In Memory


Al died while skin diving in the South Pacific a few years after we graduated. He was a cross country runner at Oberlin, a biology major, and my junior-year roommate. Al joined the Peace Corps upon graduation. He was thoughtful and politically aware but also able to find abundant joy in life, qualities I have come to fully appreciate as I've grown older.

Remembered by John Henretta

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05/26/16 07:23 AM #1    

Kim Solez

Yes Alan was my Freshman year roommate. I remember him well today. A great guy! When the Wolf Book came out after our arrival on campus he made the remark that my picture in that book was so much better than the real life experience of meeting me that I must have a special skill for fooling the camera! Lol! I am looking forward to tracking down the picture of me he made that remark about!

05/26/16 08:17 AM #2    

Elizabeth Sherman (Elvy)

I am  very glad to see Al Banner remembered here. I never really knew him--only saw him occasionally in Dascomb dining hall, where he was a waiter. I remember a sharp wit and dash of humor that made him memorable, and I was shocked to learn of his untimely death, so soon after graduation.

05/26/16 08:22 AM #3    

Edward McKelvey

John said it so well that I have little to add, other than to say that I was a friend of Alan's as well and was heartbroken to learn of his passing.  I guess there's some solace in knowing that he died doing something he loved.  He was such a great guy. 

05/28/16 08:42 AM #4    

Edna Chun

I also remember his wonderful smile and outgoing personality. One of the sweetest and friendliest people you could every meet.

12/13/16 10:20 AM #5    

Daniel Miller

I ran with him on the cross country team and really enjoyed knowing him.  He was from Hawaii, and the first night that it snowed at Oberlin our freshman year, he got everyone up to see what a beautiful, amazing thing it was.  His happy attitude was infectious and made life bearable during the traumatic moments in our Oberlin experience.  I found out that he had been killed by a shark while in the surf when I was back at Oberlin and a high school runner who had known him told me.  The world is a darker place without him.

12/14/16 01:41 PM #6    

Carol Brewer (Corwin)

Al was memorable, very positive and supportive.  He certainly supported me and others through Geology I by making the field trips (aka scavenger hunts) lively and fun.  I've thought of him  often through the years after Oberlin, even though I did not know him well, just because of the special person he was.  

12/15/16 01:04 PM #7    

Jessica Rosenberg

Alan gave a very moving Senior Perspective, when he talked about his brother who was a doctor in Vietnam.  He read a letter from him describing the horrors there and I still remember him saying that in war ,"a drunk doctor is better than no doctor".  I also remember him showing ( I think on a different occasion) a film of salmon spawning that he made by putting an 8mm movie camera in a fish tank and sinking it in a shallow stream in Alaska. First I'd ever learned about salmon's life cycle.

12/15/16 06:18 PM #8    

Paul Safyan

So glad so many of you are remembering Al, especially at this time of year.

What a light he was, a joy to be around!

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