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South Carolina mother dies of COVID weeks after daughter dies from virus

By Kelcie Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #local-all

Funeral for mother and daughter educators held together.

A joint funeral service was held Saturday for mother-daughter teachers in Columbia, South Carolina, who died of complications from the coronavirus weeks apart.

WIS out of Columbia, South Carolina, reported Shirley Williams Bannister died Sept. 27 at age 57, almost three weeks after her daughter, Demetria “Demi” Bannister died at age 28.

The station reported Shirley Bannister tested positive for the coronavirus on Sept. 7, the day her only child died.

Dennis Bell, Shirley Bannister’s brother, told CNN his sister “got really sick about two, three days after her daughter died” and was “overwhelmed” after Demi Bannister’s death. He said his sister had a history of diabetes and asthma.

“She had so much to give, so this is like an unexpected gut punch for the whole family,” Bell said.

Demi Bannister was a third-grade teacher at Windsor Elementary School. Her mother was the chair of the nursing department at Midlands Technical College.

“My heart is broken. Shirley was like an angel on Earth,” Dr. Ronald Rhames, MTC’s president, said in a statement, WIS reported. “Her life mission was caring for others. She earned her nursing degree from Midlands Technical College as a teen, went on to earn a master’s degree. Shirley eventually returned to MTC to teach nursing and impact the lives of hundreds of future healers in our community as chair of the MTC Nursing Department. While her death is devastating, her impact is everlasting. The entire MTC family offer her family support and our prayers.”

WIS reported the funeral, which was private, was held Saturday at noon.