Nicholas James Schrank
Age 27 of Monroeville, PA, passed away on November 19, 2020. Born on September 10, 1993 he was the son of Ivan and Pamela (Nahas) Schrank. Nicky's life was touched by so many people working with special needs, and the family would like to send a heartfelt thank you to Gateway School District, the Sunrise School, and Community Options Group Homes, for the love and care of Nicky over the years. Along with his parents he is survived by sisters; Julia Schrank, Alexandra Schrank, and Olivia Schrank; grandparents, James and Helen Nahas, and Frank and Ruth Webster. Family and friends will be received Sunday November 22, 2020, from 12-4 PM and 6-8 PM at the JOBE FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, INC. (MONROEVILLE/PLUM CHAPEL) 445 Beatty Road, Monroeville (412-856-4747). Due to current health concerns masks will be required upon entry. www.jobefuneralhome.com.
A Letter to Nicky:
You were a wonderful person and a wonderful little brother. I want you to hear that because people - myself included - were often frustrated at you but it was never about you. You had the gift of living in the moment and, for every life you touched (sometimes literally...or at least smelled), you shared that feeling with us.
Damien told me he knew he was welcomed into the family when you sat next to him watching one of your movies and offered him a high-five, over and over. Because that is the kind of person you were: you invited people into your world without reservations.
In our relationship, you helped me take myself a lot less seriously and had a grand old time doing it. My favorite, favorite memory of us is when I'd set up some kind of table setting in our old indoor porch and was really worried about it, and then you literally seized the day by seizing the plastic banana and bolting off with it. In the video of it, I'm yelling "NICKY!" but I know now that you wanted me to remember the value of play.
And man did you play! You threw your rubber snakes off the deck and onto the roof. You collected ping pong balls and wanted to hear how each one sounded on each surface - I'll never forget the sound of one on a cement parking pole.
I know you forgot who I was when I left home for college. And I'm really sorry about that. You did, however, still ask me for pasta because you asked almost anyone who would listen to cook your "daily selection" of a noodle shape.
I think of you every time I make my own pasta selection and every time I show "Sleeping Beauty" or "Mary Poppins" or - God forbid - "Billy Bunny" to my own children someday. I will try to live by your credo of seizing the day and hearing every sound that ping pong ball can make.
I love you and I hope you are finally at peace.
Ulogy for Nick from Rich Longo:
ULOGY for Nick Shrank I remember the first time I met Nick and his family. I readily recall how social and engaging they were meeting me and my wife Lil for the first time. What I will never forget is the look that Nick gave me as if to say I bet you don’t think I know you, but I do. As we all know, there were things that Nick couldn’t do. He couldn’t do many things other people take for granted each every day. When some people looked at him, that’s what they saw – the things he couldn’t do. But that’s not what most saw, and that’s not who he was. I’m sure that when Pamela, Ivan and the kids looked at him, they seldom saw what he couldn’t do. No, they saw the many things he could do. He could smile. He could laugh. He could feel unbridled happiness. He could love without condition. He could show his love without ever saying a word. Not everyone has those abilities. There are so many people who have so many blessings that Nick never had, and yet don’t appreciate those blessings. They have good health, but they take it for granted. They can walk but they don’t know which way to go. They have arms but they can’t use them to reach out to others. They can speak but they don’t know how to tell others they love them rather their faults and misgivings. That wasn’t a problem for Nick. See he could express his love by just being Nick. He could even express love by showing who he felt comfortable enough to fall asleep near because he trusted he would be cared for. He could communicate his needs with crying or fussing because he knew his family would be there for him. Love isn’t only shared through words. Love is much deeper than words. Love is the action of the heart and soul. There were more things Nick could do. He inspired others to try harder. By seeing his challenges, it reminded others to work harder as well. Nick also helped teach us about our own strengths and gifts in this way. He also taught us how to be happy because he took joy in simple things. Oh, can we all learn to cherish the simple things like Nick. The motion and sound of bouncing ping pong balls: His reaction and response to the beauty and sounds of the ocean: Disney and fantasy: can we all learn from Nick what simplicity of life really means? Better yet, will noodles ever be the same again? We could look to him for an example of perseverance and inner strength, as he continued to fight battles in health and limitations that would crush many of us. He showed us what it is to be strong, because strength is not just found in being the biggest, the toughest or the fastest. Strength is found in one who keeps on going, keeps trying, day after day, long after others give up. Strength is found in one who knows success isn’t always big and flashy but knows that sometimes the greatest success is found in the tiniest of victories. In this way, Nick was a hero – just like his family who also kept on going, day after day, through the best times and through the hardest times. Just think of all the gifts that Nick gave us. Through his vulnerabilities he gave us the gift of insight and showed us things we might otherwise have missed. He helped us to see the beautiful souls of his family. His family - the ones who bore most of the caretaking tasks, day after day, month after month. It is a special kind of dedication that enables people to put their own lives on hold so they can do everything possible to care for their loved one. It shows a deep, unrelenting love for a person to say, “If you need help, I will help you. If you cannot talk, I will be your voice. If you cannot stand, I will support you. If you cannot walk, I will carry you. I am here for you and I will stay with you through it all.” That’s just what his family did, and it’s what so many families do for their loved ones every day. Nick gave us the gift of perspective. He reminded us that most of our problems are not really problems, and to be grateful for what we have. We must savor the sweet, beautiful moments we have every day, because ultimately life is fragile and someday all too soon, we must say goodbye. He taught us about kindness and patience, because it took a lot of love, patience and dedication to care for his need’s day after day. To nurture someone so completely, and to do it for so long, takes a dedication and depth of love that is hard to comprehend for those who haven’t done it. It is truly loving without condition, and it is perhaps the most beautiful and pure example of love that exists. Nick made that kind of love exist. He made it possible. Nick gave us the gift of unconditional love. Unconditional love is loving even when it hurts, even when it’s not easy. It’s loving because you simply can’t help but love. And that is the greatest triumph of any life. To love and be loved. And Nick taught us how to love without words, without limits, without reasons. And finally, Nick gave us the gift of beauty. His life wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t glamorous. There were a lot of hard times, for him and for his family. But he taught us that we can see past the difficulties and find the beauty, for there is always beauty in LIFE! For instance, imagine there is a day when you have big plans, big expectations, but you get up in the morning and it’s raining. The sky is dark and it’s windy and miserable. Why did it rain today, you ask? Of all the days, why today? Why did it mess up my plans? It’s not what I expected. It’s not what I planned for. It’s not what was supposed to happen. But if you look hard you may still find the beauty in it all. When you look out at the rain, you may see puddles and storm clouds and mud. You may see grey skies and raindrops and dreariness. Or you might look deeper and see how the rain nourishes the earth, settles the seeds and gives them roots so they can grow. You may see how the water flows from the sky to the earth to the sea and back again to the sky in a great cycle that never ends. And you might also look up to the heavens and see the rainbow and remember that it is only because we have endured through the storm that we are lucky enough to see the rainbow. Nick was our rainbow. Through the tough times, through the adversity and the challenges and the pain, he shone through with a special light. It’s not fair that he shone brightly for only a short time and then left us. Yet we can be assured that like the rainbow, he was a blessing from above. We can mourn the loss of his life and we can celebrate the life he led and the lessons he gave us. For the best gift he gave us, was her very LIFE. He was a gift from God. For all the ways he taught us about life and love, for all the ways he inspired us to be better, and for all the love he gave while he was here with us, he was a gift to us all. May we never forget this beautiful gift named Nick. May we give strength and support to his family as they find their way in this world without him. And may we honor his memory every time we look up to the sky, look past the clouds and see the rainbow and yearn for the wings of an eagle The Shema: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Teach these to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie these as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write these on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. For you God are Lord alone. Nick soar like an eagle: dream to your hearts content and follow that rainbow which will forever give you peace. Rich Longo November 22nd, 2020
Jobe Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Funeral Service for Nicholas Schrank
Time: Nov 23, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 843 6946 7819
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