Stephen Lawrence Banner, age 69, of Parchment passed away unexpectedly on November 9, 2023 surrounded by family. He was born December 3, 1953, in Kalamazoo, to the late Francis Edward (Ed) and Elizabeth Louise (Schallhorn) Banner.
Steve graduated from Parchment High School in 1972 and traveled to Colorado to attend the Denver Floral Academy. He returned to Michigan and worked as a floral designer for his family's business, Riverside Greenhouses, which was founded by his grandparents in 1915. Decades of experience earned Steve the designation as a Master Floral Designer. After nearly 100 years of service to the surrounding community, a downturn in sales led Steve and his family to close their flower shop permanently. This, however, did not stop Steve's unwavering dedication to hard work. Steve landed a job with Mr. Libin, where he served as a personal assistant for many years. He eventually went to work with Langeland Family Funeral Homes where spent the last four years, always willing to lend a hand wherever he was needed.
In 1975, Steve was set up on a blind date with the former Marilyn Groos. Not long after, on June 30, 1978, the two were married-Steve insisted that Marilyn finish her education first. They later welcomed their son, Todd, in 1984.
Steve and Marilyn enjoyed trips to Steve's family's cabin on Loon Lake in Onaway, Michigan and eventually tried their hand at camping in a tent. Even though their first experience included a flooded tent and a car on the fritz, the family continued camping nearly every summer thereafter. Their travels also included many trips to the Upper Peninsula to visit Marilyn's mom and a big trip out east, where they visited his brother, David, in New York City. They also enjoyed seeing many other famous areas in the Eastern part of the US.
Steve loved classic cars and had a beautiful 1935 Ford Coupe for many years before trading it for a 1965 Mustang, a swap lamented by Marilyn. However, Steve and Todd thoroughly enjoyed working on the Mustang together. Todd would often take the Mustang to race at Martin Speedway along with another car of his-Steve enjoyed being able to go watch and support Todd there.
Steve was a homebody and certainly enjoyed the time he spent there. He took great pride and joy in creating a showcase of their yard and landscaping. When Todd was in the Fourth Grade, Steve picked up on carving caricatures-bears, Christmas-themed gifts, and several other fun figures-which brought him a lot of peace and joy as well. Marilyn, friends and family, along with Steve's work family, are very thankful recipients of these gifts and will forever cherish these special caricatures as a testament to Steve's dedication, patience, and generosity. Marilyn often gave Steve special requests each year, and Steve loved to watch YouTube videos to get even more carving ideas. While there, he was also known to watch a lot of cooking channels, always looking out for a good new recipe to try. This likely helped with the cherished Sunday dinners he and Marilyn shared with their closest friends, Dave and Nancy Cretsinger.
Steve will be remembered by most for his gentle spirit. He was an honest and humble man with a genuine respect and appreciation for those around him. He cared deeply for others and his generosity shines through in so many ways. Steve was a dedicated husband, father, worker, and friend. He will be truly missed by all who knew him.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Robert Banner and Don Banner; and brother-in-law, George Groos.
He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Marilyn Banner; son, Todd Banner; brothers, John (Alvera Lewis) Banner and David (Jessie Walker) Banner; sisters-in-law, Terese Banner, Cathy (Mike) McCarthy, Jeanne (Steve) Nelson, Fran (Tom) Swift, and Patty (Mark) Bryant; as well as several nieces and many nephews.
A memorial gathering will take place Friday, December 1, 2023 from 4-6:00pm at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services, 622 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Memorial Mass will be celebrated Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 11:00am at St. Ambrose Parish, 1628 East G Avenue, Parchment, MI 49004.
Donations in Steve's memory may be made to the Richland Firefighters Association, 7401 N 32nd St, Richland, MI 49083, or the Great Lakes Burn Camp, PO Box 6189, Jackson, MI 49204.
To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family visit https://www.langelands.com.