Clifford Lee Shanks


Clifford Lee Shanks, age 89, of Martinsville, Ill., passed away at 3:15 a.m. on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Signature Healthcare in Terre Haute, Ind., where he was recovering from pneumonia. He was born July 26, 1928, in Martinsville, Ill., to William Lester Shanks and Edna Mae Barr Shanks.
Clifford attended Frogpond School and Martinsville High School. He quit school his freshman year to support his mother, sister, aunt and grandmother during the Depression. He was an avid rabbit hunter in his youth and sold rabbits to help feed his family. Clifford farmed the land all of his life and still baled hay last summer at the age of 89 years. He loved the land whether he was working in the fields, hunting mushrooms, caring for his fruit trees and grape arbor, planting garden or mowing the yard. He loved his cats and the girls' horse, Rosie. Clifford always made time to help a neighbor and share the bounties of his garden and fruit trees. He was very proud, teaching me to can and preserve the bounties of the garden harvest, especially when blue ribbons were awarded and I competed at the Illinois State Fair.
Dad developed his own variety of group for soybeans. It was called Shanks Super X. They were wind resistant and you could plant them thin. He did very well with them and so did many of his neighbors. He was getting 70-bushel yields when it was common to get 50.
Clifford loved old and unusual farm machinery. He enjoyed traveling to Elnora, Ind., to their annual tractor show to see all the tractors. He compiled eight scrapbooks of old tractors and farm machinery that he loved to share with his friends when they stopped by. You always knew when Pop liked you, if he showed you his tractor books.
Approximately six years ago. Dad began spending time with his loving companion, Sherry. She brought joy to his life and he truly loved her. They put up fruits and vegetables, baled hay and enjoyed each other's company. He loved taking her to West Union Café on Friday nights and always commented that "she knows everybody."
Dad loved me, Dave and his granddaughters dearly. He loved to tell everyone of Hannah and Courtney's achievements and show off their pictures. Dad and Dave worked outside together on the baler, chainsaws and other equipment. Dave even purchased a chainsaw just like Clifford's.
Clifford is survived by a daughter, Susann Shanks and fiancé David Stewart of Terre Haute, Ind.; loving companion, Sherry Littlejohn of Martinsville, Ill.; granddaughters, Hannah Bullard and Courtney Bullard of Terre Haute, Ind.; stepsister, Juanita McNary of Marshall, Ill.; and many wonderful nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, step-grandchildren and other cherished family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lowell Shanks and wife Marie; sister, Geraldine Shanks; stepsister, Marjorie Ulrey and husband Graydon; stepbrother-in-law, Alkie McNary; and stepsons, Dewey Brock, Floyd Brock and Everett Brock.
"Special thanks" to Dad's nephew, Richard Shanks; niece, Cathy Gilbert and her husband Bill; great-nieces, Mindy and Stacy Gutherie; and Sherry's daughter, Lora Greenlee and husband John, for all their love and support in caring for "Pop."
Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at Greenwell Funeral Home, with the Rev. Gene Southard officiating. Burial will follow in the Baird Cemetery, Martinsville, Ill. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday at Greenwell Funeral Home, 30 N. Washington St., Martinsville, Ill.
Memorial donations may be made to the Martinsville Veterans Memorial Park c/o Don Baird, 11302 N. 700th St., Martinsville, IL 62442.
Greenwell Funeral Home, Martinsville, Ill., is in charge of the arrangements. To view the full obituary, send a condolence message, light a candle or post photos, visit:
Published on March 23, 2018
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