Today seems little different from yesterday, but for those of us who knew Shanna, today has a painful hole, where a part of our heart has been torn away. Time will heal that pain, but our memories of her will only be gone from this earth, when we meet her again. Cancer, it took her body and while it won that battle, it never killed her spirit. Shanna loved life, lived it with passion while also loving and caring for animals. Those of us left behind remember a woman we loved, and loved us back.
Shanna passed on July 21, 2020 at 8:30 AM, after a three-year long battle with cancer at the age of 58, peacefully at her home in Verona, with family by her side. You may not have known Shanna, so she wrote the following write-up as a way for you to know her a little more than just a name on an ancestry chart or in a newspaper column.
Shanna was born at Oneida Hospital on July 29, 1961, and she loved the company of her mom, Charlotte (Lewis) and dad, Harland Ayers. In 1966 along came the “Blizzard of ‘66”. Shanna had fond memories of sledding down the huge hill on the side of the house while she got to have Mom & Dad home for 3 days straight, even if they were shoveling.
In 1967, along came sister Tracie Lynn, who Shanna got to name. Summers were spent at Edgewater Park, near Sylvan Beach, camping in a large tent. It was the most exciting part of the year. Swimming, boating, just relaxing in the sun. Family reunions each year at (Harden) Forrest Park (Camden) were something she looked forward too. Having family around meant everything to her.
Shanna attended John D. George Elementary School that she loved. High school was at VVS Central School where she was bullied grades 8-11, but it made her a stronger person. She loved attending the VVS football games and went to every one of them with her friend Michele (Boyson) Markowski.
In 1984, she married Carmen and they had wonderful memories. They built her dream log home in 1996, overlooking Oneida Lake. It was a dream, she had everything she ever wanted. Shanna had her 3 pets she loved very much. Her bunny, Fidget who ate everything. Her Golden Retriever, Joshua who loved everyone and her German Shepherd, Shalimar who loved no one but Shanna & Carmen. Shanna & Carmen divorced in 2000, but they remained friends. Shanna never got to remarry, but it was her wish. She dated here and there, but nothing came close to her marriage to Carmen.
Shanna moved in with her dad, Harland. After a few years a German Shepherd, Jake came into her life who was her best friend. She has a tattoo of Jake on her shoulder. Shanna volunteered at Wanderer’s Rest for a while and just wished someone would adopt the older dogs. When Jake parted, Shanna adopted 2 rescues, Mishka, a Chow/German Shepherd and Bruno, a German Shepherd/Siberian Husky. She loved her dogs and worried about her cancer and what would happen to them. Shanna’s wonderful friend, Jim Evans, came forward and said he’d take both. It took a load of worry off Shanna’s mind.
Shanna had many jobs, but her favorites were at OnBank, the Marketplace Mall, Raymond, and Madison-Oneida BOCES where she made many close friends.
During her cancer, everyone stepped up to help. Shanna’s brother, Butch Ayers, sister, Tracie Ayers, and niece Lisa (Ayers) Woodard, were big helpers in her care every time she got out of the hospital. Lisa was her caregiver when Shanna went to Atlanta to go to the Cancer Treatment Center of America.
Surviving are her 93 year-old dad, Harland; her brother, Butch; her sister, Tracie; her nieces, Lisa Woodard, (partner Mike Decker) and Chrissy Lipscomb, (husband Drew Lipscomb); and nephew, James Ayers (wife Tammy Ayers); and her 3 great nephews, Tyler and Jaden Ayers and Chase Jerman. She was predeceased by her mom, Charlotte.
Calling hours will be at Saturday from 11 AM to 1 PM at Coolican-McSweeney Funeral Home, 322 Washington Avenue in Oneida.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made please to Wanderer’s Rest, 7138 Sutherland Drive, Canastota, NY 13032. Flowers will fade, but these animals will touch many hearts for years to come.
Shanna will be missed greatly by all who knew her, and she reminds us to live each day to the fullest, tomorrow is never guaranteed.
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