She was born Nancy Ashton Gregory on Aug. 20, 1916 in Stovall, N.C. She received a bachelor’s degree from Longwood Teachers College in Virginia and worked in education for 65 years. Her last position was in the attendance office at Garfield High School, finally retiring in 2003 at the age of 86.
She was married to Paul W. Shank, who taught chemistry at Point Loma High School for 30 years and who died in 2002. The couple met when both were teaching in the Fort Knox area in Tennessee. They had no children.
In addition to working full time, she was a valuable volunteer for a number of local charities. She volunteered for the Travelers Aid Society for more than 30 years, staffing the information booths at Lindbergh Field and the Santa Fe Railroad Depot. She regularly served as an election-day poll worker, greeting voters and giving out ballots for 30 elections, continuing until she was well into her 90s. She was a loyal member of the Point Loma Democratic Club and a member of the Save Our Heritage Organisation.
She loved cats and estimated that she had owned 70 cats during her lifetime. She was a financial supporter of the Feral Cat Coalition and the Humane Society.
“She was most definitely a special and spunky lady,” said her friend, Kelli Patri. “She was very loved and will be very missed.”
She was buried in her family’s cemetery in Stovall, N.C. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 18 at
2 p.m. at the Point Loma Assembly Hall, 3035 Talbot St. Parking is allowed at the San Diego County Credit Union across the street.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Bone Appetit Cat and Kitten Rescue Center, 4845 Newport Ave., San Diego, 92107, or to the Paul Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 7099, San Diego, 92167.