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James Zachry SHANKS M.D.


1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
SHANKS, M.D., James Z. James Zachry Shanks, M.D. passed away Monday, February 6, 2017. He was born on November 12, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, son of Edgar DeWitt Shanks, M.D. and Zola Thomas Shanks. He grew up in Druid Hills and graduated from Boys High. In 1951 he graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He received his MD degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA in 1955. He completed a rotating internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA and then served as a Captain in the United States Army for 2 years, stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. After he was honorably discharged from the Army he resumed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital for 2 years. He then did an NIH Fellowship in Gastroenterology at Emory University, followed by a Fellowship in Cardiology under Dr. J. Willis Hurst at Grady Memorial Hospital. After finishing his training he began his medical practice in downtown Atlanta and then founded the Shanks Diagnostic Clinic in Sandy Springs. During his career he was on staff at Crawford Long, Georgia Baptist, West Paces Ferry, Northside, and Saint Joseph's Hospitals. He volunteered many hours treating children with cardiac disorders at the Jesse Parker Williams and Egleston Hospitals. He ran a busy medical practice for over fifty years and loved taking the time to develop long lasting patient-doctor relationships. He and his wife of 58 years, Sheila Graf Shanks, were married August 14th, 1954 in Atlanta, GA. He and Sheila raised four children in Atlanta and she worked with him for many years as his medical office manager. They were members of the Ansley Golf Club for 50 years. Their family home was designed by Jim's childhood friend, Ted Levy. Together Jim and Sheila enjoyed traveling the world, as well as spending yearly family vacations at Callaway Gardens. Jim's other favorite hobbies included photography, tennis, swimming, gardening, and watching sports. He is predeceased by his wife, parents, and siblings: Edgar DeWitt Shanks, Jr, M.D. and Zola Thomas Shanks. He is survived by his children: Barbara Shanks Fincher (Ron) of Atlanta, Leslie Shanks Smithwick (Will) of Watkinsville, Betsy Shanks of Alexandria, VA, and James Zachry Shanks, Jr (Cathy) of Atlanta, and grandchildren: Jennifer Lanzer, M.D. (James Crownover, M.D.) of Atlanta, Michael Lanzer of Atlanta, Jeffrey Lanzer of Carrollton, Zach Smithwick of Tucson, AZ, Duncan and Adair Shanks of Alexandria, VA, and Catherine and James Zachry Shanks, III of Atlanta. A memorial service and reception will be Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 4:00pm at Ansley Golf Club, 196 Montgomery Ferry Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The James Z. Shanks M.D. Medical Student Scholarship Fund, 8312T, for medical students at the Medical College of Georgia. Please donate at www.mcgfoundation.org/JamesShanksMemorial or checks may be made payable to the MCG Foundation, 545 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30901. For more information, you can reach the MCG Foundation at (706)823-5500.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Feb. 10, 2017
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