SHANK, Joanne G., of Oakwood, age 87, died peacefully on Saturday, September 29, at Carlyle House, her home in recent years as she struggled with Alzheimer’s disease. Jo lived a long and happy life, devoted to family and community. She is survived by her husband, Edward L. Shank (Ted), whom she encouraged and loved during their more than 63 years of marriage, son, Craig, of Seattle, and his wife, Meredith, daughter, Anne Hilton of Oakwood, and her husband, David; grandchildren, Christopher Shank, of Kalamazoo, Sophie Shank, of Boston, and Stuart Hilton, of Oakwood. She is also survived by her sister, Sally Zoyiopoulos, of Marion, Michigan; her brother, James M. Galbraith, of Waterford, Michigan, and many nieces and nephews, all of whom were her favorites.
Jo was born in Detroit and grew up there and in nearby Mt. Clemens. The first in her family to attend college, she proudly accepted a scholarship to the University of Michigan, where she majored in English and received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. While studying for her master’s degree she met and married Ted, then a law student with a very uncertain future. After both graduated Ted persuaded her to leave her beloved Michigan lakes and return with him to Dayton, where they have lived since 1957. Jo began a new life in Dayton, raising children, working in the education field, helping and supporting Ted as he developed his law practice, and contributing to her adopted community. After teaching at Colonel White High School and the University of Dayton, Jo combined her devotion to family, work and community activities with several years of commuting to Cincinnati, where she earned a Doctor of Education degree. Her work in education also included teaching school in Mt. Clemens and Willow Run, Michigan and Arlington, Virginia, and serving as adjunct professor of English at Wright State University, as assistant principal at Greenon High School and for many years as assistant principal at Miamisburg High School. After retiring from Miamisburg High School, Jo continued her involvement in education, serving for several years as a supervisor of student teachers at the University of Dayton. Jo regularly and enthusiastically participated in community activities, serving on many civic and professional boards and committees, among which were the first admissions committee for the Wright State University Medical School, the Oakwood School Board and Wright Memorial Public Library Board.
Jo’s was a happy, productive and wonderful life. She left a husband, children and grandchildren whose lives have been enriched by her devotion to them and to her community. Their lives have been more joyful and meaningful because of her good humor and guidance, her optimism and encouragement, her toleration and often suppression of proposed family follies, and her application of common sense in all family matters. Her discipline and direction were often more charming because of her occasional professorial absent-mindedness, and were frequently more effective because of the stubborn gene which she inherited from her Scotch immigrant father.
The members of Jo’s family thank her many tennis, bridge and other friends who graciously encouraged her continued participation as her mind gradually and inexorably began to fail from the cruel disease with which she was afflicted. Jo’s family also is grateful to the staff at Carlyle House and to Dr. Larry Lawhorne for the thoughtful and attentive care Jo has received for more than three years. For any who wish to make a contribution in Jo’s memory please make a gift to The Oakwood Schools Foundation, PO Box 351, Oakwood, OH 45409, or to Wright Library Foundation, 1776 Far Hills Avenue, Oakwood, OH 45419, or to the charity of your choice.
Friends of Jo and her family are encouraged to join the family in a celebration of her life at noon, Saturday, October 12, at Dayton Country Club, 555 Kramer Road, Dayton, Ohio 45419. The family hopes that friends will be present at 12:30 pm for brief family comments.