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Jacob Bantley

January 12, 2021 | 15 comments

Jacob Michael Bantley, age 41, of La Crosse, Wisconsin passed away Saturday, January 9, 2021. Jacob was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin to Mark Bantley and Susan (Ames) Arroyo on September 29, 1979. He grew up on French Island and graduated from Logan High School in 1998. Jacob’s passion was traveling. He traveled to Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, South America and Jamaica. Jacob worked in the resort industry in Coopers Landing, Alaska and Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite National Park. He made many good friends across the country and kept in touch with them after moving back to La Crosse. Jacob was also a music fan and followed the band ‘Phish’, attending many of their concerts with his cousins.

Jacob is survived by his mother and stepfather, Susan and Gregory Arroyo, his sister, Caitlyn Arroyo (Dylan Clipper), brother Eric (Julie) Arroyo, and brother, Tyler Bantley (Kaia Rose), nephews Ayden, Alex and Owen and niece Fenix. Jacob is further survived by his grandparents, Roy and Carol Bantley, his uncles, Kirk Bantley and Eric (Becky) Bantley, aunts, Lynn Bantley, Christine (Tim) Ward and Sara (Joel) Miller and numerous cousins. He had a special bond with his cousin, Jesse Valentine, they were more like brothers than cousins.

Jacob is preceded in death by his father, Mark Bantley, and his grandparents, Marilyn Van Wyk and Robert Ames.

A Celebration of Life for family will be held at Coulee Region Cremation Group on Monday, January 18, 2021.

Jacob willl be greatly missed and forever loved.




  1. Steven Hawkins

    Jake, you’re loved beyond measure and will always be in my heart

    • Allison Miller

      I will forever miss you Jake you always had a piece of my heart. You were my fist serious boyfriend and my prom date 2 years in a row. I will never forget the times we had together you always will hold a piece of my heart jake…i love you and will never forget you!

  2. Haylee Benzing


    I literally always enjoyed seeing you at work. You’d always ask me how I was doing, and I was forever complaining about how work was going. You would be like ” I know”. Little did I know the pain you were going through was so much more than my whines of work. I will miss your hellos and soft words. Rest easy, and know you will not be forgotten. Sending your family love, light, and prayers.

  3. John Lorenz

    So many memories of you, Jake. I’ll always remember how you were when we were growing up. The best of all of us. The funniest and the kindest heart. Condolences to your family. Love you Bants!

  4. Tristan Trobaugh


    I have so many amazing memories hanging out as a young dude at EGL with you.We had some hilarious and fun times going all over California. We stayed in touch for years and I am proud to have known you. Much Love man ! Rest easy my friend.

  5. Douglas Salles

    Jake, you always had a smile and was always gracious with others. You’ll be missed! You’ ll live on on your family and friends hearts and memories!

  6. Sally Henley

    Jake, where to begin. You were my first best friend someone I would run to hang out when I was so young. You live right down the street from me! I loved you like the brother I never had, and I still do to this day. Even though the years and time has set us apart in life you have always been that gentle soul. I wish I had a chance to meet you in Yosemite where you said we would meet again! Well, I’ll be going to Yosemite in hopes to meet your souls their! Man this hasn’t been easy to accept, and I pray your dancing in paradise with your father who you loved and missed so dearly. RIP my dear friend you will NEVER be forgotten. ♥️

    • Rebecca Clements


      I was terribly saddened to hear of your passing. I had the pleasure of working with you in La Crosse for four years. You had such a great sense of adventure and I loved hearing your stories of travel. You were such an easy going guy and I will never forget you. I am hoping are at peace. May your family also find peace in knowing the positive imprint you left on so many, myself included. Be well my friend.

  7. Amanda Ringlien

    Somewhere between the hemlocks in Alaska and the rolling Driftless grasses of home, I know you’re floating along with the winds. Your expansive smile, eyes sparkling. I imagine your soul peaceful as you hum along from the jukebox in your heart. Hovering just long enough share your warmth over spaces you’ve touched – the waters you played in, the mountains you climbed, the beaches you stared from, the souls you’ve brought smiles to, made memories with. You’ve left your mark on many and we are better for it. Travel safely dear friend.

  8. Charlie Slack

    My Condolences to the families for your loss and “Today and always, may loving memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength.”

  9. Tammy Potaracke

    Carol and family,

    I am very sorry to learn if your grandsons passing. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you in your loss.

    God bless you and your memories.

  10. Jenny Whitman (Berger)

    We are so sorry to hear of jakes passing. We were good friends of his dads and have not seen him since marks funeral years ago. We stopped at the The Mooses Tooth where he worked in anchorage when we were there on our many trips to alaska but he was off that day. It sounds like he turned out to be an amazing young man and had many traits of his dads-including marks funny humor. The world needs more people like him. Our deepest sympathy to all his family and friends.

  11. Lesli

    So happy our paths crossed. You were one of the first people I met at Evergreen. I loved sitting and chatting with you and you never passed by without a hello and a smile. Rest easy, friend.

  12. Jason Alan Neblett

    After meeting Jake in the summer of 2007 in the majestic realm of Yosemite, I couldn’t realize the impact his friendship would leave me and so many others we lived/worked with for the next 6 years while “Living Lodge.” Although I never had the opportunity to visit him in Wisconsin or meet his family, I know he had great compassion and love for them.

    We shared the love of travel and music. Albeit our tastes in music differed as I couldn’t tell one Phish song from another, yet any love ballad from Chicago and our voices soared. I can only imagine how others curiously looked on us as we sang “You’re the Inspiration” on one of our late nights at the beaches of Thailand. He was truly a lover of all music. When he wore his headphones I could never tell if he was jamming to Megadeth or Lady Gaga.

    We had traveled across the big pond to Southeast Asia on numerous occasions. Every voyage was “Same Same, But Different.” He didn’t handle long flights so well. Pretty sure he did more pacing on those flights than any hike we took. We made many friends along the way while keeping an eye on each other in some of the more bewildering of scenarios. There is something you learn about a man after he’s had a King Cobra dropped in his lap.
    One thing Jake thoroughly enjoyed was expanding his knowledge of cultures and society.
    I was always impressed with his collection of books. He steered away from fiction and focused on something that enlightened him on matters of the world. Jake also had a keen sense of fashion. Watching him shop for clothes one would’ve thought he was a Parisian designer.

    Even as Jake’s presence here has come to pass, his spirit will remain with us. Rest easy brother.

  13. Jean Marco

    Sue and family I am so sorry to hear of your loss my condolences go out to your family.


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