Dec. 19, 1923 – June 7, 2014
Our wonderful mom Sally died following a brief illness with her daughter and son-in-law at her side. Mom was born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, an only child to adoring parents Ralph and Ruth Bannerman.
She was always looking for adventure! She went to college, joined the Navy during World War II and, after her service, started teaching in North Carolina, only to end up in Glendale by 1956.
She had four children with first husband, Owen Knapp, and one with second husband, Richard Burns. She loved teaching but also had a keen business mind. While working at Hoover High School, she had a successful home business and also bought fixer-uppers, using cheap labor (her kids) to clean them up to rent or sell. In 1975, when Saigon fell, she sponsored Vietnamese refugees and helped them find housing and jobs. To this day, these families speak about her with great love and reverence.
In the mid-80s, she bought a huge parcel of land in the desert near the Colorado River and oversaw the building of five houses, one for her and the others for friends. When guests arrived, Sally would greet them in her dune buggy!
In 1987, she was joined by her third husband, charming Englishman James Eason who, she met on a Mediterranean cruise. Following James’ death in 2000, she moved back into the L.A. area and made new friends before moving into an assisted living facility due to progressive dementia. She never lost her infectious smile, and all who met her couldn’t help but love her.
To quote her Vietnamese “granddaughter,” Kim Liang: “She was truly one of the most open and giving human beings I have ever met. I have learned lifelong lessons through her kindness and, in her memory, I will walk through life with a bigger heart.”
Sally is survived by her five children Margaret (Richard), Toni (Jim), Katherine (Danny), Robert, and Rich (Katie); eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; also five step-grandsons and their children.
Services will be held at Crippen Mortuary on June 21 at 2:30 p.m. with a reception in Montrose to follow.