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Obituary Listings

Margaret Elizabeth Bannister

March 5, 1915 March 11, 2009
Margaret Elizabeth Bannister
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Obituary for Margaret Elizabeth Bannister

Deaconess Margaret Bannister was called to eternal rest on Wednesday morning, March 11, 2009. Born on March 5, 1915, Deaconess Bannister was the only child of Anna Chambers. Raised in the Liberty Baptist Church Community, Margaret’s education was completed with perfect attendance at Brick Church School located on Genito Rd.
On June 24, 1934, she was united in Holy Matrimony to Joseph Bannister and this union of childhood friends has been blessed to leave four generations who loved her in life and will cherish her memories and her spirit. The first generation includes seven children and their spouses: Dallas and Helen Bannister of Amelia, VA; Martha and Herman Ellis of Somerset, NJ; Dorothy Bradby of Richmond, VA; Della Montague of Amelia, VA; Joseph and Jackie Bannister of Orlando, FL; Margaret and George Everett of Somerset, NJ; and Dr. Nancy and George Walters of St. Paul, MN. The second generation includes sixteen grandchildren, one of whom (Sandra Jefferson) she and her husband raised. The third generation includes nineteen great grandchildren and the fourth generation includes six great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and acquaintances who loved her dearly. In departing this land, Deaconess Bannister joins her beloved husband, Joseph (1910-2004); treasured grandson, Garland Bannister and granddaughter, Marilyn Dantzler; and beloved great grandson, Earl Dantzler, III.
Deaconess Bannister spent her life in Amelia County in service to the Lord. With years of service at Liberty Baptist Church from an early age, Deaconess Bannister earned the title of Church Mother. She was a faithful member of the Deaconess Board, long time caretaker of the church’s communion service, member and officer of the Willing Workers Club, member of the Amelia Protective Association, and ever present provider of meals and food for minister’s Sunday dinners, revival meals, and repasts for church auxiliary meetings. In the school community she was an early example of today’s “classroom mom”: Her cooking that was beyond compare supported many school fundraisers and social events, her sewing provided costumes and backdrops for school programs, and her presence provided the adult chaperoning needed to support the multitasking teachers at Brick Church and Russell Grove Schools.
Every since her marriage to Deacon Bannister in 1934, she was devoted to caring for her family and home. Sister Bannister was alert and on-task with her projects until the end. She relinquished cooking the Thanksgiving turkey in her 80s; she planted her last vegetable garden when she was 88; but she continued to pickle cucumbers and prepare fruit and vegetables for the freezer through the summer of 2008; and as the consummate quilter and sewer she leaves a braided rug that she was in the process of completing for a great grandson. Her love and caring for her family is an ever present reminder when her children wrap themselves in a quilt she made years ago or look for that birthday card that she would send each and every year. And “her children” were not limited to those of the Bannister lineage. Over the years Deaconess Bannister was a housekeeper and babysitter for many Amelia families. In a written recollection of how sister Bannister blessed the lives of other families, Laura Hadfield Rackham wrote about how the high standards set by her mother and Deaconess Bannister helped her learn to do her personal best and follow great examples that Mom exemplified with patience, cheerfulness, and firmness.
As a faithful servant of God, devoted wife, loving mother, and an active, motivated woman throughout all of her years, Margaret Bannister’s character and strength inspires us all and her advanced years speak to us and teach us of her wisdom.
Funeral Services Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at Liberty Baptist Church, Amelia with interment in the church cemetery.
Michael W. Hawkes Funeral Home of Amelia in charge of the arrangements.

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