Robert L. ‘Bob’ Bannister
85, passed away peacefully Monday, January 10, 2022. Beloved husband of the late Margaret (nee O’Hara) Bannister, devoted father of Mary, Anne and Catherine Bannister, dear brother of Barbara Galli (Louis) and Kathleen Brady, dear brother-in-law, uncle, great uncle, cousin, godfather and friend. He was preceded in death by his parents Del L. and Irene (Scheetz) Bannister, his sister, Sr. Maureen Bannister, D.C., and his brothers, Thomas, Joseph and Patrick Bannister. A graduate of St. Louis University High School (SLUH ’54) and a multiple degree graduate of Saint Louis University (AB, MS and PhD), Bob dedicated his professional life to education and public service. He began his teaching career at the St. Louis Priory School, spent thirty years as faculty and vice principal at Horton Watkins High School, and was principal of his alma mater, St. Louis University High School from 1995-2002. He was an adjunct professor of Mathematics at the University of Missouri – St. Louis from 1968-1978. He represented the 12th Ward on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen from 1977-1979.
A lifelong St. Louisan, Bob was an avid city historian and delighted in showing visitors and locals alike the various neighborhoods and telling their stories. After spending years working on his family genealogy, he was thrilled to discover he was descended from the original settlers of St. Louis. He was a born storyteller, always with a healthy dose of humor for good measure, and he truly loved teaching and education.
One of Bob’s first jobs was as an usher at the MUNY and he maintained his love of musicals his whole life. He also loved jigsaw puzzles and sudoku, fishing “up North” in Minnesota and collecting vintage wind-up toys. He made a mean mincemeat pie. If you asked how he was, his standard response was “The better for seeing you.” He was a master of puns, was known for wearing crazy ties and always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. Bob always loved to help others. Whether in his own house, at your house or in a school, he was there to be of service.
Bob met the love of his life, Margaret, on the parking lot of The Parkmoor while in high school. They married in 1959 and together they raised their three daughters to become the educated, strong and successful women they are.
Over the years Bob served on numerous committees, boards and councils dedicated to the Arts, secondary education or civic development, including the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Public Library, the St. Louis Arena Corporation, the Arts and Humanities Commission of the City of St. Louis, the 1987-88 Board of Freeholders of the City and County of St. Louis, the Loyola Academy Board of Trustees, the Marian Middle School Board of Trustees, the Nerinx Hall Board of Trustees and the St. Louis University High School Board of Trustees. He was active in St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, serving as a long-time member of the Perpetual Adoration Society (which he always called his “Hour with the Lord”), a two-time member of the parish council and as the chairman of its first Board of Education. He was a co-author of the textbook “Geometry: Its Elements and Structure”.
In the interest of furthering medical research, including research into the causes and cures of Alzheimer’s Disease, Bob made arrangements to donate his brain to the Saint Louis University Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Bank established in 1985 in cooperation with the St. Louis Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and to donate the remainder of his body to St. Louis University Medical School.
Services: A memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2022 at St. Gabriel the Archangel, 6303 Nottingham Avenue, St. Louis Missouri 63109 at 11:00 a.m.. Visitation prior to the service will be from 10:00 to 11:00. The family has deferred the service in the hope that it will be safer to gather in groups at that time.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, or the Bannister Family Scholarship at St. Louis University High School, or the Del L. & Irene Bannister Scholarship at St. Louis University (Fund #30277) or the charity of your choice.