Dr. William James Bannen, Jr.

William James Bannen, Jr. MD of 850 E. Butler Road, Greenville, died Thursday, May 14, 2009, at the age of 87.

Dr. Bannen was born November 24, 1921 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania to the late William James Bannen, Sr. and Elma Marie Trussell Bannen. He grew up in Oakmont, Pennsylvania and attended Bethany College. After graduating from Bethany, he went on to study medicine at the University of Maryland by courtesy of the US Army.

He graduated from the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine in 1946 and began practicing medicine in Dunbar, West Virginia. He joined the Air Force in 1951 as a Flight Surgeon, attained the rank of Captain, and was stationed at Keflavik Air Force Base in Iceland. After marrying an Icelandic native, Didda, in 1952, the Air Force relocated him to Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville where he served six months before moving to Salt Lake City, Utah where he did a pediatric residency for a year.
His love for Greenville, and the south, brought him back to Greenville where he filled in for Simpsonville’s Doctor Rollins Richardson while Dr. Richardson served in the Air Force. Upon Doctor Richardson’s return, they decided to become partners.

Dr. Bannen became a well loved family doctor, as well as a civic and business leader in Simpsonville. Always available for his patients, making house calls and delivering babies all hours of the day and night, he still found time to serve his community. He was a past president of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Simpsonville Rotary Club 1982 – 1983, and President of the SC Chapter of American Academy of Family Physicians 1974 – 1975. His hobbies included flying, golf and ballroom dancing.
A major force in the founding of Hillcrest Hospital in Simpsonville, a patient of his was the first to be admitted when the hospital opened its doors.

Surviving are sons, William James Bannen, III of Greenville; David G. Bannen of Wilson, NC; daughter, Alison B. Whatley of Cary, NC; sister, Elizabeth Cheffins of Ohio; nephews, Tom Cheffins of Pennsylvania; Jack Cheffins of Ohio; and eight grandchildren, Devin and Jada Bannen of Columbia, SC; Joshua, Casey and Pearson Bannen of Wilson, NC; and, Alissa, Katie Grace and Becky Whatley of Cary, NC.
A Memorial Service and Internment of the Ashes will be held June 6, 2009, at 5 PM, at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Simpsonville. The family will receive friends at a reception in the Parish Hall following the internment.

Online condolences may be made at cannonfunerals.com. In lieu of flowers, a memoriam may be sent to Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia or to the American Diabetes Association.
Cannon Funeral Home of Fountain Inn is in charge of arrangements.

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