Erin J. Banton
Erin Jessica Banton, age 38, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 2, 2019 while surrounded with immense love shared by her family. Love is what carried Erin through her journey with cancer. Through it all, Erin believed that love beat cancer and love can beat any obstacle in life.
Erin was a true warrior throughout her nearly four-year long journey living with metastatic breast cancer. She took pride in sharing her story publicly in order to help others also experiencing a cancer diagnosis. Erin left a legacy for others to follow and admire for years to come. She will always live on in the many people in her life she touched by her kindness, compassion, gratitude, selflessness, strength and love. She was an exceptional human being who will be greatly missed from this world.
Erin was born on Nov. 27, 1980 and raised in Traverse City, where she graduated from Traverse City West High School in 1999. She loved her hometown and took pride in being raised in beautiful Northern Michigan.
Erin had a passion to help others and loved children. She graduated from Western Michigan University with her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education in 2004. In 2009 she received her master's degree in the art of teaching from Marygrove College. Erin taught reading recovery, kindergarten and first grade during her 10-year teaching career with TCAPS.
Erin knew at a young age that she wanted to be a mother. She took pride in raising her three beautiful boys alongside her high school sweetheart and husband, Travis. Travis and Erin shared a special relationship over their 21 years together. They were always a great team and successfully overcame any obstacles that were thrown to them. Cancer was definitely the biggest hurdle, but they both still continued to show love and grace through it all.
Erin is survived by her husband, Travis Banton; and three sons, Carter, Nolan and Griffin. She is also survived by her parents, George and Janice Underwood; and brother, Chad Underwood.
Erin always had a passion for family and loved all of her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, seven nieces and her many in-laws. Family meant the world to Erin, and she was constantly surrounded, supported and loved by them all. She was immensely grateful for her family's love and help shaping her into the person she was.
Erin was preceded in death by her two sets of grandparents, George and Lyleth Underwood and Doug and Dorothy Little.
Erin wants to be remembered by her kind and loving heart. She truly loved everyone. She accepted each person into her life no matter what. She was always the first to help others. Erin had many friends and always opened her heart to let new friends in her life constantly. She would even befriend complete strangers. She was a friend to all. All of her friends throughout her lifetime made a difference in Erin's life. She cared for them deeply and is forever grateful for their love and support through the years.
Erin planned her own celebration of life service, which will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at the Hagerty Center at 6 p.m. At Erin's request, please come as you are and how she remembers you. No formal attire necessary, unless that's what you feel most comfortable in. Erin would have loved to see as many people support her by wearing "TeamBanton" shirts. You can show your support for metastatic breast cancer by wearing pink, blue and/or green. She also loved the colors purple, turquoise and gray. She would not want an all-black funeral ... colors are encouraged! There will be a ceremony to celebrate Erin and all she meant to us followed by a party that everyone is encouraged to attend.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for the college savings plan that has been established for her three young boys. Checks can be made payable to "Erin J. Banton Educational Fund," PO Box 894, Traverse City, MI 49685-0894. You can also contribute to the fund online at Additional opportunities to support Travis and the boys will also be made available in the future.
Any additional donations may be directed to Cowell Family Cancer Center in Erin's name. Or, you may choose to donate to, an organization that Erin was very passionate about, which funds 100 percent of research and support to stage IV metastatic breast cancer.
Please visit to share your memories with the family on Erin's tribute page.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
Published on March 6, 2019


Plant a tree in memory
of Erin
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.
The guestbook expires on June 03, 2019.

Showing 10 of 2 posts

Restore the guestbook to view the 2 more posts by family and friends, and share a memory or message of condolence of your own.