On April 27, 1986, a beautiful life began. Big brother Jared welcomed his little sister into his life. Because Shana never slept through the night until she was three years old, we had no idea what a sweet, compassionate and loving child she would become.
Through Shana’s many years of Brownies and Girl Scouts, her competitive spirit challenged her to sell the most Girl Scout cookies in her troop. Her perseverance and tenacity became apparent at a very young age.
Pee Wee soccer started at age five and continued for 10 years including travel soccer. Always athletic, but height-challenged at only five feet, Shana made the seventh grade basketball team through sheer determination and even scored some points. In eighth grade, Shana discovered a new sport and fell in love with lacrosse. Her passion for the sport intensified and she remained a committed team player on the junior varsity and varsity teams, being named co-captain in her senior year. A new annual high school lacrosse award in Shana’s memory has been established.
Shana was actively involved in all school activities from student government to athletics to community involvement. In eighth grade, Shana was co-awarded the sportsmanship award which has been renamed the Shana Kay Memorial Sportsmanship Award honoring her memory at the middle school. As a senior, she was thrilled to be nominated a candidate for homecoming queen. Her most coveted achievement was to be selected as a sign language interpreter for her graduating Class of 2004. Shana’s Commack crew will always be remembered.
Being accepted at the University of Wisconsin, Shana’s first choice, fulfilled her academic dream and was a testament to her diligence as a student. Shana absolutely loved her freshman year of college and had countless memories of her first year. Her sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, was an integral part of her life at the university. Shana’s Wisconsin girls and boys will always be remembered.
Another compelling aspect of her life was attending Camp Kinder Ring sleep-away camp in upstate New York from age 9 to 19. Camp was unequivocally the highlight of her life. From camper to waitress to counselor, Shana cherished every summer and developed friendships that enriched her life profoundly. During various summers, she was honored to be camper-captain of the Maccabean games, camper of the year and ultimately, the Maccabean leader during the summer of 2004. Camp was her world. Shana’s Kinder Ring buddies will always be remembered.
On July 3, 2005, a beautiful life tragically came to an end as Shana suddenly passed away from viral encephalitis. As a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend, Shana Michelle Kay will always be remembered. We know love is immortal and we have dedicated our very living to Shana’s life, not her death. She will always be forever in our hearts!