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ISHA Past President 1960-62 - James C. Shanks - Obituary

02 Oct 2015 3:30 PM | Ann Ninness (Administrator)

James Clements Shanks, PhD, 93, Indianapolis, a Professor Emeritus at Indiana University Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, went peacefully to the Lord on September 26, 2015. He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 50 years, Dottie Coyle Shanks. Survivors include his daughters Barb (Andy) Qualls of Bloomington, Carol (Greg) Foulke of Indianapolis, and Betsy (Paul) Grocki of Carmel; grandchildren Bethany and Cassie Qualls, Kevin and Brad Foulke, and PJ and Sam Grocki; sister Janet Foster; and several nieces and nephews.

Jim was a veteran of WWII and proudly served in the 9th Bomb Group, 313th Wing, US Air Force. An alumna of Michigan State University, he held graduate degrees from Denver (MA ’49) and Northwestern (PhD ’57) Universities. 

Dr. Shanks was a professor of Speech Pathology in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, at the IU Medical School from 1955 to 1988. He served on the faculty of the orthodontic division of the Oral Facial Development at the IU School of Dentistry from 1960 to 2009 and also taught at Butler University.

“Uncle Jim”, as he was fondly known, had a special interest in speech of persons who lost the larynx by surgery, usually from cancer. He presented more than 300 seminars/workshops around the world and authored some 60 professional publications. He was a Fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association, past president of the Indiana Speech and Hearing Association and member of the International Association of Laryngectomies, from which he was awarded Master Clinician.

Jim was eternally optimistic, never met a stranger, and joyfully lived a life of service to others. He was a long-time member of First-Meridian Heights Presbyterian church, where he served as an Elder and Deacon and loved participating in Mariners, playing bridge and singing in the Chancel Choir. Other volunteer activities included mentoring high school students for the Executive Service Corps and radio reading to the blind for IRIS at WFYI.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, October 9 at 10:30am at First-Meridian Heights Presbyterian Church, 4701 North Central Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46205 with visitation immediately following. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the First-Meridian Heights Memorial Fund.

To support and empower members to provide the highest quality, life changing communication, swallowing and hearing services to the people of the State of Indiana.

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