Lisa Shanon “Shanon” Sanders Marks died March 15, 2021, at home, surrounded by her family.
Graveside services will be held March 20th, 2:00 PM at the Clinton Cemetery for the open-air safety.
Born March 9, 1953 in Lawrence, Kansas, she spent her early life in Lawrence, graduating from Lawrence High School in 1971. As the daughter of AB “Blackie” Sanders and Frances Louise Fox Sanders, she gained a sense of being a part of a larger community through her father’s business, Sanders Motors.
Shanon’s first love was animals, particularly horses. Many an hour was spent at her uncle’s farm, riding and caring for her horse. In high school she became friends with one of her classmates, Mark. Rather than going to the movies, together they spent hours riding. Shanon forever endeared herself to Mark’s youngest brother by insisting he be invited to tag along and ride horses, as well.
Shanon married Mark D. Marks on August 3, 1974. It was the beginning of their circuitous journey that brought her back to Lawrence and her love of animals.
Shanon attended Kansas University, University of Oklahoma and later, while Mark was in veterinary school, Oklahoma State University. Those experiences set the stage for becoming part of a professional veterinary team.
Shanon and Mark lived in Oklahoma until his military career took them to Europe. The couple then returned to Oklahoma with two young daughters: Amy Allison and Lindsay Marie. Their lives then took a turn toward Shanon’s own professional fulfillment. At first, she was the major breadwinner for the family while Mark pursued a degree in veterinary medicine. In 1989, the family moved back to Lawrence to open Marks Veterinary Hospital in a modest house that would later be in one of the busiest business districts in Lawrence.
Shanon’s office skills helped the fledgling veterinary practice begin; her love of animals and quest for a greater understanding of them helped it grow. For the extended family, Shanon was regarded as the world’s expert on the breed characteristics of dogs as potential pets. She studied the journals Mark received and pointed him to articles that would be helpful to his practice, even helping him brainstorm to diagnose challenging cases. At Marks Veterinary Hospital, Shanon was not “free labor”; she was part of a team. Unafraid of hard work, she organized, made appointments, greeted clients, cleaned exam rooms, and even assisted Mark in surgeries. Her professionalism was so consistent that many of the hospital’s clients did not even realize that she and Dr. Marks were a married couple.
Marks Veterinary Hospital moved away from the growing business district and expanded the building size and professional team at Wakarusa Veterinary Hospital. Soon Shanon faced personal and professional challenges when Mark was twice deployed with his Army Reserves units. The resilience required of her in those moments served her later in the life challenges of years of failing physical health.
A word that describes Shanon, as a part of a large, extended family, is “beloved.” Her in-laws regarded her as another daughter. Mark’s mother, Winona, remembers fondly the sweet, beautiful high school senior with thick brown hair that fell almost to her waist, sitting at her bedside after a medical treatment that left her very weak. Though still simply the girl dating the oldest son, Shanon endeared herself by providing comfort and sustenance to her helpless future mother-in-law. Later, after Mark married the beautiful girl the rest of the family was already smitten with, Shanon sealed her special place in the family when she brought the first Sanders/Marks grandchild into the world.
For many family members, their fondest memory of Shanon is the joy she found in being around the dinner table with loved ones and the laughter that infused her whole body, often bringing tears to her eyes. She made all those around her feel profoundly witty.
The warmth of Shanon’s personality is reflected in her home – baskets she collected, quilts she made, family pictures she displayed and the many potted plants that flourished under her nurturing hand.
As her daughters married and brought grandchildren into her life, Shanon found fresh joy in three grandsons. Always having taken delight in others’ stories of their grandchildren, Shanon had earned the right to brag on the handsome, clever, and brilliant little men that were her own.
Consistently a lover of animals, Shanon adopted dogs – even when another dog was the last challenge she needed to add to her concerns. And most who visited her in recent years rarely saw her without a dog in her lap.
Shanon was preceded in death by her parents. She leaves her husband, Mark, and two daughters: Amy (David) and son, Maxwell “Max” James VandeVooren; Lindsay (Jayson) and sons Jayson D. Jr. “Jace” and Porter Duncan Schofield. Also surviving is her brother Charles “Bryan” (Susan) Sanders and son, Tony. A large, extended Marks family of in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews and others have also surrounded Shanon in love and prayer.
Viewing will be at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home March 19th from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM.
With appreciation for the loving support offered over the last few years, and special thanks to the incredible nurses and staff of Unit 42 of KU Med, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, your church, your favorite charity, sent in care of the funeral home, or by planting a tree in Shanon’s honor.
The service will be broadcast on 93.7 FM radio with a range of 500 ft.