James Banks

April 8, 1932September 20, 2012

James Banks (O-Zhaa-Wish-Gobii-Taan)

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of a wonderful father, Papa and friend. James passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 20, 2012 with his family by his side.

James was born on Friday, April 8, 1932 to the late Irene Potson and Sonny Morrisseau. He was predeceased by his best friend Ruth Bruyere and her children Lindsay, Craig, Robin and Lucille, his brothers and sisters, Archie, Sonny, Wayne, Mary and Rose.

James is survived by his daughter Jackie (Sean) DeBenedet and their children Olivia, Matthew and Ashley (Derek). He is also survived by his step-children, Gary (Mandy), Joan, Julie (Don), Richard (Marlis), Lorraine (Jergen), Dean (Peggy) and Louanne, his sister Nancy Jones and brother George Potson. Papa has 17 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandson. Jim loved all of his children and grandchildren as his own and his love was unconditional. Jim was a self-taught man. He taught us how to be humble, honest and most importantly kind. He was proud of all of us and was always there for advice and kind words. Jim was an Elder and was greatly respected and loved by all. He had a wonderful sense of humour and always appreciated a good joke. His favourite past time was spent at his home on the lake where he spent countless hours living the good life. He passed on teachings of hunting and fishing to his kids and grandkids and always came home with amusing stories, especially when he had to go looking for one of the hunters, who somehow managed to get lost, again. For one winter Ruth and Jim lived at the Cascades where their children will tell you, it was the best Christmas they ever had.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Multi-Use Facility on Couchiching First Nation.

The honourary pallbearers will be Allan Calder, Bill Mosbeck, Jane and Kevin Elliott, Ernie Jones and Bill Wayash.

In his memory donations can be made to the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association, P.O. Box 306, Fort Frances, Ontario P9A 3M7 or in care of Green Funeral Home, Box 427, Fort Frances, Ontario P9A 3M8

On-line condolences may be made in care of


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, September 26, 2012

James Banks

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Tami Burnell

October 27, 2012

Jim was a wonderful,gentle and humorous friend. I enjoyed all our visits and our walks together. He taught me many ojibwe words for various animals and a couple phrases I could use when we would part. I wish I could hear him one more time, I will remember him always.
Gigawabmin Menawah Jim

Jackie Scott-Van Gerven

September 29, 2012

My deepest sympathy in the passing of your father, grandfather and friend. Sincerely Jackie Scott-Van Gerven and family Sauble Beach, Ont.

John Cochrane

September 26, 2012

Jim had always helped me, when I asked. A great friend.

Nancy Jernberg (Don & Layna's granddaughter)

September 25, 2012

In the dining room at the Don & Layna Johnson family Norway Island on Rainy Lake, hangs a picture of Jim. It has been there for years, a part of countless celebrations, gatherings, shared meals, family meetings, cribbage tournaments, and grand evenings of story-telling and singing. Newcomers to the island always ask about the man in the photo, and are treated to a bit of sacred island history. Those of us who are Johnson family members are simply comforted by Jim's smiling ever-presence, and we often find ourselves smiling back at him, or blowing him a kiss as we walk past. Jim was, is, and always will be a treasured part of our family. Peace to you Jim, a dear, kind, and great man, and peace to his family.

Bill Morgenstern

September 24, 2012

Jim, you are missed. The fine times we shared together on the lake, in the woods, at the cabin and around the dinner table will always be remembered. You were a true friend and part of the family. Rest in Peace.

Jayme Johnson

September 23, 2012

Jim was such a kind and sincere soul. His smile will forever be a part of my memory of him. My thoughts are with his family.


September 22, 2012

I am very saddened by Jims passing. He was a wonderful man who cared about everyone. He was always there to help us whenever we needed him. Maurice, Renee and I will forever remember his gentle spirit. I know he is now at peace, free at last.