|Warren Lester Colebank was the first of three children born to Lester and Linda Nasman
Colebank on December 30, 1921 in Madelia. Lester was working the Cement and Tile factory
at the time. In 1924 Warren's parents moved to a farm 7 miles from Mentor, Minnesota.
They grew wheat, barley, oats, flax, fodder corn, alfalfa and wild hay. They kept horses and
milk cows and raised chickens and hogs. They sold cream, eggs and pork. Warren attended
grammar school in district #156 in Woodside Township, Polk County and graduated from
Mentor High School.
Warren joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at Deer River, Minnesota for two years where
he advanced to chief cook. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in March, 1942, and was a staff
sgt. in the South Pacific, mainly on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. At the request of his
cousin Norman, Joyce Furseth corresponded with Warren while he was in the Pacific. Warren
went to visit Joyce when he returned from the war and a romance ensued.
Warren and Joyce were married November 25, 1944 in
East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Joyce is the adopted daughter
of Jotham and Myrtle Lee Furseth and grew up in Edmore,
North Dakota. She was in nurse's training when the two
got married. Warren attended electrical trade school at the
North Dakota School of Science in Wahpeton for two years,
then worked as an electrician 6 years in Madelia and 4 years
in Chandler, Minnesota.
After a year in Goodyear, Arizona, the family moved to Bremerton, Washington where Warren
advanced to power plant dispatcher. He retired in 1975 at age 53 when he became paraplegic
caused by an AVM inside his spinal cord.
Warren and Joyce had four children, James Warren (10/12/45), Bruce Lester (10/4/47), Lynda
Louise Colebank Corey (11/8/49) and Wendy Jane (9/21/52).
Warren wrote several detailed genealogies, including 'From Whence Came the Colebanks,' and
'The Nasman Cousins.' He taught violin and guitar and was an active member of the
Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association.
June Colebank Blanshan wrote about her brother: "I always looked up to my brother Warren,
not just because he was 6'3" tall, but because he was good looking, talented and a real nice guy.
Warren had the croup really bad one winter. He may have had a touch of TB at the time
because a classmate of his died of TB that year (about 5th grade).
Warren was bright in school. In high school he never took a book home to study except once
when he had to learn a poem, and yet he had a 4-year B average. In country school he even
skipped a grade.
Warren was interested in music from the time he was ten years old. For his first performance
he sang and accompanied himself on the ukulele for PTA. By the time he was 15 he was
playing guitar. I remember him sitting by the radio with his guitar, listening intently to any
guitar music and trying to copy it. I think it was about this time he acquired an old violin that
had to be fixed up and then he taught himself to play. It seemed like he could play any stringed
instrument he picked up. While Warren was in the Marines he organized his own little band,
'The Colebank, Johnson and Johnson Band.'"
Warren was a kind, gracious man who loved music and smiled a lot. He died on October 21,
1995 at age 73.
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TO ENTER WARREN
COLEBANK'S PHOTO ALBUM
|Warren playing violin for a church service on Guadalcanal in WWII.