Jennifer N. Shank, 27, accountant, UM student and former swimmer

July 10, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Jennifer N. Shank, an Annapolis accountant and former competitive swimmer, died of cancer Sunday at her Severna Park home. She was 27.

She was born Jennifer Nicole Phillips in Beaufort, S.C., and was raised in Arnold. A 1995 graduate of Severn School, she performed with its choral group that toured England and Germany. She also was a member of Severn's swim team and the Naval Academy Junior Swim Team.

She earned an associate's degree in liberal arts at Anne Arundel Community College.

At her death, she was a senior at the University of Maryland, studying for a bachelor's degree in business and accounting.

Mrs. Shank worked while attending college and was an accountant with the U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis from 1999 to this year. Since March, she had been an accountant with Alion Science and Technology Corp. in Annapolis.

Last year, she married Jason A. Shank, an employee of Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Mrs. Shank's cancer was diagnosed in April, family members said.

"She was competitive in everything she did in life. She was determined and set goals. In addition to swimming, she was also a runner," said her mother, D. Roberta Phillips of Glen Burnie. "She did everything right and still was stricken with this disease. When she was diagnosed with cancer, she was determined to beat it and only gave in a few days ago."

Jill K. Stursa of Queenstown, a Severn classmate, described Mrs. Shank as an "unconditional friend."

"I could call her with any problem, and she'd talk me through it. When she was sick, she'd call and wanted to know if I was OK. She was always concerned about other people," Ms. Stursa said.

Mrs. Shank enjoyed line dancing and gardening.

She was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church in Arnold.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Calvary United Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Blvd. in Annapolis.

In addition to her husband and mother, survivors include her father and stepmother, John and Marianne Phillips of Crofton; a brother, Kevin J. Phillips of Glen Burnie; her paternal grandparents, George and Betty Jean Phillips of Buffalo, N.Y.; her maternal grandfather, Robert Egbert of San Diego; a stepson, Garrett Shank of Crofton; a stepbrother, Travis Hedges of Cockeysville; two stepsisters, Tricia Fare of Severna Park and Becki Blucher of Pasadena; and many aunts and uncles.

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