James Roland “Jim” Shanks

By | August 18, 2018 2:45 pm

Last Updated: August 18, 2018 at 4:32 pm

James Roland “Jim” Shanks, 64, publisher of The Expositor, in Sparta, passed away Aug. 17, 2018, at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. He is now resting safely in the arms of Jesus.

Jim was born Dec. 15, 1953, the son of Thad and Madeline Shanks.

Jim became a member of the Sparta-White County community more than 10 years ago. Since the first day he walked into The Expositor, as the new publisher, he made numerous lasting friendships through his contagious smile and his winning personality.

Never at a loss for words with his storytelling capabilities, Jim would keep his staff laughing, as he would share his adventures and experiences, all the way from his childhood through the many states in which he lived as a publisher for Smith Newspapers. Although Jim was happy to live in each of the states where his newspaper career took him, his heart was never far away from his Southern roots. As the popular song once depicted, “My Home’s in Alabama,” Jim remained loyal in his heart to the state where he was raised.

Jim’s work ethic was beyond believability. Even when his health was failing, he would walk in the door of The Expositor by 6:30 a.m. every morning and remain at the office until the last person had left for the day.

Jim loved the “newspaper business,” but his family was his top priority. His wife, Pam, and his children, Sara and Michael, along with his grandson, Owen, were first and foremost in his mind. Jim also talked frequently about his mother, Madeline, and his brother, George, and his sister, Jane. In addition, he would laughingly share stories about the many lessons in life that were taught to him by his father, Thad.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, Thad Shanks.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Pamela Shanks, of Sparta; daughter, Sara Marie Shanks Sharp and husband Blake, of Cookeville; son, James Michael Shanks, of Cookeville; grandson, Owen Blake Sharp, of Cookeville; mother, Madeline Shanks, of Huntsville, Alabama; sister, Jane Bonham and husband James, of Houston, Texas; brother, George Shanks and wife Lynn, of Huntsville, Alabama; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m., Aug. 21, 2018, at First United Methodist Church, in Sparta. At Jim’s request, he will be cremated following the funeral. The family will receive friends 5-8 p.m., Aug. 20, at the church. Ken Wallace will officiate.

Pallbearers will be Jim Flatt, Sean Sherman, David Cranford, Michael Shanks, George Shanks, and Tommy Pedigo.

Honorary pallbearer will be Owen Sharp.

Hunter Funeral Home has been entrusted with cremation and funeral services.

comments » 2

  1. Comment by Walter (Bo) and Mildred Stone

    August 18, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    I didn’t know Mr. Shanks very well, but one time we didn’t receive our Expositor and my husband called to let the staff know. They apologized and said they would get one to us.Bo told them that was fine and no hurry , he just wondered why it hadn’t come . Lo and behold, about 30 minutes later, here was Mr Shanks, with an Expositor in his hand, knocking on our door! He had hand delivered our paper himself! Such a nice man. Our sincerest sympathy goes out to his family.

  2. Comment by JOHN WADDELL

    August 21, 2018 at 3:59 pm


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