The Heroines

Cyndee Shank

is honored with a Medium Paver from Sally Shank Luallen.

 Cyndee  Shank B.M.E. Wichita State University, 1965, Cum Laude
M.M.E. Wichita State University, 1972

I watched my sister, Cyndee Shank, teaching music at Isely Elementary when we were both younger. She was the only "whitey" in the room; an outstanding, excellent musician, the finest of educators.

I stood with her as the body of Oliver Kent Ragland, a 1965 business graduate from Wichita State University and her high school sweetheart, came home to us from the Air Force base in Germany where he died as an F4 pilot.

She has watched her own body as it has been pummeled by rheumatoid arthritis: she has lived with chronic pain and surgeries to keep her walking and moving. We have noticed her struggles too and wept at night, grieving for her pain.

Rather than retreating to a couch, she has become an arthritis educator, traveling all over the world training doctors and interns how to recognize, examine, and understand rheumatoid arthritis. She counsels patients at the Cook County Hospital in Dallas, Texas, giving them courage to live with the same dignity she personifies.

Her list of accomplishments is lengthy, including campus honors. She was named one of Parnassus' Outstanding Students in 1965. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta. She received one of ten Kodaly Fellowships, funded by the National Council on the Arts for a year's study in Hungary. She has lectured extensively regarding the Kodaly method and served as a clinician.

Cyndee married John Robert Baker, a native of New York state, while he was an Air Force pilot based at McConnell Air Force Base. She now lives in Fort Worth, TX, with John and son Spencer, and continues to inspire her family and friends.

Submitted by Sally Shank Luallen

September 18, 1998