Mary Elizabeth Eaton Bannister, 79, of eastern Greene County died Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Bloomington Hospital.
Born in Fitzgerald, Ga., on July 27, 1924, she was the daughter of Frances and George Eaton.
She was a dedicated Naval Officer's wife. After graduating high school she attended business school in Atlanta, Ga. She retired from Federal Civil Service after 20 years as an accounting technician. After retirement she worked as a substitute teacher in the Eastern School District. She was a volunteer in the Navy Relief Society, Naval Officer's Wives clubs, Little League, PTAs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Locally, she was an active volunteer for WTIU, WFIU, a founding member of the Crane NSWC Federally Employed Women, and volunteered in the Eastern School library. She was an active supporter and volunteer for the Frank McCloskey re-election campaign. She worked as an "English as a second language" tutor from 1987 through 1999 for Monroe County Library Volunteers In Teaching Adult Learners (VITAL) and was chairperson of that advisory board from 1996-99. She was the VITAL Auditorium chairperson from 1993-99, which included responsibilities for the VITAL Bowl and silent auction fundraising events. She was named VITAL Volunteer of the Year in 2002. She also enjoyed reading and birdwatching.
Survivors include her husband of 59 years, John M. Bannister; children and their spouses, Bonnie and John Dixon of Bedford, Murfin and Billie Jo Bannister of Ellettsville, Michael and Lynn Bannister of Tallahassee, Fla., Nancy and Ron Bannister-Andrews of Bloomington, Pat and Kathy Bannister of Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Tim and Linda Bannister of Indianapolis; brothers Jim Morris of Bozeman, Mont., and Max Eaton and his wife Bettye Sue of Sylvester, Ga.; brother-in-law John Poltorak of Middlesex, N.J.; sisters-in-law Pauline Morris of Duncan, S.C., Faye Morris of Wheatland, Mo., Mary Lee Eaton of Camilla, Ga., and Aki Eaton of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; grandchildren Jeff Dixon, Andy Dixon, Chris and Melissa Dixon, Nicholas Bannister-Andrews, Bethany Bannister-Andrews, Jason Bannister, Paul Bannister, Allen Bannister and Marian Bannister; and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Joe Morris, Jack Morris, Charles Eaton and George Eaton; and a sister, Kate Poltorak.
Private service will be Saturday at Allen Funeral Home, 3000 E. 3rd St. in Bloomington. A memorial celebration of her life will be conducted at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Monroe County VITAL literacy program, American Cancer Society and Eastern School. Designated memorials can be sent to Allen Funeral Home.