Ernest Lowell O’Banion ’50 was born on Feb. 2, 1929, to Ernest L. and Bernice O’Banion. He spent his childhood in Oakland where his love of singing began. He attended St. Mary’s High School and SCU and spoke fondly of his time at the University, looking forward to visits with former classmates at school reunions and the annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon. Ernie married the love of his life, Gay Shockey, in July 1952. They spent their days together with family, at church and traveling to his beloved Greece, among other destinations. He was heartbroken at Gay’s passing in 2015 and looked forward to their reunion. The orthodoxy was a cornerstone of Ernie’s life. He was one of the founding members of Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church and celebrated the first divine liturgy on Aug. 7, 1988. Ernie also devoted his time to the parish council, served as liturgical reader, and was choirmaster for 25 years. Ernie loved to sing and could fill a room with his graceful melodies, both in English and Greek. As a boy, he was know to sing so loudly in the shower that his neighbors couldn’t help but overhear his melodies. He radiated joy when he sang, and he continued to delight those around him with his voice until the end. Ernie never met a stranger. His warm and inquisitive demeanor made him so approachable, and he was delighted to share his knowledge of the Greek language with everyone. At age 90, he passed away on Sept. 1, 2019, with his daughters by his side. Ernie is survived by his children, John O’Banion (Pamela Ellen), Pamela Leslie, and Kathleen Almeida Hull (Ken). He was the proud grandfather to Jason Werth (Courtney), Joshua Werth (Emily), Jennifer Bever (Jesse), Matthew Almeida (Heather), Jill Thomas (Robert), Katharine O’Banion, great-grandfather to 12, and uncle to Michael and Jeffrey Balasa. He will be missed.

22 Oct 2019