23 December 1977 to 17 April 2001
Eulogy given at his funeral 21 April 2001
by his parents: Glen and Sylvia Just
The young man who lies before us has had a troubled life the last few years. He has made a number of poor decisions that created such a burden on him that his last decision was this fatal one.
But that is not how we remember Shawn.
Shawn was born 23 Dec 1977, was walking at 6 months and running soon after. He broke his leg at 22 months but that did not stop him. He would dance on the full leg cast.
Shawn learned to read by age 4, and then became an avid reader and a talented writer. In grade school, he would write adventure stories with intricate plots and multiple endings complete with his own illustrations.
Shawn kept his teachers busy, often becoming bored with the pace at school, which could, sometimes, land him in trouble. He was anxious to try new things and participated in rollerblading, softball, soccer, track, tae kwon do, speech & debate, Spanish club, and orchestra.
He loved the outdoors and to hike, bike, camp and fish – even if he did not catch anything. Even when he grew older, Shawn enjoyed our family camping trips although he did become drenched from torrential rains.
Shawn had an impish sense of humor. When asked if he was allergic to anything before surgery, he replied “Only my mom.”
Shawn was passionate and intense. He would attack tasks with intensity and loved the people around him with devotion. In the end, Shawn concentrated his love towards Rachel and Ethan. We have no doubt that Shawn loved them both deeply.
I don’t think Shawn realized how much we loved him or how proud we were of him. But we loved him more than anyone or anything and we were always proud of the person he was. We are especially proud of the patience and love he showed Ethan.
This is how we will remember Shawn: bright, active, inquisitive, and loving.