Life Story / Obituary


Yvonne M. Banninger was born on August 25, 1934, to Gerald Gooden and Ruth (Penney) Gooden in Mancelona, Michigan. Two more children would be born from this union, Jeannie (1935), and Billy (1936). After the parents divorced in 1939, the siblings were separated, the two youngest being adopted, leaving Yvonne to spend a lengthy time in a boarding home. Yvonne would eventually be taken in by her paternal grandparents who would raise her to the age of seventeen. She then moved to Grand Rapids with three other girls to work for an insurance company, returning to Mancelona on weekends.

In the summer of 1952 Yvonne would meet the love of her life, Bruce Banninger, at a July 4th dance at the tennis courts in Alden, Mi. It is a favorite family story. They would wed on February 7, 1953, welcoming two children, Terri (1954), and Christopher (1955). The young family would stay in the area until 1965, moving to Flint, Mi., and later in 1968 moving to Texas, both for work advancement and educational opportunities for their children. In 1980, they moved to Denver, Colorado, both working for a local hospital. Upon retirement, the happy couple returned to Kewadin, Mi., and enjoyed years of travel in their motorhome, meeting up with friends in beautiful locations and RV Rallys.

Yvonne had many interests. She was an avid reader and had an extensive library. She often would say, “I think I have a book on that”, to which a book would be produced on the subject at hand. She enjoyed painting, photography, and music. Her favorite sayings by which she lived were, “Knowledge is Power”, and “The more you do, the more you know you can do.” Over the years her career was spent in accounting and management positions. Most of her life, Yvonne was an active member of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church living out her faith and her belief in serving others.

Yvonne was a devoted wife, loving mother, wonderful grandma and great-grandma, sister and aunt who took delight in her family. She is survived by her husband Bruce, daughter Terri (Ben Colon), Grandchildren, Emelia Banninger, Rob Clement (Stephanie), Jennie Dalgas (Geoffrey), and great-grandchildren, Kiya, Caleb, Jeliya, and Keenan. Yvonne’s father remarried and his second family became much loved “Bonus” siblings, Donna (Harold), Linda, Ron, Rick and Lori. She was preceded in death by her parents, son Christopher, and brother’s-in-law, Willard and Conrad.

A special thank you to Munson Hospice for their extraordinary care, with a special acknowledgement to Burnadette Cole and Donna Burniell. Memorial Contributions can be made to Munson Hospice 1150 Medical Campus Dr. Traverse City, MI 49684, or online at: www.munsonhealthcare.org/supporthospice.

A Celebration of Life will be conducted on June 9, 2024, at the Traverse City Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2055 N. Four Mile Rd., Traverse City, MI. 49686. Visitation: 10:00 am. Service: 11:00 am. The family is being cared for by Life Story Funeral Home of Traverse City.