March 31, 1931 – August 14, 2019
Robert (Bob) Neil Shanks, 88, passed away on August 14, 2019, at the VA Hospital in
Des Moines, IA. Bob, the third child of Ralph and Opal (Anderson) Shanks was born in
Lucas County, IA at the family farm on March 31, 1931. The snowy roads had to be
cleared for the day of his birth. Bob joined two older siblings, Walter and Juanita. Bob
attended country schools and Derby High School. He served in the US Marines 1952 –
1954 and was stationed in Hawaii as a Corporal. Bob was an older brother to 7
siblings, Ralph LaVern, Myrtle, John, Charles Edwin, Don, Gail and Larry. His first
marriage to Louise (Boggs) was joined by four children, Carol Jeanne, Janice Kay,
Joyce Renee, and James Robert (the first batch). After the death of Louise in 1974, he
married Jennie (Chandler) Watson on August 7, 1976, in Chariton, IA and was joined
with (the second batch) Jeffrey Scott, Rachelle Kaye, and Jeanne Rae.
After returning from the service, Bob and brother, Ralph, managed the Sinclair station
across from the Chariton post office. He also was employed at Co-op, Kent
Construction and Threlkeld’s. In 1983 after the children were grown, Bob and Jennie
moved to Johnston and he was employed by Iowa Tanklines until retirement. After
retirement from his full time job, he worked part-time at Prairie Meadows, Iowa Events
Center, and Napa. Golf and playing cards were his great relaxing pastimes. Along with
wife, Jennie, they traveled to all 50 states including many trips to Texas spending time
with family, Alaska, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Survivors include wife, Jennie, children, Carol Jeanne (Fabio) Finocchiaro, Jan Bahr,
Joyce (Kurt) Johnson, Jim (Patty) Shanks, Jeff (Margy) Watson, Rachelle (Bill) Diehl,
and Jeanne Watson; 15 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 2 additional greatgrandchildren
to join the Shanks family this fall.
Other surviving family members include sisters-in-law, Jean Shanks, Judy Shanks,
Annie Shanks, Vera Black, JoAnn Parker (Ron), Naomi Chandler, and Donna
Preceding Bob in death were his parents, brothers, baby Fred, Ed, John, Don, and Gail;
brothers-in-law, Bill Briner and Norm Owens.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church in
There's still time to send flowers to the Graveside Service at the Norwood Cemetery at 10:30 AM on August 20, 2019.
Directly place your order here and save money on wire service fees. Our system automatically takes care of scheduling the delivery with our local florist to meet the upcoming service.