Kenneth Dale Shanklin, M.D. (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF Retired)

  • Born: December 21, 1931
  • Died: April 1, 2017
  • Location: San Antonio, Texas

Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
Tel. (210) 495-8221

Tribute & Message From The Family

Kenneth Dale Shanklin, M.D. (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF Retired), age 85, died on April 1, 2017 at Blue Skies of Texas West (formerly Air Force Village II) in San Antonio, TX.

Ken was born on December 21, 1931. The middle of nine children, Ken grew up working on the family farm in Toluca, IL. After graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, Ken earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at the University of Illinois. While pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Ken was called to active duty in 1954 as a 2nd Lt. ROTC graduate in the United States Air Force.

Ken first served as a motion picture officer, and then as a B-47 navigator out of Homestead AFB, FL and as a navigator in B-52s out of Minot AFB, ND.

Ken resigned his regular USAF commission to attend the University of Utah's Medical School. He graduated at the top of his class in 1967, and received his fifth USAF commission. Ken served his country for a total of 20 years before retiring in 1977 as a Lt. Col, ending his military career as the Assistant Chief of Wilford Hall Medical Center's plastic surgery training program in San Antonio, TX. It was here at Wilford Hall that Ken was first introduced to his wife of 36 years, Lt. Col. Colleen Shanklin (1932-2014).

In 1977, Ken and his wife Colleen moved to Fresno, CA, where Ken operated his private plastic surgery private until retiring in 1992. While a practicing physician, Ken served as president of the executive board of Valley Children's Hospital Medical Staff, Associate Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at UC-San Francisco, and board member and major benefactor of LIGA, Flying Doctors of Mercy.

In retirement, Ken served his fellow armed forces veterans as Department Vice Commander of the American Legion's California region, as Region Commander of the West Coast Division and Surgeon General of the Military Order of the World Wars, and as an active resident of western San Antonio's Air Force Village II.

Ken's many philanthropic efforts often began at home. Ken funded private-school tuition, numerous college degrees, and many trips around the globe for his grandchildren, as well as giving his two oldest grandchildren a love of flying, and funding world-record cross-country flights by his two oldest grandsons in 1991.

Ken was a guest of the White House, a Grand Marshal of the Magic Kingdom Parade in Disney World, a commercial multi-engine airplane pilot, a helicopter pilot, a special invited guest of a Space Shuttle Endeavour launch, a lifelong Rotarian, a certified advanced open-water SCUBA diver, a windsurfer, a hang-glider pilot, a California backcountry expert, and a lover of nature.

Ken was preceded in death by his wife Colleen, his mother Elsie and father Walter, and his siblings Elaine, Wayne, Willard, and Dean. Ken is survived by siblings Jean, Robert, Roger (Sheila), and James; his first wife, Doris Gay Minton Davenport and their son Steven Dale (Angela) Shanklin; his grandsons Michael Dale (Cheryl) Shanklin (and his son Bryson Dale Shanklin), Daniel James (Taylor) Shanklin (and his children Wyatt James Shanklin and Colleen Ann Shanklin), Phillip Thomas (Tania) Shanklin, Steven Dale Shanklin II, and Devin Matthew Shanklin; his daughters-in-law JoAnne Shanklin and Mayuree Shanklin, many nieces and nephews, and countless relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at the Freedom House Chapel of Blue Skies of Texas West (formerly Air Force Village II), 5100 John D. Ryan Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78245.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ken's memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or to a charity of the donor's choice.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Ken was like a wise older brother in medical school. We all loved Ken!

Posted by Brent Horsley - Las Vegas, NV - classmate   May 04, 2017

Ken was a great classmate and friend. He was very smart and an excellent student. We send our condolences.

Posted by Gordon Brown - Provo, UT - acquaintance   April 29, 2017

Ken was a fun (really fun) medical school classmate from 1963-1967. Learning seemed to come easy to him as he was consistently at the top of the class. He was smiling and confident. He was Air Force and had to put up with two Army classmates which was good for some camaraderie and friendly military banter. I was sorry to learn of his passing.

Posted by Thomas Coppin - Bountiful, UT - classmate   April 27, 2017

Dad, I will forever miss your smile and hugs as well as your encouragement and love. Thank you for blessing our lives with your presence. Missing you... Love, JoJo

Posted by A friend   April 06, 2017

Im so sorry to hear of Ken's passing! I have many wonderful memories of he and Colleen when they were our neighbors in Fresno.Linda Fischbach

Posted by Linda Fischbach - Fresno, CA   April 05, 2017

My Mom and step Dad, Genne and Jack Despain, lived across the court from Ken and Colleen for many years at Air Force Village II. They were always such nice people and good neighbors. I remember when Jack fell and Ken was the first to get to him and help him get to the hospital. My family will always be grateful to both he and Colleen for the many times they helped our folks and for the fun times they had on that Court. I'm so sorry to hear about his passing. God be with his family.

Posted by Vicki Pekurney - North Richland Hills, TX   April 05, 2017

I will always have fond memories of Ken (and Colleen) - they were always kind, generous, and fun to be around. I will never forget my first small plane ride with Ken (as pilot) and Colleen over the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon on December 13, 1991. My condolences to the family.

Posted by Cindy Hess - Deer Creek, IL - friend   April 05, 2017

Rest my friend, in the arms of our everlasting Lord Jesus Christ, and bless you and your loved ones for you will be reunited with in heaven. May all your dreams come true of hope, love, and faith Charles UptonDAV Department Chaplain Utah.

Posted by Charles Upton - Brigham City, UT   April 05, 2017

We are so sorry for your loss.

Your cousins,

Posted by Willis & Maureen Juers - Toluca, IL   April 04, 2017

We will miss you dearly, Grandpa. My family and I thank you sincerely for everything you've done for us over the years. I'm glad we moved closer and could spend more time together in your final year. I love you.

Posted by Daniel Shanklin - Austin, TX   April 04, 2017

Family Album