The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 4, 2013

Billie Shanks

JOPLIN, Mo. — Billie Gager Shanks, age 85, Joplin, passed away on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, at her home.

Billie was born April 10, 1928, in Woodston, Kan., daughter of the late Ira F. Gager and Truly A. Brittain Gager. She graduated from Woodston High School in 1946, and attended college.   She worked for Tri-State Motor Transit in Joplin, as a rate clerk for over 20 years before retiring. She was also a member of the local Ladies Bridge Clubs and enjoyed playing bridge in both Joplin and Neosho. She was an avid sports fan and would often be found watching more than one sporting event on television at the same time.

Recently, her biggest thrill came from following her grandchildren's activities. She would travel to watch everything from sports, cheerleading, theater and their singing performances. She was extremely proud of her grandchildren and their accomplishments. She was also well known for her cooking abilities, especially her fried chicken, which was asked for on many occasions, including major holidays, to replace the traditional turkey and ham.

In addition to her parents, Billie was preceded in death by her husband, Glenn J. Shanks, on May 10, 2006.

Survivors include her daughters, Marsha Harlan, of Neosho, Linda Miller and husband, Randy of Boulder, Colo., Cyndy Carder and husband, Mike, of Joplin, and Kristi Rhoads, of Jefferson City, Mo.; stepdaughter, Deborah Christman and husband, Chris, of Carl Junction, Mo.; grandchildren, Lauren Harlan, Tyler Rhoads, Anna Rhoads, Brett Carder Lutz and husband, Bryan, Kyle Carder, Mike Miller and wife, Lobelia, Maggie Miller, Kelli Christman and Kerri Kelley and husband, Dakota; great-grandchild, Charlie Miller; sister, Carol Carmody, of Albuquerque, N.M.; brother, Merl Gager and wife, Donna, of Plainville, Kan.; and several nieces and  nephews.

Graveside services will be Thursday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. in Greenlawn Cemetery, Baxter Springs, Kan., with Pastor Dave Burgess officiating and family serving as pallbearers. The family will receive friends at First Presbyterian Church, 6th and Pearl, in the John Knox Hall, from 4 to 6 p.m. following the graveside service on Thursday.

The family request that memorial contributions be made to the Joplin Humane Society.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary.

Online condolences may be made at

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