John O'Bannon

Posted 1/19/23

John Allyn O'Bannon, 89, Pairs, passed on to be with God and his ancestors on Jan. 18, 2023, after several years of surviving many health challenges.

At his request, no public services are …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail or username
Log in

John O'Bannon


John Allyn O'Bannon, 89, Pairs, passed on to be with God and his ancestors on Jan. 18, 2023, after several years of surviving many health challenges.

At his request, no public services are planned. Interment will be private in Edgar Cemetery at a later date. Templeton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. O’Bannon was born Oct. 4, 1933, in rural Edgar County, the son of Lloyd Allyn O'Bannon and Ruth Elizabeth Perisho O'Bannon. He married Delores Jean Guyer on Sep. 28, 1957.

The O’Bannons had three children, Nancy O'Bannon, Sarah O'Bannon, and Brian (Tami) O'Bannon, all currently residing in Paris, Illinois. Other survivors include John's brother, Stephen F. O'Bannon of Mathews, N. C.; and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. O’Bannon was preceded in death by his parents, wife Delores in 1988, and in-laws, Dema Jane and Jim Martin and Alecia O'Bannon

He was named after his maternal great grandfather, John Bercaw, an early settler to Edgar County. John's mother was very involved in genealogy and traced the O'Bannon, Perisho, Bercaw, Beck, Murphy, Brinkerhoff, O'Hair and other family lineages back into the 1600's and beyond. He really enjoyed history and preserving the stories of the past traditions.

Mr. O’Bannon graduated from Paris High School in 1951. He then attended and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 1955. He was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. Upon graduation, Mr. O’Bannon auditioned for and was accepted to the Marine Corps Band with plans of working with their studio production corps. He then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps headed for the band and pursuing a career in electronics. He was honorably discharged.

Upon completing his time in the Marine Corps, he returned to the Paris area where he soon worked in the Terre Haute Symphony and worked as a taxi driver and musician living in Indianapolis for a few years. He met Delores Jean Guyer from West York, whom he married. They soon relocated to Charleston, W. Virginia where he worked with the symphony and as a gage technician with the Union Carbide corporation. He also completed an electronics course with the Massey Technical Institute of Jacksonville, Fla.

Mr. O’Bannon was always 1st chair, and often concert master. He enjoyed a lifelong career as a professional musician which started in high school playing the Oboe & English horn under the direction of Lou Waterloo. He performed with the Bloomington Normal Symphony 1951-55., the Illinois Wesleyan Chamber orchestra 1951-55, the Pekin Symphony Orchestra 1953-55, and the Rockford Symphony 1955-56. He was practicing in Terre Haute when his instructor soon got him an audition. He then joined in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra 1956-57. He was then recruited to The Charleston, West Virginia Symphony 1957-1959. The Norfolk Symphony Orchestra 1959-1965 and The Richmond, Virginia Symphony orchestra (1959-1976), and later the Terre Haute, Indiana Symphony Orchestra 77-2000, as well as the Danville, Illinois Symphony Orchestra 76-2000.

He was also a music teacher in the Pekin, Bloomington and Rockford, Ill. schools 1952-1955. Band director and elementary / junior high instrumental instruction from 1959-1971 in the Richmond, Virginia schools. John was also an Oboe / music instructor at the Virginia Commonwealth University 1959-1976. John then in 1970 Started his own Piano Tuning and repair business in the Richmond, Virginia area. He also recorded and produced several recordings through Director Records for many local schools and performances. He returned to Paris, Illinois in 1977 where he opened the O'Bannon Piano Service and established the O'Bannon Piano Shop July 18, 1979, at 220 West Court Street. The building was formerly the Blanford Tin shop dating back to 1919. Mr. O’Bannon continued to serve the surrounding communities from that location until retirement in 2004.

Mr. O’Bannon enjoyed collecting radios from an early age. He enjoyed antique cars, history, and collecting a variety of items. He was a member of the Paris Presbyterian Church where he served as a deacon. He was active in the community concert program and promoted music education. He was proud to have helped the church obtain the current Steinway concert grand piano as well as the pipe organ installed in 1985. A life member of The American Radio Relay League he continued to follow the advances in radio broadcast technology. He was a member of the Mid Atlantic Antique Radio Club. He was a member of the Virginia Music Educators Association, The American Federation of Musicians AFL-CIO, The Antique Automobile club of America, the Aerospace Education Association and civil air patrol, the National Theater Organ Society, an early member of the local BPOE Lodge, the Antique Wireless Association, the Antique Radio Club of America, and several other groups and organizations. John cared for a number of local senior citizen friends and distant cousins throughout his life in Paris. Some of which included his aunt Adalaide Colson, the George and Herbert Bovell brothers, Ruth and Marie Frey sisters, and so many others.

Most recently he enjoyed his radio and old car hobbies, traveling locally to hear musical performances, going to eat breakfast and dinner with his friends, and spending time with family & loved ones. He really enjoyed going out for a daily ride in the car to enjoy nature and get a Wendy's Frosty or Square Donuts.

Memorial donations may be made to a dementia or brain trauma research charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences at