James
James Joseph Banim James Joseph Banim (Jim) passed away peacefully at the age of 74 on May 7, 2019 in Torrance, California following a brief illness. Jim was born March 13, 1945 in Stuart, Florida to James and Miriam (Smith) Banim. He graduated from Lake Worth High School, Florida in 1964 before attending Florida State University as a Music Education Major. After college he taught for 8 years in Boca Raton, Florida before moving to California. There he taught for 3 years at Alhambra High School, then moved to Torrance to become the Band Director at West High School in 1979, where he stayed until his retirement in 2008. Throughout his career, he also raised three boys as a single father. As a teacher, Jim was loved and respected by his students, their families, his administrators, and his work colleagues. His long career was filled with honors, awards and recognitions including Teacher of the Year awards, countless Superior ratings at music festivals, and performances in the Macy’s and Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parades and Rose Parades. He led the West High Band on many successful performance tours throughout the Unites States and Europe. Jim was completely dedicated to his students and became a father-figure to many. After his retirement, his biggest joy was caring for his grandchildren and helping out at Towers Elementary School in their classrooms. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, James and Miriam Banim, his sister Sharon (Banim) Higgins, and his son, Thomas Erin Banim. He is survived by sons Vince Banim (Catherine Banim) of Torrance, James Banim IV of Florida, brothers Michael and Patrick Banim of Florida, and grandchildren Maya and Thomas Banim. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 1:00 PM. West High School Performing Arts Center 20401 Victor St. Torrance, CA 90503 Condolences may be sent in care of: Vince and Katie Banim 20040 Anza Ave. Torrance, CA 90503.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline

Guestbook

  1. Mr. Banim Family- I was not a band member at Boca High, though I do recall the great respect we all had for Me. Banim. I believe I remember his collaboration with Mrs. Vivian Randon (I was in chorus) on high school musicals. Yay! Prayers for your healing as Mr. Banim is enfolded in Our Father’s Arms.

  2. Every day was a great day to go to school, knowing I would play amazing music and learn how to be a musician. It wasn’t just the music, it was lasting friendships and being part of something wonderful. You made high school into the West High family. We were sorted by a master musician, director and teacher and spent four years trying to perfect our craft. We all won knowing you, and the trophies were just a part of something bigger than all of us. Thank you for all these priceless memories! Sending prayers to you and your family at this time. God bless and thank you for all you did for us.

  3. Mr. Banim was an incredible teacher and although he was my band director for one year, I still remember him dearly. A wonderful mentor and good man. My year in the Boca High marching band will always remain in my best memories. Rest in Peace, sir.

  4. Condolences to the whole family. He was an amazing man. He was my favorite teacher in high school. I have so many great memories from HS band at Boca High. Rest easy Mr. Banim. You made a difference in the world to so many people ❤️

  5. I’m very proud to have been one of his drum mI will ajors, even though he gave me trouble. tI just made me work harder. West High won’t be the same without him… <3

  6. I am so sorry to hear of Jim”s passing. He was one of my husband’s Steve and my favorite people while he was at Boca High. He changed the marching band concept in South Florida forever He was also fond of the Boca Cheerleaders and insisted they carry the Bobcat letters when marching, We all had great times together in spite of all the troubles of the times. Diane Csutoros

  7. We had just moved to Boca Raton, Florida when I went into his band in from 1968-1972. I had no idea the things I would learn and the places I would go while in the Boca High School marching band and music program. It was such a positive experience and helped me immensely. Moved from Boca in 72 and years later we lived in California and went to the (89?) Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena and who do I see leading his band from Torrance High School on National TV? Could not believe it! Happy, sharp, and completely in control!! RIP Mr Banim – you are missed but on to great and wonderful things in Heaven!!

  8. You Will be Missed by many, I am still playing My Baritone horn today because of your encouragement. I cant thank you enough JB and family. Life is short. Sincere condolences. Heavens Gain!!!

  9. So sorry for your family’s loss. Jim Banim was my band director at Boca Raton High School in the late sixties, early seventies and he was an outstanding teacher. We went to Washington DC and marched in the cherry blossom parade and performed on the steps of the capital on that trip. Many of my fondest high school memories are of Mr Banim, band and the many activities he lead at Boca High. He will be missed!

  10. I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Banim passing away last week. He was my band director from 1980-1984, and being in the band was one of my favorite memories of high school. I made many of my lifelong friends through band and still enjoy watching the Warrior Marching Band’s half time shows!

  11. I’m so sorry to hear of Mr. Banim’s passing. Although I was not in the high school band at West Torrance High (1980-1984) I heard wonderful things about him and the West High Band was awesome due to his tutelage for sure! Prayers for strength and comfort during this sad time.

  12. There has always been so much more to Jim’s life. It’s wonderful to know he touched so many others and will be sorely missed for many years to come.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook