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Shannon Sakura Mayhan, just 11 years old, passed away in the loving arms of her Mother & Father, surrounded by family in her home on July 11, 2018. Shannon's passing comes just shy of 1 year after being diagnosed with DIPG, a rare form of childhood brain cancer.
Shannon is a Flathead native, born December 2, 2006 at Kalispell Regional Medical Center to Elizabeth Shupert and Joseph Mayhan. Shannon was raised by Elizabeth & Luke Coyle here in Kalispell since she was 17 months old. She attended Helena Flats school since kindergarten.
Shannon's personality was larger than life, and she had a smile that could light up a room to go with it. Her beauty, witty humor, charm, playfulness, but mostly her compassion, gave Shannon an amazing ability to connect with people. We knew early on Shannon loved making new friends, and her crop is bountiful, the harvest great. Shannon's love has blessed this family, our community, and our lives with endless opportunities for new friendships and glorious new beginnings with the seeds she has planted.
Shannon loved foremost her family, was a loving daughter, granddaughter, attentive sister, caring neice and cousin. She always respected her role as the oldest sibling, and was a remarkable big sister. Her favorite thing above all things were sleepovers with Grandma & Grandpa. The shopping, baking, diy projects, and the simple time spent made her bounce with joy. Shannon enjoyed planning family gatherings, visitors, vacations, and trips out to her uncle's place.
Friends were Shannon's passion in life and we believe maybe her purpose. She enjoyed being a kid and doing things kids do, but she loved to share that joy with others, and it didn't seem to matter who. Her friends range from old to young, large to small, and everything in between. She seeked to love the person inside us all and she held everyone equally close to her heart. There was even a special place she kept for those with whom she struggled at times, and she never lost hope of finding a way to break down barriers in her way.
Shannon loved the Flathead Valley and all that is Montana. Except the hunting, although, despite her love of animals, think she secretly wanted to try it. She loved to go fishing with her Dad, as long as the fish were biting. Shannon loved UNICORNS!!! and everything that sparkles! Mom made preparations, there was practice, travel, dress up, and BEAUTY PAGEANTS!!! Precious moments for a mother & daughter, Dad & brothers tagged along, but for Shannon this was all about Mom. Oh, and the friends, again, so many friends. She was a big shining star, with a sparking smile, outgoing, professional, and a stage presence that could have taken her a mile. She has won many crowns, but what made us glimmer with pride, was when she stood up and performed comedy, made people laugh, that was her true nature inside. Shannon enjoyed staying active, she participated in girl scouts, dance, gymnastics, softball, basketball, and volleyball.
One year ago, on this very day, Shannon was diagnosed with DIPG, an inoperable, terminal brain tumor intertwined within her brainstem. Shannon returned home from a 6 week radiation treatment with a determination we had never seen before. Despite her struggle with symptoms Shannon returned to school, played basketball on the girls 5th & 6th grade basketball team at Helena Flats School, and competed in multiple beauty pageants. By now, Shannon had gained the support of an entire community that extended beyond boundaries and carried out into the world. Sadly, after just six short months, Shannon had to return to Denver for further radiation treatment. No hope for a cure, just 8 more weeks of managed symptoms. Shannon missed the end of basketball season and most of the end of the school year, but her courage and resolve were inpenetrable. She pressed forward like a warrior, fought with dignity and grace, and showed her faith with the way she approached each new challenge she would face.
Our dearest Shannon: You have brought a light to this world that can not be extinguished. Leaving behind a legacy of memories that will outlive our time and impact the lives of many. Our hearts are forever greatful for the love and friendships we share. We are so very proud of you, the way you lived, and the battle you fought. We love you so much Shannon, "Well done".
Father's prayer: "Heavenly Father, I thank you Lord, for sending this angel, that was my little girl, and tell her thank you for all she's left me, and what she has taught me about this world. Let her know the peace I feel, though deep amist her wake, because she drew me near to you, this pain I can now sustain. Tell her that I promise, with every beat of my aching heart, I will listen to your direction, so this is the last time we will part. In Jesus name, Amen."
Shannon was preceeded in death by Great Grandparents Cora & Raymond Shupert, Uncles Don & Jess Shupert, Great Great Uncle Mike Anderson,and Great Great Aunt Helen Healton.
Shannon is survived by her parents Luke and Elizabeth Coyle, brothers Quincy, 8 and Riley, 4. Great Grandmother Carolyn Robinson, Grandparents John & Bonnie Shupert, Uncles Butch & Joe Shupert, Aunt Susan Robinson, Uncle Bill and Aunt Rose, all of her cousins, in-laws, and friends.
A celebration of Shannon's life will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church on Monday, July 16th at 11 a.m. There will be public viewing time beginning at 9 a.m. Please join the procession to Darlington’s funeral home immediately following the ceremony. Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for Shannon’s family.
Gifts or donations can be directed to the Darlington Cremation and Burial Service or visit www.pleasehelpshannon.com