Stephanie Lynne Shanks-Meile, 64 of Portage, IN passed away on Friday July 29, 2022. She was born on November 22, 1957, in El Paso, TX to the late “R.C.” Carl and Betty June (Mancill) Shanks. Stephanie obtained her B.A. in 1979, and her M.A. in 1981, from the University of Texas and her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in 1986. She worked at Indiana University Northwest to help the community as a Professor of Sociology where she also served on multiple committees and clubs. Stephanie was an unrelentingly committed educator whose passion was engaging with and advocating for students. Stephanie was honored and recognized numerous times for her excellence in teaching, research publications, and authorship. She was an example to others to fight for change, no matter popularity, with the goal of achieving a better world and community. She will be remembered for her kind soul, gentle heart, and determination to handle the challenges of life with grace. Stephanie also loved to sing, write, discuss politics, travel to the beaches of Malibu, Long Beach, and Hollywood, and spend time with her family, friends, and her beloved animals.
Stephanie married her beloved “R.L.”, Richard Meile who she adored and dedicated herself to for over 30 years. She is survived by her children, Amalia and Baylen, as well as many other loving family, “adopted” family, friends, and her furry friends Toby and Daisy. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, granny, and dear furry friend Bootsie.
A visitation will be held on Monday, August 8, 2022 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Road, Valparaiso, IN 46383, with a service starting at 2:00 pm and burial to follow at Angelcrest Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of the charities close to Stephanie’s heart: Lakeshore PAWS, Guide Dogs for the Blind, or the Democratic National Committee.  Click here to watch the recorded funeral service.

Stephanie and I lived in the same apartment building, across the hall from each other. She was the most amazing person I've ever met. We were together all of the time, after I was done with work and she was back from UNL. We would run around in her little sportscar, go to the record store, do anything and everything fun. Then I would go to bed and she would be up late, possibly all night, working on her studies. She was getting her PhD.. Never, not once, did she talk down to me, make me feel less because I had not been to college. I was with her when she fell in love with Richard.. Being so young it seemed like it would have been so much easier to have a marriage to Tom, Malcolm or any of the other men who were in love with her. But, she knew best and proved it every single day. Richard was her soul mate. I will cherish her memory every day of my life. She recently told me that we had an "intimate friendship that was never to be found again"... I am thankful she is with Richard. This shows they just could not be separated for long. I cry for Amalia and Baylen and for all of us who were not ready for her to leave but I am so thankful that I met her. She is the most amazing person I've ever known and will have a huge piece of my heart forever.  -Jodi Brockhoff 

I’ll remember you always as my beloved, Steph Mom. I carry you in my heart. No matter what you supported me and cheered me on. Thank you for showing us what it means to love fiercely and with the purity of loyalty. I miss you forever.  -Shadé Ashani 

Heartfelt condolences to family and friends. Deeply saddened to hear of Stephanie's passing. Rest In Peace always, strong and sweet lady. -Laura Polk Flint 

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