Karen Shanks, 54, Merrimac

March 6, 2019

Karen M. Shanks, 54, Merrimac, lost her battle with mental illness Saturday, March 2, 2019, at her home.

She was born Feb. 23, 1965, in Chicago, Illinois. Karen graduated from Sauk Prairie High School, Class of 1983. She enjoyed being a caregiver and formerly worked as a certified nursing assistant for Maplewood Nursing Home in Sauk City and in the Madison area for many years. Karen later did prep cooking at both Devil’s Head and at Petro in Portage, with her mom. From a young age she enjoyed music and the performing arts. She participated in marching band and the many musicals at school. She had a love for musicals with her favorites “The Wizard of Oz” and the “Sound of Music” playing through the house for many years. Karen could often be found watching movies, was an avid reader and wrote often in her journals. She had a love for snacking on her peanut butter M&M’s, lemon drops or beef jerky. Karen was a member of the Merrimac Methodist Church.

Karen is survived by her father, Alan Shanks; sister, Shellie (John) Benish Jr., and brother, Bill Shanks; three nephews, Tyler Shanks, Kyle and John III “JJ” Benish; niece, Jamie (Chad) Reihbrandt; and great-niece, Alice; her very special friend, Adele Ladkin from England; and her faithful pups, Poppy and Buddy.

She was preceded in death by her mom, Cindy Shanks, on March 15, 2018.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16, 2019, at Merrimac United Methodist Church, 25 Church St., Merrimac, with Pastor Roxi Gnatzig officiating. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service with luncheon to follow at the Merrimac Village Hall. Interment will be held at a later date in the Merrimac Oak Hill Cemetery.

Online condolences may be made at hooversonfuneralhomes.com.