SHARMIN FAIRBANKS MCKENNY

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Sharmin’s roots were in the ground. Like her ancestors, she began her life on a traditional family farm with all the animals, crops, barns, and muddy roads. She was part of a progressive middle-class family who enjoyed experiencing the past through traditional activities like: butchering, preserving, sewing, and making cider.

Life on the farm was far from typical. They had pets of all kinds, including a monkey, Tiki. They owned an airplane and had a short grass landing strip on the farm. Though Sharmin remained on the farm through high school, life took off quickly. She soloed in the airplane, before she got her driver’s license.

Sharmin’s father was a founder of the National Farmers Organization and lobbyist for the rights of the family farmer in Washington, D.C. He immersed his children in politics and the working of our government at a very young age.

One of thirty-five students in her class at a rural high school, Sharmin graduated as valedictorian. Three years later, she completed a B.S. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Missouri, School of Nursing. She turned in her Master’s thesis in nursing at the University of Kansas the day her son was born.

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Her nursing career started in a large general hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. It soared to new heights after five years when she helped initiate the sixth civilian air transport system in the United States. St. Joseph Hospital Life Flight transported critically ill or injured patients by helicopter from scenes of accidents and small rural hospitals to level one facilities.

Ten years and two children later, Sharmin and her husband agreed she should stay home to raise and enhance the education of their children. When Aaron and Macy were assigned to find at least three ancestors, it was a great project for a mother’s help. They traced ten generations of Fairbanks in North America and more in Europe. The children developed an appreciation for their past. Their mother could not put the project down and continued to study the genealogy and stories of the family.

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Currently, Sharmin is the co-chairperson of membership in the Gulf Coast Writers Association. She is an active member of the Fairbanks Family of America, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Lancaster Massachusetts Historical Society and Muskingum Chapter of the Ohio Genealogy Society.

Sharmin participates in her community as division chairperson of the Neighborhood Watch program and was one of the founders of their community women’s club. She speaks at functions, writes for the community newspaper, leads numerous interest groups, and participates in a book club and an international cooking group.

The Fairbanks Family of America cited Sharmin’s website, www.fairbankshistory.com and Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/FairbanksHistory/ in their summer newsletter. Another article was published in the Muskingum County Chapter of the Ohio Historical Society newsletter. The Wisconsin Historical Society Museum asked her to write articles to accompany the 1640’s matchlock gun that belonged to her ninth great-grandfather that is in their repository.

She shares her appreciation for natural beauty by mounting orchids on trees around her home and their Florida golf course for everyone’s enjoyment. Sharmin also
Golfs, hikes, and bikes to satisfy her love of nature, being outdoors, and a healthy lifestyle.

Recently, Sharmin learned to paint. It is a new joy along with her lifelong favorite, reading. She particularly enjoys historical, historical fiction and biographies. However, she enjoys all genres. When she was young, she read the dictionary and encyclopedia when snow bound on the farm.

Sharmin’s newest passion is writing an historical novel. Through it, she hopes others will find pleasure in learning history and how common people did uncommon things to make the world what it is today.