The Heroines

Maxine Shank

is honored with a Medium Paver from Sally Shank Luallen.

 Maxine  Shank Georgia Maxine Shank was born in 1915 in Stafford County, Kansas. She was the oldest of six girls: her youngest sister was born after their father's untimely death. A Depression-era bride, she tells fascinating stories of hardship her children never had to endure. Mom married Albert Isaac Shank, Sr., three months after their high school graduation. Together they raised four children: Reba Maxine Shank Smotherman, Sally Shank Luallen, Cyndee Shank Ragland Baker, and Albert Isaac Shank, Jr.

Maxine Shank made an enormous difference in both Liberal and the state of Kansas. She is credited with starting the Girl Scouts of Liberal, the Arts Council, and the Mental Health Association. A liberated female before it was fashionable, a fierce and outspoken leader for most worthwhile community organizations from Community concerts to Sunday School, from PTA to the Seward County Community College. The Chamber of Commerce honored her and Dad as Outstanding Citizens. The honors and awards are many, but the real center of Maxine Shank's world is family, following by gardening and art.

A true view of Mom may be indicated best by two anecdotes. In the 1960's, when the world finally acknowledged overpopulation could mean chaos, I talked with Mom about whether or not to bring another child into the world, what with all the dire predictions. I wondered "what if the world is a horrible, desolate place while my children live?" Her surprised look at me was topped only by her reply: "What makes you think they'd have any less of the love of God than you?" When faced with an unexpected move, I asked for advice about one of her loves--gardening. I asked, "I just planted all my spring bulbs, can I dig them up and take them with me?" She quickly responded, "Sally, you absolutely may not move them, we are to leave the world more beautiful because we were here." And that's what she's done.

Submitted by Sally Shank Luallen

September 18, 1998