Joseph M. Shank

Joseph Mitchell Shank passed away on September 27th, 2019, at Advent Health Shawnee Mission, Merriam, Kansas.

Joe was born in Gas City, Indiana, on July 14th, 1921, to Lafe E. Shank and Mary M Strong and grew up in Albany Indiana.  He graduated from Albany High School in 1939, where Joe was a 4-year member of the baseball and basketball teams.  In addition to sports, Joe also worked on the school newspaper and served as senior class president.  After graduating Joe worked as a blueprint boy, a draftsman and a machinist.

In 1941 Joe met the love of his life, Jennita Carol Reed, in the back of bakery in Dunkirk Indiana, the one place in town with a jukebox and dancing on weekend nights.  Jennita and Joe were married on July 24th, 1942, and continued to enjoy dancing during their 60-year marriage.

Joe entered the Army Air Corp on April 15th, 1944, and was honorably discharged May 14, 1946.  While in the Army Air Corp he was trained to fly twin engine aircraft in Texas and California.  After training Joe was assigned to the 316th Troop Carrier Squadron flying C-47s in the Pacific.  He flew supplies and munitions from Hawaii to Guam, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Tarawa, and Okinawa after its capture.  On return trips Joe was responsible for the safe return of his fellow service members to Hawaii.

After his military service, Joe worked as a tool designer for several engineering firms around the country, finally settling in Kansas City.  Joe sold industrial equipment and supplies until he retired in 1985.

At heart Joe was a creator and inventor, he was always looking to make things better eventually acquiring a U.S. patent for his Hinge-mate doorstop.

Joe was a man of faith placing his trust in the Saving Grace of God and serving as a member of Shawnee United Methodist Church.  Growing up during The Great Depression Joe developed a strong work ethic and commitment to family.  He was always willing to regale those around him with stories of days gone by and his life experiences.  Joe’s engaging personality and demeanor allowed him to offer support and advice to others struggling with life’s challenges with gentleness and grace.

Joe is survived by his son Joseph, grandsons Jeff Goodnight (Stephanie Goodnight), Mike Goodnight (Rhonda Goodnight), and David Goodnight (Kelli Goodnight), 6 great grandchildren, and 7 great-great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years Jennita and daughter Judith Goodnight.

Visitation and Funeral Service

Visitation on Thursday from 5-7 pm at Amos Family Funeral Home. Funeral service Friday at 10 am at Amos Family Funeral Home. Burial at Shawnee Mission Memory Gardens.

Memorial Contributions

The family asks that memorial contributions be made to:

Shawnee United Methodist Church
10700 Johnson Drive
Shawnee, KS 66203


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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Sunday, Sep. 29th 2019 | No Comments »

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