Tammi Colleen O'Brien Shanks was born at 5:29 a.m., Monday, April 2, 1962, in the back seat of a Seattle police squad car, at the corner of Boren & Madison streets. She couldn't wait to join her big sister.
She attended Christ the King Grade School, Catharine Blaine Junior High and graduated from Queen Anne High School in 1980. She attended Western Washington University. She graduated in 1996 from Shoreline Community College School of Nursing. She had been employed as a surgical nurse at Northwest Hospital until just recently.
Ms. Shanks married Joseph Shanks, her high school sweetheart in 1982. Together they had two children, Joey, age 23, and Laura, age 19. They have resided in the greater Seattle area throughout their married life.
Ms. Shanks leaves three sisters, Traci, Terri and Tauni (collectively they were known as the 4Ts), and her "baby" brother, Ben Slusser. She is also survived by her parents, Patricia and David Slusser, as well as a very large extended family.
In April of 2001, Ms. Shanks was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a rare autoimmune disorder. Her condition remained relatively stable until January of this year, when she was forced to take a medical leave from her nursing career. As her health situation declined she applied for and was accepted into the University of Washington lung transplant program. She was waiting for her new lungs when she died Nov. 30, at the University Hospital.
Ms. Shanks had a huge heart and an incredibly giving spirit. She adored her children and everyone else's, especially all her nieces and nephews. She was the first to recognize a need and then went out of her way to fill that need.
Ms. Shanks and her husband's home was a gathering place and numerous family parties and holiday celebrations were held there. We will miss her deeply, as will her huge fan club on Caring Bridge and all her "friends" on Facebook.
If you want to honor Tammi Shanks' memory, sign up to be an organ donor at www.donatelifenw.org
Joe, Joey and Laura would appreciate receiving letters with your memories of Ms. Shanks. They can be sent to Shanks Family, 23716 - 112th Pl. W., Woodway, Wash., 98020.