John Robert Banister
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John Robert Banister
  • June 4, 1927 - September 30, 2017
  • Morgan Hill, California

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John Robert Banister was born to Jack Roy and Adele Elizabeth (St Pierre) Banister on June 4, 1927 in Oakland, California. In 1938, the family moved to Los Gatos where Jack worked as an operations engineer on the construction of Highway 17. Two years later they moved to San Jose.

John attended St. Leo's Grammar School, Bellarmine College Preparatory, and Santa Clara University from which he received a B.A. in English Magna Cum Laude. He was awarded a postgraduate degree from Stanford University, where he was also an Acting Instructor in English.

He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict where he was co-founder and instructor of a new Navel Training School in Bainbridge, Maryland.

His long career as a teacher and administrator began at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1954. In 1959, he transferred to San Jose State University as Assistant to the Academic Vice President and Associate Professor of English. In 1967, an opportunity arose at the California State University Chancellor's Office in Los Angeles where he served as Associate Dean in the Academic Planning Division. In addition to responsibility for approving new degree programs, he conducted comprehensive studies of specialized programs, such as MFA degrees in the performing arts, the difference between Engineering Technology and Industrial Arts/Industrial Technology, and other fields to be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval and action. He was involved in liaison activities with the State Board of Education and the University of California, served on WASC accreditation committees, and worked with national organizations dedicated to improving the teaching of English.

In 1981, he returned to San Jose State University as full Professor of English specializing in Victorian Literature. During this time he served as volunteer for many community services which included election to the Board of Trustees of the Franklin McKinley School District in San Jose. He was president of the Board three times. In 1987, he retired as Professor Emeritus and moved to Carmel becoming a member of the Carmel Foundation. He donated generously to charities and aided people with counsel, empathy, and financial assistance. He felt blessed to have many long-time, close friends across the country.


He was predeceased by his beloved brother, Ronald Henry and by two great nieces and is survived by his brother, Gary, sisters-in-law Darline and Anne Banister, 3 Godchildren, 7 nephews, 1 niece, 7 great nephews and 5 great nieces and 1 great, great niece.
Arrangements under the direction of Willow Glen Funeral Home, San Jose, CA.