Fern Shank
Fern Shank

Obituary of Fern A. Shank

Fern Arlene was born in the very early morning to Lola Nofziger (Birky) in Shickley, Nebraska.The family moved to Oregon when Fern was about two years old and settled in the Lebanon/Albany area; Fern grew up calling Albany home.At age seven, she became big sister to brother Robert (Bob), whom she adored.Upon graduating from Albany Union High School in 1961 she attended Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Virginia.While at EMC she met the love of her life, Wayne “Ed” Shank of Hubbard, OR.Fern and Ed married on December 28, 1965 in Albany and moved to Portland shortly after.They were married for 45 years.They welcomed daughter, Natalie, in 1977. In 1981, they had a house built in Tigard and moved there to make their home. Fern worked most of her life, starting with helping her mom’s pie baking and delivery business.In Portland, Fern found her career as an administrative assistant working for the State of Oregon, law firms, banks, and a school district.She retired in 2010. Fern had a passion for people and spreading positivity; she was an eternal optimist and “silver lining finder” in all situations.She loved collecting Hard Rock Café pins, Coca-Cola memorabilia, and all things Mickey Mouse.Trips to Disneyland with family, friends, or Natalie’s high school band were her favorite vacations.Fern was quite the hostess, known especially for her Annual Family Christmas Buffet and hand decorated birthday cakes (and one very special wedding cake).She also loved to sew, crochet, and craft.Between clothes, Halloween costumes, baby gifts, Christmas stockings and ornaments, she usually had some sort of project “in the works.” Fern loved the Lord deeply and had a strong faith life.As a member of the Tigard Church of God and Southlake Church she was known to always have a bright smile, lifesavers to share, sticky notes to make into tiny boats and airplanes, and a great dip recipe to tell you about… “Have I told you about my dip? You take a pint of sour cream and a packet of taco seasoning; mix it up together. It’s great on all sorts of chips and vegetables!” Fern developed dementia and began living in Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities in 2014.Her fun spirit and friendly nature never dimmed and she was often found doing Sudoku or Word Find puzzles, playing Bingo, reading the paper, or sharing her recipe with everyone.Fern passed away at age 75, on November 13, 2018 at Bonaventure Salmon Creek in Vancouver, Washington.She was preceded in death by her husband, Wayne, mother Lola, and step-father, William.She is survived by her daughter Natalie of Vancouver, WA, brother Bob (LeAnn) of Albany, OR, brother-in-law Dale (MaryAnn) of Canby, OR, and sisters-in-law Carol and Nancy (Joe) of Woodburn, OR.She is also survived by her ten nieces and nephews and their families, numerous cousins, and a host of long-time friends. Fern will be laid to rest beside Wayne at Robert Bird Pioneer Cemetery in Wilsonville, OR following a funeral at Southlake Church (West Linn, OR) on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 11:00am.
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