David James Shanks (Jim) of Ponoka, Alberta, passed away peacefully at the age of 77 on Tuesday July 29th, 2014 at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre.
Jim was born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta to Hugh and Agnes Shanks on December 30th, 1936. He was the baby of six children. He had three sisters that were born in Ireland – Ethel, Elizabeth, and Margaret. His parents then came to Canada and had the three boys, Hughie, Robert and Jim. They remained in the Wetaskiwin area.
At a very young age of eight, Jim’s mom suddenly passed away and his dad went back to Ireland and was killed in an accident. He was raised by the McKay family of Wetaskiwin, who were his extended family for the rest of his life.
Jim attended school at the Grand View School, and worked very hard at a young age on the farm. While riding to school one day on his horse, he fell off and broke his arm, which he was never able to straighten again.
Jim’s first taste of employment was on the Rigs at the age of 16, after 4 years, he decided to make a change to truck driving. Jim was a professional oilfield truck driver for an incredible 45 years for Moffat, Kapps, and Mullen Trucking. At the age of 65 he changed from driving 18 wheels to 6 wheels, he bought a Pilot Truck and had his own business contracting for Mullen Trucking for 10 more years and retired at the age of 75.
He met Connie Kramer in 1961 and they were married in 1962. They then welcomed their first daughter Darlene Marie in July of 1962, followed by their second daughter Beverly Ann in September of 1963 and third daughter Brenda Lee Krista in December of 1964, all born in the Wetaskiwin Hospital. Jim, Connie and their girls moved to Edmonton in early 1967. He wanted to try one more time for a boy and was blessed with twin girls, Sandra Lynn and Debra Louise in June of 1967. At that point they felt their family was complete. After all, there was only 1 bathroom and 6 females!
He raised his family in Edmonton until the summer of 1977 when he moved them to Connie’s family farm to help look after her dad, August Kramer. He became a hobby farmer raising sheep, with the help of his son in law Ed, caring for them when he was on the road.
In 1985, after the girls were on their own, they moved to Red Deer. Sadly a short time later, they separated and he moved to Leduc. In 2007, to be closer to his girls and their families, Jim moved to Ponoka. On his days off work, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He spent a lot of time out west of Ponoka helping Ed and the boys with the cattle, driving silage truck and enjoying home cooked meals.
He was an avid gardener in his retirement years and was always so proud of his flowers, apple trees, and tomatoes. He looked forward to his daily A&W coffee outings, socializing with his many friends.
In October of 2013 he became ill, and was later diagnosed with lung cancer. He spent most of his time in and out of the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre until his passing.
Jim was very proud of his five daughters, Darlene (deceased) and son Brandon; Beverly (Ed) Wilson of Ponoka, Ken (Kathryn) and their children Morgan, Marlin and Klyde; Chris (Donna-Mae) and their children Emma, Wyatt and Brooklyn; Kyle (Angela) and their children Jolene and Scarlet; Brittani Wilson (Lance) and her son Jesse. Brenda (Chris) Nichols of Stettler, Jillian (Ryan) and their daughter Alyssa; Cole Nichols (Kristy). Sandra (Miles) Pyret of Ponoka and daughter Sydney. Debra (Brad) Kroeker of Ponoka, and Debra’s daughters Kimberly Wass (Dustin); Kelli Wass (Tanner) and Lindsay Wass.
He is survived by his sisters Ethel Ward of Calgary and Margaret Buker of Mission BC and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, his siblings Hughie, Elizabeth, Robert and his daughter Darlene.
A special thank you to Dr. Chan and all of the staff at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre for their amazing care.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Alberta Cancer Society, Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre or donor’s choice in Jim’s memory.
A Celebration of Life was held at the Ponoka Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Condolences to Jim’s family may be made by visiting www.womboldfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements entrusted to
PONOKA FUNERAL HOME
~ A Wombold Family Funeral Home ~