Luther D. Shank III(1944 - 2017)

On July 18, 2017, Luther D. Shank III (a.k.a. L.D. The Man to See)-verbose and loquacious, gregarious and jovial, piercing baby blue eyes with rosy red cheeks-commenced a new and glorious adventure.

L.D. was born February 25, 1944, in Kent General Hospital, which had been built on land donated to the town by his great-great grandfather, Manlove Hayes. He was the paternal grandson of Dover's first City Manager, Luther Shank, and maternal grandson of the 25-year Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture, Ralph C. Wilson. So, it was only natural that a deep love of the First State's capital city and all things Delaware be engrained in his essence.

L.D. was educated at the Phelps School in Malvern, PA, before attending Wesley College and the University of Delaware. After serving his country with pride and distinction as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he returned to Delaware to call it home.

He was a Rotarian for a quarter of a century and a five time Paul Harris Fellow. He served on several boards including: Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, The Biggs Museum of the American Art, The John Dickinson Mansion, The Barnes Foundation, and the committee formerly known as "Greater Dover." His motto while serving was to "give, get, or get off," and he was not afraid to lead by example.

As a youth, he spent summers in Rehoboth, and as an adult, when Dewey Beach was really Whiskey Beach South, he became famous for his all-weekend "BLT" cookouts. (Those who attended know who you are.)

For ten years, he was the Real Property Administrator for the State of Delaware and was recognized for his success in optimizing energy efficiency at the Carvel State building in Wilmington. He enjoyed active participation in the Building Owners and Managers Association.

He spent his 45-year real estate career at various brokerages, always bringing professional success and an infinite amount of laughs. One of L.D.'s first real estate investments was a swampy piece of woods east of Dover. Most thought he had lost his mind. When he sold it a year later, he had doubled his money. As he would often say, "Smart or lucky? Take lucky every time."

It would not be an overstatement to call anyone who came in contact with his infectious, positive attitude and unconditional love just that: lucky.

He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Donna Gaver Shank; his son, Luther D. Shank IV a.k.a. Morgan; his sister, Connie Wahlig; and his brother-in-law Eric Gaver and his wife Diane Gaver. His nieces and nephews: Beth Nolan, Anne Lee, Cort Wahlig, Charlie Wahlig, Justine Gaver Magariel and Curtis Gaver. He is also survived by many cousins in Delaware, and beyond.

L.D. believed that in life you can either "level up or level down," so in lieu of flowers, please support a charity for Delaware, not simply in Delaware. He was also very fond of the Delaware Community Foundation P.O. Box 1636 Wilmington, DE 19899.

A celebration of his life will be held at Triad Farms, 999 Long Point Road Dover, DE 19901 on Saturday, August 19th, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.-bring anecdotes and witty repartee.

Letters of condolences may be sent and guest book signed at www.torbertfuneral.com.

Funeral Home

Torbert Funeral Chapels - Bradford Street
61 South Bradford Street Dover, DE 19904
(302) 734-3341

Published in Middletown Transcript from July 26 to Aug. 4, 2017