Luella Mae Shank (nee Carson) was born May 1, 1927 to Walter and Cora Carson of Pickering, Ontario. Luella was the oldest of 8 children - Lorne, June (deceased at age 2), Ruth, Allen (deceased 2021), Ray, Grant and John. They grew up on the Carson family dairy farm located off Salem Road in Pickering. All of Luella’s family worked on the farm as they grew up and Allen and Grant eventually took it over. All her siblings married and most had 3 children each, Luella had 4 and John had 2. Her family remained close through the years, regularly getting together at Thanksgiving and after Christmas for large family get-togethers. Recently the family was pleasantly surprised to discover they had an older brother, Robert Brown (deceased) who grew up near Buffalo, NY.
Luella did well in school and was the first of her family to go to university. She had to work for a couple of years to save money towards it, then went to University of Toronto for Physiotherapy, graduation in 1953, working with polio patients. Through a U of T friend, Jean (Demiak) Dyszuk, she met Robert Shank who was a Mining Engineering student at Queen’s University. Robert was from Markham, Ontario. On graduating, Luella moved to Sudbury, Ontario to work because that was where Robert went to work and they planned to settle there for a few years.
Luella and Robert married at Mount Zion United Church, just down the road from the family farm, on June 12, 1954 and they moved to Levack, Ontario, in the Sudbury area. Luella quit work when Jeffrey was born in 1956 and then Jennifer in1959. In August of 1959 they moved to Elsa, Yukon, a small mining community on the side of a mountain in the middle of the Yukon, living in a pan abode (log) house, heated with air from the mine shaft. They lived in the Yukon for 5 years and while there Andrew was born 1961.
In 1964 they moved to Toronto, where Catherine was born in 1965 and a year later they moved to La Ronge, Saskatchewan for a few years. In 1969 Robert took a job with the federal government in Ottawa, and they bought their first and only owned-house, settling in the newly developing community of Kanata.
Luella remained a stay-at-home mother, developing many interests as her four children grew up - gardening, sewing clothes, quilting, church, walking with friends, and some cross-country skiing. They bought a cottage property in 1970 on Birch Island in Sand Lake, and were both very hands-on in the building that went on there. Luella and Robert were both avid bridge players, each belonging to several bridge groups. They were long-time subscribers to plays at the Kanata Theatre and the National Arts Centre. Through the years Luella and Robert travelled the world quite extensively, saying proudly they had been to all the continents at least once.
One interest Luella developed which grew into a serious passion was researching the genealogy of her family. She spent many hours at the Archives Library in downtown Ottawa going through the microfiche files stored there and she eventually published five books showing the genealogical trees of the families of her maternal and paternal grandparents going back to 1774. Robert developed the same interest in his roots and together they were able to take numerous “tombstoning” trips through Canada, US and Great Britain.
Luella was raised in the United Church of Canada and her religion remained an important part of her life, currently a long-standing member of the Kanata United Church. For many years Luella and Robert were actively involved in the church-based Marriage Encounter organization. Heartfelt thanks to Rev. Cindy Casey of KUC for her kindness, comfort and support to Luella, Robert and the rest of the family.
The family would also like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the staff and residents of the Chartwell Empress Retirement Residence and the kind and caring C4 nursing staff and palliative care team at Queensway Carleton Hospital.