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WASHINGTON-On May 23, 2018, Elvira Heidrich Bannan, of Washington passed peacefully from this world at Unity Point Health Methodist -Peoria. She was born in Idar Oberstien, Germany, May 17, 1935, during a very turbulent time in history. Her life story was one of experiences that should have been documented in a memoir. Yet, only the people she loved and cared about the most, ever had the opportunity to hear them.
She was born to Herbert and Luzie (Maurer) Heidrich, both who precede her in death. Herbert was a gold smith, and Luzie a homemaker, both trades that Elvira found herself doing exceptionally well. She met Floyd Bannan at German dance hall, in 1956, while he was stationed in Baumholder. Elvira loved to dance and loved music, especially Elvis Presley. They married on March 9,1957, in a court house service in Idar Oberstien. Not long after, they were transferred to Fort Riley, Kansas, which was the first time she ever left Germany. She left behind two sisters, Marianne Heidrich Retzler and Regina Heidrich Rinck, both who survive, and two brothers, Hans and Martin Heidrich, both who proceed her in death. She is also is survived by her two nephews, Frank (Annagret) Retzler, and Detlev (Carmen) Retzler and Petra (Jorg) Glicher, and great- nephews and nieces, Kenny, Monika, Martina, Marco, and Bianca.
The military took Elvira and Floyd from Fort Riley to Junction City Kansas, then back to Baumholder, before settling down and making Washington, IL their forever home, where they would raise their family. Elvira is the mother to and survived by, Loretta Bannan-Thigpen, of Morton, Sylvia-Sue (Steve) Bannan-Blackmen, of Williamsville, Floyd Bannan Jr., of Peoria, David Bannan, of Lebanon, Missouri, Belinda Bannan-Jackson, of Lebanon, Missouri, and Patricia Bannan, of Glasford. Elvira and Floyd also had the honor of raising and are survived, by their eldest granddaughter, Regina (Nate) Bannan-Johnson & their children Creighton, Hayden and Kane of Monmouth, and for a time their eldest grandson Michael (Rachel) Taylor and their daughter Lucy, of Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Elvira spent her entire life being the matriarch and the glue that held her family together. To say that she was a homemaker, would not be giving her nearly the credit she deserved. She tirelessly, and with every last breathe in her day, worked to make sure her children and grandchildren, were taken care of. She enjoyed cooking and baking, and if she welcomed you into her home as a friend, you left being family. Outside of the home Elvira loved watching her children, and then her grandchildren, compete in sports such as track, football, basketball, and volleyball. Later in her life when her grandson Bo, began racing cars, she quickly became a known face in the crowd at the Peoria Speedway. People loved, “Ma Bannan.” When she could no longer climb the bleachers to her designated spot, they made sure that she had spaced reserved at the bottom of the bleachers for her wheel chair. And in the end, when she simply couldn’t go any more, her “Grandma Bannan” fan club made sure to always send her well wishes through Bo.
Elvira was like no other, and in the end she left this world only on her terms, once she found her peace with God. She is survived by 18 grandchildren, Bo (Stacy) Brockway and great grandchildren Allie, Laine, and Chase, Bryan (Emily) Thigpen and great granddaughter Brinkley, Jennifer Street, Thomas Bannan, Kenny Bannan, Anthony Bannan and great grandson Logan, Philip (Brooke) Jackson, Joseph Jackson, Danielle (Jason) Albert and great grandchildren, Adrian, Annastazha, Harlie, Mia, Nicholas, and Andrew, Deanna (Jackie) Beard and great grandchildren, Alexis, Hunter, Hayden, Chrisitian, Neavh, and Walker, and Desiree (Bo) Green and great grandchildren Wesley and Samual. She was preceded in death by one granddaughter Deneen Bannan. Elvira will be deeply missed by her family and all that she truly ever touched.
Cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial service is scheduled for 1:00pm, Friday, June 1, 2018 at Mason-White Funeral Home in Washington. There will be no visitation. Inurnment will be at Glendale Cemetery in Washington. In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name may be given to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, 530 NE Glen Oak Ave, Peoria, IL 61603. To share memories and condolences with the family, visit www.masonfuneralhomes.com.