SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — The Shelbyville community is saying goodbye to a man who they said meant more to them than words can express.
“Dad always taught me that if you’re good to the community, the community will be good to you,” Mark Shanks said about his late father Sidney. “Those were very wise words.”
Sidney Frank Shanks was known best as a husband, father, grandfather, and business owner. Mark Shanks said he was most known as a generous man.
“We used to feed football teams and basketball teams for free on game days, and Dad would never turn somebody down if he didn’t have money for a pizza,” Shanks said. “He’d just say, ‘There you go. Take it.'”
The community was important to Sidney even in the early days of his business. His restaurant at the time was named after the local school’s mascot: the Blue Devils.
“Kind of a place for the kids to come after football games and basketball games,” Shanks said. “And when I was growing up, that was what it was to me.”
As the years went on and his business grew, so did Sidney’s helping hand.
“If there was anything that he could do to better the lives of somebody, he would do it, no questions asked,” said Alex Shanks, Sidney’s grandson.
Mark Shanks said his dad would give from his own pockets, freely hand out fresh fish he had caught and even paid for an employee’s tuition to help out his family.
“Dad would always just say, ‘Yeah, go ahead, take care of it, and just don’t tell anybody,'” Shanks said. “I think he was always proud of the things that he did anonymously, and we’ve tried to keep that tradition going.”
He said the family business has left a legacy in Alex Shanks. Sidney Shanks’ giving spirit lives on in all those he touched.
“I think he was champion of that quote that if you got more than you need, it’s always best to build a bigger table rather than a taller fence,” Alex said.
WCIA spoke with Shanks back in 2021. He was proud of his business then and he leaves behind a family who is just as proud of him.
“I made a good choice 50 years ago,” Sidney said in 2021.
A viewing will be held on Tuesday at the United Methodist Church in Villa Grove. The funeral will be on Wednesday. Each of Shanks’ Monical’s locations will be closed on Wednesday in his honor.