Floral 16

       


Karen Letonyia Swift

January 24, 1957 ~ August 9, 2019 (age 62)

Karen Letonyia Shanks was born on January 24, 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio to Donald E. Shanks, Sr. and Melrose V. Shanks.  Karen was the second of four children.

Even as a young child, people of all ages were affectionately drawn to Karen.  She loved to tell jokes, play prinks on friends and family and always make you wonder what she was going to do next.  Karen loved life to the fullest.

Karen married Herman Swift, Sr. on May 18, 1979 and they were together for 11 years.  During this time, they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Stephanie Shandell Swift.

Throughout the years, Karen was known to offer assistance to those who were in need of help.  It could be a meal, bus fare or a ride.  It could be a place to stay for a night, a few weeks or even longer.  She was always there to lend a hand to friends as well as to those she barely knew.  And she never made anyone feel that they were of less value, if they were going through difficult times.  Most of all, she wouldn’t be quiet about why she was always in a position to help others..it was because of Jesus.  She took delight in introducing Jesus to those who didn’t know Him or who had drifted away from His guidance.  She always said that He deserved all the praise.

For many years, she worked as a property manager of a residential building and in this position, she was able to help countless individuals.  Before retiring from this job that she loved dearly, she would often talk about how she was touched when people would come back to visit her and thank her for being instrumental in their lives.

Although Karen was a life-long East-sider, on December 22, 2007, Mayor Dennis McClough of Westlake honored Karen for her work with the youth in this community and designated that day as “Karen Swift Day” in the city of Westlake.

Karen loved her gospel music, jazz and the blues.  She used to say “Daddy’s music would put us to sleep when we were little, because he would play his records all night.”  One of her favorites was “Trouble In Mind” by Nina Simone.  The staff at CCF may have heard her softly sing along with the song during her last hospital stay.

Karen met her soulmate Walter White (fiancé) and spent the last 27 years of her life with him.   

Yes, her hobbies included playing bingo and going to Jack’s but these weren’t her most favorite things to do.  What she enjoyed most was bragging about and telling fond stories about her daughter Stephanie and her tow beautiful grandchildren, seven year old Iyannah and two year old Cartier.

Karen had a huge heart for friends, deeply loved God and her entire family.  She was proud to be the big sister of Stephanie Shanks-Reese and Donald Shanks, Jr., the little sister of Donna Dixon and the daughter of Melrose and Donald Shanks, Sr.  And they in turn were grateful for Karen in their lives.

Karen leaves to cherish her memory daughter, Stephanie Swift; mother, Melrose; sisters, Donna (Keith) Dixon, Stephanie (Martin) Shanks-Reese; brother, Donald Shanks, Jr.; grandchildren, Iyannah and Cartier; fiancé, Walter White; step-children, Herman Ray, Jr., Byron, Buffy; nieces, Denise, Davina, Yasmin, Danielle; nephews, Dwayne (Mary), Darnell (Jennifer), Donald III, and a host of loving relatives and cherished friends.  Preceding Karen in death were her father, Donald Shanks, Sr. and husband, Herman Swift, Sr. and many departed loving relatives and friends.Karen Letonyia Shanks was born on January 24, 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio to Donald E. Shanks, Sr. and Melrose V. Shanks.  Karen was the second of four children.

Even as a young child, people of all ages were affectionately drawn to Karen.  She loved to tell jokes, play prinks on friends and family and always make you wonder what she was going to do next.  Karen loved life to the fullest.

Karen married Herman Swift, Sr. on May 18, 1979 and they were together for 11 years.  During this time, they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Stephanie Shandell Swift.

Throughout the years, Karen was known to offer assistance to those who were in need of help.  It could be a meal, bus fare or a ride.  It could be a place to stay for a night, a few weeks or even longer.  She was always there to lend a hand to friends as well as to those she barely knew.  And she never made anyone feel that they were of less value, if they were going through difficult times.  Most of all, she wouldn’t be quiet about why she was always in a position to help others..it was because of Jesus.  She took delight in introducing Jesus to those who didn’t know Him or who had drifted away from His guidance.  She always said that He deserved all the praise.

For many years, she worked as a property manager of a residential building and in this position, she was able to help countless individuals.  Before retiring from this job that she loved dearly, she would often talk about how she was touched when people would come back to visit her and thank f=her for being instrumental in their lives.

Although Karen was a life-long East-sider, on December 22, 2007, Mayor Dennis McClough of Westlake honored Karen for her work with the youth in this community and designated that day as “Karen Swift Day” in the city of Westlake.

Karen loved her gospel music, jazz and the blues.  She used to say “Daddy’s music would put us to sleep when we were little, because he would play his records all night.”  One of her favorites was “Trouble In Mind” by Nina Simone.  The staff at CCF may have heard her softly sing along with the song during her last hospital stay.

Karen met her soulmate Walter White (fiancé) and spent the last 27 years of her life with him.   

Yes, her hobbies included playing bingo and going to Jack’s but these weren’t her most favorite things to do.  What she enjoyed most was bragging about and telling fond stories about her daughter Stephanie and her tow beautiful grandchildren, seven year old Iyannah and two year old Cartier.

Karen had a huge heart for friends, deeply loved God and her entire family.  She was proud to be the big sister of Stephanie Shanks-Reese and Donald Shanks, Jr., the little sister of Donna Dixon and the daughter of Melrose and Donald Shanks, Sr.  And they in turn were grateful for Karen in their lives.

Karen leaves to cherish her memory daughter, Stephanie Swift; mother, Melrose; sisters, Donna (Keith) Dixon, Stephanie (Martin) Shanks-Reese; brother, Donald Shanks, Jr.; grandchildren, Iyannah and Cartier; fiancé, Walter White; step-children, Herman Ray, Jr., Byron, Buffy; nieces, Denise, Davina, Yasmin, Danielle; nephews, Dwayne (Mary), Darnell (Jennifer), Donald III, and a host of loving relatives and cherished friends.  Preceding Karen in death were her father, Donald Shanks, Sr. and husband, Herman Swift, Sr. and many departed loving relatives and friends.

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