Obituary: Shanewise, Helen Martha, Bs, Rn, Mhs (Harshman)
SHANEWISE, Helen Martha,
BS, RN, MHS (Harshman)
Passed away at home September 19, 2012. She was born on April 6, 1923, in Newton Falls, Ohio. Helen graduated with a B.S. degree from Mount Union College in Alliance, OH, earned an A.D./ R.N. degree from Spokane Community College in 1978 and and M.H.S. from Whitworth College in 1982. Helen moved to Spokane in 1955 with her husband, Robert “Bob” Paul Shanewise, who passed away in 2011.
Before moving to Spokane, Helen worked in the Plastics Testing Laboratory at Goodyear in Akron and the Experimental Surgery Laboratory at the University of Rochester. From 1971-74 she was the property manager and bookkeeper for the International Gardens and Jadeast Apartment complexes in Seattle, which were owned in part by Helen and Bob. After receiving her medical training, Helen worked as a patient educator for Orthopedic Associates of Spokane from 1982-90. In the 1990s Helen and Bob built and operated the Moran Vista, an assisted living facility on the South Hill.
Helen, for decades, was an active member of the Spokane community, joining in 1955 the Spokane County Medical Society Auxiliary (President 1970-71) and Deaconess Medical Center Auxilliary (President 1965-67). Other local volunteer service included the Spokane Urban Indian Health Services (Chair 1983-85), Chamber of Commerce Health Care Committee, Spokane Community College Nursing Advisory Committee, Hospice of Spokane Board, Deaconess and Valley Health Care Foundation Board and Saint George’s School Board. Helen’s volunteer service at the state level included the Washington State Medical Association Auxiliary (Legislative Chairman 1989-92), WAMPAC Board of the Washington Medical Association and Chair of the Health Care Acccess Committee 1986-88. From 1975 to 1995, Helen did volunteer work overseas in health care along with Bob, an orthopedic surgeon, serving Indonesia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malawi, China and Ethiopia. Helen received the Governor’s Washington State Volunteer Award in 1986 and the Katherine Hoesel Volunteer of the Year Award of Saint Georges School in 1992 and 1994.
Among her other notable accomplishments, Helen began flying private airplanes in 1969 and became an instrument rated pilot a few years later. In 1970 she flew the All-Woman Transcontinental Air Race (“Powder Puff” Derby) with her friend, Irene Anrode.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Katherine (William) Hunt of Spokane, sons Dr. Jack (Phillis Levin) Shanewise of New York City and Steven Shanewise of Olympia, grandchildren Creedence (Rowena) Smith, Sarah (Brandon Scott) Shanewise and Charlotte Shanewise, and nieces Sharon Smith, Christine Shanewise, and Craig Shanewise.
At Helen’s request, there will be no funeral service. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2012, from 5-7pm at the Rockwood Community Center, 2015 S. Forest Estates Drive.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Spokane, 121 S. Arthur, Spokane, 99223 or Rockwood Residents’ Assistance Endowment Fund.