankeny Funeral Home, 1510 West First Street. Burial with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

Bob was born October 1, 1931, in Kokomo, Indiana to Claude and Lucile Wilbanks. He was raised in Indiana and later made his home in Urbandale, Iowa after he was united in marriage to Mary Jane "Jane" Fisher on October 30, 1958.

Bob honorably served in the United States Marine Corps from 1951 to 1954 where his primary role was in broadcasting. In 1966, Bob traveled to Vietnam where he interviewed Iowa servicemen.

As a graduate of Indiana University with a major in broadcasting, Bob found employment with WHO in Des Moines. In his 25 years as a member of the WHO News staff, including 17 years as radio news director, Bob became one of the most respected broadcast journalists in Iowa. Throughout his career, he developed personal relationships with presidents, senators, governors, and other dignitaries. In 1979, he was honored with the Jack Shelley Award by the Iowa Broadcast News Association for his contributions to broadcast journalism. Following his time at WHO, Bob became editor of Stover Publishing for 10 years. He was also the host of radio's "Sportman's Notebook" for his hunting and fishing expertise.

Favorite pastimes of Bob included hunting, fishing, motorcycle trips with friends, and spending time with his family joking and storytelling. Some of his best companions were the dogs he had throughout his life. He especially loved the daily visits from the family's therapy dog, Lucy. He was an avid reader and was especially intrigued with history. His passion for writing can be seen in his extensive journalism history. Bob wrote his first book titled Last Man Out and had it published in 2009.

Bob is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jane Wilbanks; daughter, Lori (Brent) Wilson; son, Scott Wilbanks; grandchildren, Jessica (Randy) Jessen, Drew (Paige Draheim) Wilson, Abby (Adam) Miller, Adam (Cassandra La Pietra) Wilbanks, and Alex (Amy Bonadurer) Wilbanks; sisters, Joann Donaldson and Susan (Bernard) Harner; and many nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Veterans Hospital in Des Moines for all the attentive care and support our family has received. A special thanks to Dr. Debra Benjamin and the nurses and staff on CLC2.