Obituaries: Mary Theresa Shank

(SPRINGFIELD, MA) – Mary Theresa Shank (Staub), 91, of Wilbraham, Mass., formerly of Bristol, Conn., died at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease.


Theresa was born and raised in York, Penn., the youngest of Edward and Catherine (Klunk) Staub’s seven children. She graduated in 1944 from William Penn High School in York, Penn., and began corresponding with a young man heading off to World War II. When Curtis Shank returned from the war in 1947, they wed at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in York and set up housekeeping just across town. When Curt’s job brought him to Connecticut, they moved to Bristol, settling on French Street, where they raised their two children.


Theresa and Curt made Bristol their home for more than half a century. Theresa was employed by the City of Bristol in the Tax Office for 20 years. She was a communicant of the Church of Saint Matthew where she was a member of the Ladies Guild and the Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association. In addition, she was a member of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary of Bristol.


Theresa was kind to a fault and returned even the most barbed word with loving kindness. Her green thumb was evident to anyone who passed their Sherman Park home. She boiled and buttered the life out of most vegetables, but made the creamiest mac and cheese and most velvety chocolate pudding. She played the piano by ear her whole life. Even as the disease stole her memories, Theresa continued to play the piano and would proudly tell listeners, “I never took a lesson.”


Theresa was predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Curtis Christian Shank. She is survived by their son Curtis Edward Shank and his partner Carol Hunt of Plainville, Conn., and their daughter Catherine Myszkowski and her husband Francis of Wilbraham, Mass.  She is also survived by her grandchildren Jennifer Myszkowski of Holyoke, Mass., Tesia (Myszkowski) Pollock of Hampden, Mass., Kirstin (Shank) Rossi of Eau Claire, Wis., and Kaelyn (Shank) Furdon of Torrington, Conn.; her great-grandchildren Maya Myszkowski of Wilbraham, Mass., and Jacob and William Rossi of Eau Claire, Wis.; and a score of nieces and nephews.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Matthew Church, 120 Church Ave. in Forestville, CT on Sat., May 6, 2017, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those wishing to do so make a contribution to the Church of St. Matthew or the Alzheimer’s Association in the name of the deceased.


To leave an online message of condolence, share a memory or a photo, please visit Theresa’s memorial webpage at