Shirley Bannister, mother of South Carolina teacher who died of Covid-19, dies weeks later


Shirley Bannister, 57, died of complications from Covid-19 on Sunday, according to her brother, Dennis Bell.

Bannister is the mother of Demetria Bannister, a 28-year-old schoolteacher who died earlier this month, just days after testing positive for Covid-19.

Bannister “got really sick about two or three days after her daughter died” on Sept. 7, Bell told CNN in a telephone interview.

Bell said her sister was “overwhelmed” after her daughter had died a few weeks earlier.

Bannister had a history of asthma and diabetes, and after testing positive for Covid-19, “she went to the hospital twice, the second time they decided to keep her,” Bell said.“She had so much to give, so it’s like an unexpected punch for the whole family,” Bell said.

Bannister was the chair of the nursing department at Midlands Technical College in Colombia, according to a statement from Ronald Rhames, the college president. Bannister graduated as a nurse in college and returned later in life to teach, Rhames said.

” My heart is broken. Shirley was like an angel on Earth. Her life mission was to take care of others, ”said Rhames.

Bannister and his daughter “were best friends,” Bell told CNN.

“They would go out for dinner together, they would go to the movies, go to concerts and things like that, and they would plan events together,” Bell said.

“Demetria, in a way, was like her mother,” Bell said.

Bannister grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and was an active member of St. Mark’s Baptist Church, Bell said.

She had a passion for geriatrics and a love for the elderly, Bell said. Bannister helped take care of his 87-year-old mother.

Her sister was “loved by everyone,” Bell said.

She is survived by her husband, Dennis Bannister. Demetria Bannister was the couple’s only child.


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