Marie F. Shank

Marie F. Shank

GUILDERLAND CENTER — Described by her daughter as “stern but loving,” Marie F. Shank was an immaculate housekeeper and a deeply religious woman.

She died on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. She was 87.

Born in Albany, to the late Frank and Ada (née Broadhurst) Hendrick on Nov. 22, 1925, Mrs. Shank was raised in the city. Her mother was a homemaker, tending to six children, and her father worked as an electrician for the railroad.

Always religious, Mrs. Shank made her confirmation in 1938 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Albany. She was given a Bible then that she read all her life.

Mrs. Shank loved living in Altamont, said her daughter, Barbara Peters. She attended St. John’s Lutheran Church on Maple Avenue where she taught Sunday school.

“She loved Keen Hilton,” said Mrs. Peters, referring to the long-time minister of the church who has since retired and moved with his wife to central New York to be near family. “He came back for our father’s funeral in 2005,” said Mrs. Peters.

Mrs. Shank was active in the Altamont Women’s League, bowling at Weaver’s Lane. “Half the women in the village did that,” said Mrs. Peters.

Mrs. Shank liked the way neighbors looked out for each other in the village. “You couldn’t ride your bike anyplace without someone calling your mother,” said Mrs. Peters, re-creating a conversation from the past where her mother might have told a caller that she was riding her bike to the post office.

Describing her childhood home, Mrs. Peters said, “It was always very clean. You could eat off the floor. We had our set schedule.” Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays were for vacuuming and laundry while Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays were for dusting and more vacuuming. Sunday was for the Lord.

“Dinner was always shortly after five,” said Mrs. Peters, noting that her father worked just a mile up the road and was on time for the family meal.

“Mom always had a full meal,” she said.

As her children grew and had children of their own, Mrs. Shank enjoyed her grandchildren and then her great-grandchildren.

“She loved her grandchildren,” said Mrs. Peters. “My daughter was her first grandchild. She toured the country with them in their motor home,” she said of her parents.

Mrs. Shank answered needs. “When my daughter had twins, she helped a lot. They’re 16 now,” Mrs. Peters said of the twins.

Mrs. Shank will be buried with the Bible she was given for her 1938 confirmation, when she was 13, and used all the years between.


Marie F. Shank is survived by her daughter, Barbara Peters, and her husband, Kerry; by her son, Bruce Shank, and his wife, Diana; by her brother, Frank Hendrick, and his wife Marion; by her sister-in-law, Jacqueline Hendrick; by her grandchildren, Kellie, Bryan, Gerald, Kira, Jacob and Jason; by her seven great-grandchildren; and by several nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Harold Shank, died before her, as did her siblings, Edward, John, Mildred, and Dorothy.

Family and friends are invited to calling hours at the Fredendall Funeral Home at 199 Main Street in Altamont, on Friday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon. A funeral service will follow at noon. Interment will be at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Colonie.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN  38105-3678 or to the American Diabetes Association, Post Office Box 11454, Alexandria, VA  22312.

Online condolences may be made at

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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