Dr. Jerry P. Shank, past president of the FVMA, passed away on July 15, 2023, at the age of 79. He was raised in Ashland, Ohio, and graduated from Hayesville High School in 1961. In high school, Dr. Shank was responsible for developing the math curriculum and adding higher-level math classes for himself and his classmates, which allowed students to gain access to professional schools in the STEM fields.
Dr. Shank married his high school sweetheart Connie Crone and they moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Dr. Shank attended The Ohio State University for undergraduate studies and veterinary school. Connie worked as an RN at Riverside Hospital while Dr. Shank finished his DVM degree, and graduated in 1970. After graduation, the couple moved to Cincinnati, where Dr. Shank worked as an associate veterinarian at a busy veterinary hospital.
Moving to Florida
After spending a spring break in Florida, the couple decided to move to Ft. Lauderdale in 1972, where Dr. Shank’s professional career flourished with the opening of Shank Animal Hospital. Like he did in high school, Dr. Shank realized that there was an unmet educational need for veterinarians in South Florida and, in 1974, he established the South Florida Academy of Veterinary Medicine to provide continuing education for his colleagues.
Dr. Shank continued to contribute to the veterinary profession throughout his professional life and was elected to the Executive Board of the FVMA in 2003, serving two consecutive terms. In 2009, Dr. Shank served as the president of the FVMA. In 2014, the FVMA honored Dr. Shank with the FVMA Distinguished Service Award for exceptional achievements and contributions toward the advancement of veterinary medicine and the veterinary profession.
Remembering Dr. Shank
Dr. Shank had a kind, warm heart and was always an animal lover. He was deeply loved and cherished by his family and the community of clients and pets that he served for over 40 years at Shank Animal Hospital. As a devoted father and grandfather, Dr. Shank would always refer to his grandchildren as “just marvelous” and was always interested and excited to hear of their many interests and endeavors.
Dr. Shank is survived by his wife, Connie Shank; his children: Dr. Stephanie Shank Correa (Tony), Jason Shank (Ginger), and Jedidiah Shank (Heidi); his grandchildren: Grace, Antonio, Nathaniel, Ozzy, Bria, Carrie, Sadie, Calvin, Isaiah, Ruby, and Thomas; nieces, nephews, brother David, sister Karen, and many extended family members, colleagues, friends, and clients.