MADISON/ VILLAGE OF SHOREWOOD HILLS - George Harvey Shands, age 68, died at the Don and Marilyn Anderson HospiceCare Center in Fitchburg on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005, from complications associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was the second child born to Ruebush G. Shands and Elizabeth (Henry) Shands on Sept. 16, 1937, at Madison General Hospital in Madison. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Joan (Bures) Shands. They met at the Memorial Union while students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and married on Aug. 13, 1966. He is also survived by his two daughters, Rebecca Shands of Denver, and Susan Shands of Madison; his brother, Henry (Katherine) Shands of Fort Collins, Colo.; his sister, Harriet Shands of Bradenton, Fla.; his brother-in-law, Kenneth (Madelon) Bures of Marblehead, Mass.; and his aunts, Jobelle Shands of Shorewood Hills, and Martha (Henry) Shirkey of Lawton, Mich. He is further survived by cousins, nieces, a nephew and many friends. George attended Shorewood Hills Elementary School and graduated from Madison West High School, Class of 1955. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in American history in 1963, followed by graduate work. He taught social studies, with a concentration in American history and psychology, for 30 years through the Madison Metropolitan School District. He was a teacher at Madison East High School for 27 years, and was proud of developing an innovative community issues program for seniors called "WalkAbout." George was a lifelong member of First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ of Madison, where he was baptized and confirmed. It was the most important institution in his life, where he served in many capacities: as moderator, on boards and committees, developing and interpreting the constitution and by-laws, researching and documenting the church's history, and singing bass in the church choir. George steadfastly believed what Reverend John Robinson said to the Pilgrims leaving for the new world, "More light and truth shall break forth from God's word." George had been a licensed amateur ("ham") radio operator for more than 50 consecutive years, operating under the call letters W9WUU. He resumed operating in earnest after his retirement in 1996, enjoying "DXing" and contesting. He was a member and served on the board of Four Lakes Amateur Radio Club (FLARC) and also belonged to the DX club. He enjoyed many close friendships through his involvement with ham radio. George was a longtime member of the Southern Historical Association and the Augusta Richmond County (Georgia) Historical Society. He took great pleasure in the pursuit of family history, and was entrusted with keeping many family photographs, portraits, heirlooms and stories. His genealogical work lead him to explore his Southern roots, writing and presenting papers on his findings. He spent much time visiting courthouses, genealogy centers, libraries and cemeteries to gather family information. One of George's great loves in life was music. He enjoyed listening to classical, opera, folk, jazz and bluegrass and attending live performances. He played the piano, trombone, dulcimer, banjo and sang, collecting many antique and unique instruments along the way. Fueled by his faith and a sense of moral duty, George was deeply engaged in the struggle for civil rights and social justice in the 60s and onward. He supported many worthy causes with his time, wisdom and generosity. George will be greatly missed by his devoted family and many wonderful friends. The family wishes to express its deepest gratitude for the care provided by the doctors, nurses, CNAs, ICMs, and support staff of Meriter Hospital and HospiceCare Inc. during his final days. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005, at 2:30 p.m. at FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, 1609 University Ave., at Breese Terrace. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Congregational Church UCC or to HospiceCare Inc., 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, or to the charitable organization of your choice. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434
Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 11, 2005
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