Shirley U. Banner

1933 - 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Shirley U. Banner, beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister, passed away Monday afternoon, February 1, 2021, at Alpine Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Little Falls due to COVID-19 complications. 

Born July 12, 1933, at the home of her grandmother, Maude Bliss, in Milford Center, Shirley was the oldest of five children of John W. and Bernice M. (Bliss) Utter. Shirley attended a one-room schoolhouse in Milford Center and Milford Central School where she graduated with the Class of 1951. After graduation she worked at the Scintilla Plant in Sidney.

On September 20, 1953, she married Carl F. Banner in the Portlandville Methodist Church. Following his untimely death December 9, 1962, Shirley bravely persevered, raising six children and working many jobs, often two at a time in area restaurants. These included The Hitching Post, Sherry’s Restaurant, The Otesaga and The Cooperstown Diner, as well as Brooks BBQ, The Duke Diner, the Health Bar at Bresee’s and the lunch counter at J.J. Newberry’s in Oneonta. She also worked in the school cafeterias at Cooperstown Central and Athens, Pennsylvania. While living in Boca Raton, Florida, she was employed at Bible Town and the Boca Country Club. 

A woman of great faith, Shirley was raised in the Portlandville Methodist Church and had many fond memories of singing in the choir with her sister, Beverly and mother, Bernice. She has been a member of the Cooperstown United Methodist Church for many years and also enjoyed attending services at the Milford United Methodist Church. 

She will especially be remembered for her love of people and her passion to travel, including many bus trips, a cruise, family vacations that included camping, hotels, and condos, and loved watching kids play sports. She really enjoyed living in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina, and loved spending winters in Florida. 

Shirley is survived by her six children, Evelyn Collier (Steven) of Cooperstown, Louise Williams (Garry) of Earlville, Mark Banner (Adrianna) of Troy, Marilyn Banner (Jen) of Hartwick, Carlton Banner (Sue) of Burlington Flats, and Bruce Banner (Kelly) of Cooperstown; grandchildren: Erica Callejas (Rudy), John Collier (Kristen), Erin Collier, Jessica Lowell (Lance), Todd Collier (Chelsea), Courtney Lugg, Cody Williams (Chelsey), Juan, Sara, and Andrew Sanchez, Gareth Banner (Monique), Kayla Banner (Bryan), Luke Banner (Courtney), Carl Banner (Jessica), Chad Banner and Zach Crippen; and great grandchildren, Benjamin Callejas, Logan and Mason Collier, Everett Collier, Sahriajah, Ely, and Shaddai Lugg, Leah Williams, Michelle and Emily Banner, Jaylynn and Jenna Banner, Derek Moore, Jasmyne Estes, Corbin Jaggers, and Wyatt, Waylon and Ava Banner. She is also survived by her brother, Dennis T. Utter (Lake) of Idaho; a beloved companion, Leon Spicer and family; several nieces and nephews; special long-time friends Phyllis O’Sullivan and “The Brooks Girls”; and many others.

Shirley was predeceased by two infant sons in 1957 and 1959; her husband, Carl in 1962; a sister, Beverly (Bev) Hoose in 1970; her parents, John in 1989 and Bernice in 1999; an infant brother, Bruce in 1946; and brother James (Jimmy) Utter in 2011.

Shirley’s immediate family will receive friends and family during a walk-through visitation at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, on Friday, February 12, 2021 between the hours of 3-5 p.m. Due to current COVID-19 New York State restrictions and regulations, everyone must wear a face mask or covering and observe proper physical distancing. Only a limited number of people will be allowed in the funeral home at one time, so please be prepared to wait outside before entering. 

Shirley will be laid to rest in the Milford Cemetery later this spring when weather permits, with a graveside service and burial that you are welcome to attend. Notice will be given as to when. 

In lieu of flowers, Shirley’s family will appreciate memorial donations to any of her three favorite churches: The Portlandville United Methodist Church, PO Box 306, Portlandville, NY 13834, or The Cooperstown United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or The Milford United Methodist Church, PO Box 127, Milford, NY 13807. 

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.


If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.