Obituary: Gene Shank, 83, of Ludington.

June 23, 2022

Gene Shank

Obituary: Gene Shank, 83, of Ludington.

Gene O. Shank, 83, of Ludington passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. He was born March 17, 1939 in Palestine, Ohio, to Claytus and Katherene (Harshman) Shank. Gene graduated from Ludington High School in 1957 and he went on to attend Western Michigan University and received bachelor’s of arts degree in education. He then completed a master’s of arts degree in guidance and counseling from Northern Michigan University.

Gene married Diane Helber on August 22, 1964 in Ludington. Together they raised two children. Gene taught and coached basketball for 35 years starting at St. Ignace High School, moved to Petoskey and then retired from O.J. DeJonge Junior High School (Ludington Area Schools) in 1996 after 22 years.  He was a lifelong coach and role model, successful at getting the most out of his team while creating meaningful relationships with his players. 

He will be greatly missed by his wife, Diane; his children, Thad (Jen) Shank and Megan Maltbie; his granddaughters, Madilyn Shank, Katherene Shank, Julia Maltbie and Erin Maltbie; his twin brother, Dean (Sue) Shank; and a sister-in-law, Mary Ann Perkins.

A memorial gathering will be held Monday, June 27, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oak Grove Funeral Home in Ludington. A time of sharing will start at noon.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Hospice of Michigan or the Ludington Education Association (LEA) Scholarship Fund.

Gene had a way with words.  The family invites everyone to share their favorite  “Shankism” on the funeral home website,, or at the gathering. These will be cherished memories.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington.

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