Ethel Virginia Bannister


Ethel Craig Bannister, 99, of Vineyard Haven, formerly of Washington, D.C., died peacefully in her sleep on Oct. 23, 2019, at the Royal Falmouth Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Falmouth.

Born on Sept. 9, 1920, in Washington, D.C., Ethel was a devoted wife and mother, and she had an unwavering faith in God. She accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at an early age, and attended St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. Ethel graduated from Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. Prior to marriage, she worked briefly as a clerk at the Pentagon. She was united in marriage to Clarence Bannister on Sept. 17, 1948. They were married for 71 blissful years. 

Although she lived in Massachusetts, she was always a Washingtonian at heart. While still living in D.C. as a young wife and mother, she especially enjoyed visiting her numerous relatives in Maryland, which she lovingly called “the country.” She would often reflect on those visits to the country, and talk about the times spent sitting around the table at her Aunt Ruby’s house, talking and laughing with her many cousins, or watching the Negro League play baseball at the baseball diamond. 

She also enjoyed hosting parties for her family and friends when she lived on Myrtle Avenue. Ethel loved to travel, and she did so frequently with her husband. As a faithful Catholic, she especially enjoyed their trip together to visit the Vatican in Rome.

Ethel was preceded in death by her parents, Wesley and Edith Craig (Docket) of Washington, D.C.; a brother, Ellsworth; a son, Arthur Vaughn; and a grandson, Christopher Vaughn. She is survived by her husband, Clarence; sons Quenton and Amaury (Anne); granddaughter Stephanie Vaughn; and by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and beloved cousins. 

Her funeral service and burial were held in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 29.