Obituary: Twyla F. Banitch
Twyla F. Banitch of St. Petersburg, Florida, a former longtime resident of Montclair, died at her home on May 27, 2022. She was 97.
Mrs. Banitch was born in 1925 in Muscatine, Iowa, and grew up in Muscatine and Davenport, Iowa, where her parents, Herbert and Cora Gettert, owned and operated many businesses, including the Prom Roller Rink.
She received her B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1946 and married George P. Banitch in Davenport in 1947.
After he graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic, they relocated to New Jersey. They raised their four children and lived in Little Falls for 33 years before moving to Montclair in 1988. Mrs. Banitch was active in St. Agnes Episcopal Church, Little Falls, and the Little Falls Women’s Club.
At St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair, she was a member of the altar guild and volunteer at The Second Time Around thrift shop and Toni’s Kitchen food ministry. She loved living in downtown Montclair, where she could walk to church, the library, shops and many great restaurants.
She also enjoyed 40 summers at Culver Lake, where she liked to golf and swim in the lake every day.
In 2017, at the age of 92, she relocated to St. Petersburg. She enjoyed meeting new friends and all the activities in her senior independent living community. She easily switched her loyalty from the New York Giants and New York Mets to the Tampa Bay Bucs and Tampa Bay Rays, but remained a University of Iowa Hawkeye fan for life.
Mrs. Banitch loved to travel, play golf, watch sports, play bridge and take daily walks outside in nature. She continued to travel well into her 90s with an Alaska cruise at age 93 and a Baltic cruise at age 94. She celebrated her 95th birthday on a family cruise to the Caribbean.
She was a fun mom who will be remembered by her family and friends as full of life and a great mother, grandmother and friend.
Mrs. Banitch is survived by her four children and their spouses, George P. Banitch Jr. (Nancy) of Dallas, Christian Banitch (Patricia) of El Paso, Texas, Paul Banitch (Karen) of Sequim, Washington, and Margaret Banitch (Ellen Alexander) of Gulfport, Florida; four grandchildren, Alexander Banitch of Torrington, Connecticut, Philip Banitch of The Colony, Texas, Laurie Banitch of New York City and Colin Banitch (Abby) of Epping, New Hampshire, and one great-grandchild, Finnigan Jet Banitch of Epping.
She was predeceased by her husband, Dr. George Banitch; granddaughter, Stephanie Banitch; brother, Raymond Gettert, and sister, Doris Schwan.
A Celebration of Life service and reception will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 11 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Family and friends are invited.
Donations may be made in her memory to St. Luke’s Church, 73 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, NJ 07042, slechurch.org, or to Toni’s Kitchen food ministry, same address, toniskitchen.org.
Arrangements were by Abbey Affordable Cremation & Funeral Services, Inc., Largo, Florida.