Dr. Otis Norman Shands, Jr., 96, a resident of Chillicothe, Mo., died Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, at The Baptist Home, Chillicothe, Mo.

Norman was born the son of Otis Norman Sr. and Mary Minerva (Holt) Shands on March 13, 1916, in Columbus, Ga. He married Nan Catherine Land in Columbus, Ga., on June 26, 1938. She preceded him in death on May 17, 2004.

Norman was a 1933 graduate of Columbus High School, Columbus, Georgia.

In 1941, he graduated from Mercer University, Macon, Ga., with a Bachelor's Degree in English. He graduated Magna Cum Laude, and also received the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award. In 1944, he graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master's Degree in Divinity.

Norman served in the United States Navy on active duty as a Chaplain during World War II, from 1944 to 1945. He then served in the United States Navy Reserves serving as Lieutenant Junior Grade and Chaplain from 1945 to 1951.

From 1945 until 1948, he worked as the director of student life for Mercer University, Macon, Ga. He served as the pastor at the First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, S.C., from 1948 until 1952. Norman then served as President of Limestone College, Gaffney, S.C., from 1952 to 1953. From 1953 to 1963, he served as the pastor at West End Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga.

Dr. Shands was a signatory to the 1957 Minister's Manifesto, the first statement on race relations by white protestant ministers in the south. He was a key figure in the peaceful desegregation of Atlanta Public Schools in 1961 as co-chair of Oasis (Organization Assisting Schools in September).
From 1963 to 1970 he served as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo. From 1971 to 1979, he served in many capacities at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. From 1979 until 1997, he lived in Alpharetta, Ga. Norman then moved to Liberty, Mo., in 1997, where he lived until 2004. Norman made his final home in Chillicothe, Mo., in 2004, where he was active and attended the First Baptist Church, Chillicothe, Mo.

He is survived by two sons, Robert E. Shands, Olathe, Kan., and Norman Clyde Shands, Blue Springs, Mo.; one daughter Karen Marguerite Shands Vaughn, Norman, Okla.; six grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Catherine; and two sisters, Dorothy Shands Lester, and Peggy Shands Dodd.

Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church, Chillicothe, Mo., on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, at 11 a.m. A scheduled family visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church, Chillicothe, Mo., on Friday from 10 until 11 a.m. Friends may call at the Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe, Mo., on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, from 12 until 6 p.m. Burial will be held at The Baptist Home Cemetery, Chillicothe, Mo.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Chillicothe Benevolent Care Fund in memory of O. Norman Shands for the North Missouri Baptist Home and may be left at or mailed to Lindley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 47, Chillicothe, MO 64601. Online condolences may be made at www.lindleyfuneralhomes.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe, Mo.