John Richard Shank Jr., 66, passed away on October 7, 2019.
John was born on September 15, 1953 in Springfield, Missouri to John Sr. and Carolyn Shank. After graduating from high school John moved to the Kansas City area to further his education. He attended William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and the University of Missouri Kansas City Law School. During this time he married the love of his life, Carol Letterman, and they had a son, Brian. After law school John worked in private practice and served as an assistant public defender in Clay County for over four years. He joined Michael Gunn in his law practice in 1981. They practiced law together, along with many other esteemed colleagues, for 38 years. He also served for many years as an attorney for the Clay County Juvenile Office. John’s Christian faith was a central part of his life. He attended and taught Sunday school at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church and Second Baptist Church in Liberty, Missouri. John’s church family was a source of great strength and blessing to John and his family, especially during Carol’s long battle with cancer and his own trials with ALS. Throughout his life, and especially over the last year, John approached life with grace, humility, and a sense of humor.
John is preceded in death by his father John “Dick” Shank and beloved wife Carol. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his son, Brian (Jessica) Shank; mother, Carolyn “Sue” Shank; sister, Brenda (Ben) Dasal; brother, Michael Shank; stepson, Austin (Leslie) Walsh; and many friends and colleagues. A Celebration of Life will be held at Second Baptist Church on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 7:00pm, with visitation beginning at 6:00pm. Private burial following. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the ALS Association Mid-America Chapter or Second Baptist Church.