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William Fleetwood "Fleet" Banister, 86, of 24 Piedmont Avenue, widower of Mary Smith Banister and predeceased by a son, Joseph Thomas "Joe" Banister, died Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at NHC Healthcare of Mauldin.
He is survived by a son, William Alvin "Al" Banister, of Greenville; a granddaughter, Jodi Marie Hedden; and two great-grandsons.
Fleet was well known for being a loving and caring family man who never met a stranger. He will be missed by all.
Born August 30, 1926, he was the son of the late Ruben and Annie Mae Thomas Banister. A World War II veteran of the U. S. Army, he retired from the Life Insurance Company of Virginia after 38 years of service. He won numerous awards and was known as "everybody's insurance man."
Fleet was the last surviving charter member of the Piedmont Lions Club, having joined in May of 1952. He served as the club's third president from 1953-1954, served as vice-president, and served in many other capacities with 60 years of perfect attendance. He was named a Melvin Jones Fellow and was a South Carolina Lions Foundation Patron. While serving in the Lions Club, he attended two international conventions and numerous state conventions. Fleet has been an example of service for the members of the Piedmont Lions Club and to members throughout the district for over 60 years and he worked all Lions Club projects for as long as his health allowed. In May he was inducted into the Lions Club Hall of Fame.
As a long-time member of Piedmont United Methodist Church, he served in many ways including Chairman of the Finance Committee, Lay Member to the Annual Conference, Trustee, member of the Pastor/Parish Relations Committee, member of the Administrative Board, and Sunday School teacher. He was also a member of Grove Station Masonic Lodge #166 where he was a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason, and was a member of the Hejaz Shriners.
Visitation will be held from 1-2:15 p.m. Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Gray Mortuary, Pelzer. The funeral service will follow at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home chapel. Burial will be at Greenville Memorial Gardens.
The family would like to express their special thanks to the Palmetto Assisted Living family and Unit 2 at NHC Healthcare of Mauldin for their special care.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Piedmont United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 147, Piedmont, SC 29673, or to the Greenville Humane Society, 305 Airport Road, Greenville, SC 29607.
Gray Mortuary, Inc.
52 Main St. Pelzer, SC 29669
Published in The Greenville News on Aug. 23, 2013