Margaret Anne Bannister
(nee O’Hara) of St. Louis, MO, died Wednesday, December 23, 2020, beloved wife of 61 years of Robert Bannister, loving mother of Mary Margaret, Anne Elizabeth and Catherine Louise. She was a loving sister to Patricia Palma, Michaeleen Cradock and the late Jackie Higgins, Aunt Margaret to 28 nieces and nephews, great-aunt to many, dear sister-in-law, cousin and friend.
Margaret was born October 2, 1936, to Michael and Gertrude (Rollins) O’Hara in Cape Girardeau, MO. After moving to St. Louis with her family, she attended St. Roch Catholic School, Nerinx Hall High School and Webster College.
Margaret’s extended family was very important to her and she actively engaged with them through letters, calls and even online through Words With Friends. It didn’t matter what part of the world they lived in and or what generation they belonged to, she wanted them to be part of her life. Her definition of “family” included long-term neighbors with whom she navigated life’s many ups and downs. Margaret made and kept many good friends through her life and regularly gathered with her “Ladies Club,” and long-term friends from grade school, high school and college.
Margaret enjoyed traveling and she and Robert spent time in China, Europe, the Mediterranean, and all across North America. She enjoyed road trips to experience adventures both big and small and loved to leave the beaten track to see roadside attractions on the blue highways. She treasured the time she spent with friends and family each year “up North” on Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota.
An avid reader, Margaret enjoyed words in general and regularly completed the New York Times crossword puzzle. She had a passion for learning and an innate curiosity. Over the years she took many classes, including watercolor painting, auto repair and memoir writing. Margaret recognized history as it was happening and always wanted to be a part of it whether it was the 1976 bi-centennial or the 2017 women’s march. She loved collecting things that had a story. She would try almost anything once and often said you couldn’t know if you enjoyed something until you tried it.
Margaret had an amazing memory for all things, momentous or trivial. She was private, determined, direct, clear about her wishes, kind and generous (with time and resources) and extremely witty with a quick smile and eyes that shone.
Margaret met Robert in the parking lot of the Parkmoor while both were still in high school, and they married in 1959. They raised their three daughters in St. Louis. Margaret always stressed the value of education, independence and self-sufficiency and was openly proud of the strong, capable women that her daughters became.
Services: When it is safe to be together again, her family will hold a gathering honoring Margaret. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Alzheimers Association, Food Outreach or Nerinx Hall.