Lois Marie (Shanks) Gran, 76, of Gordon, died Wednesday, August 5, 2015, in Gordon.
She was born on December 29, 1938—in the old Gordon Hospital at 6th and Main Streets—to Harold and Vera Shanks. She grew up on a farm north of town with her brother Lyle and sister Virginia. While on the farm, she attended Milan School.
She graduated from Gordon High School in 1956 as class salutatorian. She left Gordon to attend Michael Reese Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago. An excellent student with a passion for learning and serving people, Lois completed her studies in three years, was again the salutatorian, and earned designation of registered nurse.
She returned to Gordon to work as a nurse at Gordon Memorial Hospital. An accomplished nurse, her career spanned four decades. She worked in all facets of nursing, yet her true love was in the operating room as a surgical nurse—a position she held for 20 years. An avid reader and disciplined nurse, she devoted much time to continuous learning. She devoured any writing centered on the nursing and medical field. Her calling as a nurse was a lifelong journey and she never tired of it.
In 1961, Lois was united in marriage to Willis Gran, a union that remained for 54 years.
Lois was actively involved in several ministries at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. She taught religious education to young people, assisted as a greeter, was active in the Altar Society, served as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and was a model for young couples on what a strong marriage was and what marriage meant.
She was a skilled bowler, rolling more than a dozen games scoring over 200. Often she won individual and team championship awards. She loved to dance, and with Willis, it was a passion they shared for decades. A highlight for Lois was dancing with Willis on center stage at the Gordon City Auditorium before a packed house during a Town and Country celebration. Lois enjoyed her time in card clubs and attending the card parties. As a liaison to the United Blood Services in Rapid City, S.D., Lois coordinated local blood drives, often increasing donation levels each year.
She enjoyed travel throughout the United States, always excited to visit family in Eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Georgia and Texas. A beloved mother, Lois taught her children the value of hard work and discipline. She loved to cook and bake, a skill she passed along to her daughters. On family trips, she always included educational aspects to ensure her children continued to learn, while having fun at the same time.
Lois is preceded in death by her father, Harold Shanks; mother, Vera; and sister, Virginia Hazard. She is survived by her loving husband, Willis; brother Lyle (Bernita) of Golden, Colo.; children David (Caroline) of Glenwood, Iowa; Denise of Austin, Texas; Diane Marks (Matt) of Frisco, Texas; Damon (Ann) of Cumming, Georgia; and Dustin (Amber) of Omaha, Nebraska. Grandchildren Robert Gran; Brian, Kyle and Benjamin Marks; and Emma and Elise Gran.
Memorials may be directed to the Multiple Sclerosis National Society, 7101 Newport Avenue, Omaha, NE, 68152 or to a charity of the donor’s choice. The Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 10:00 a.m., at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Gordon. Interment followed at Gordon Cemetery.
Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.