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Dougherty, Shannon James – Obituary

Shannon James Dougherty, 32, formerly of Baker City, died Oct. 25, 2002, at Independence after a three-year battle with A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

His funeral was today at 2 p.m. at Belcrest Memorial Park in Salem. Arrangements were handled by Howell-Edwards-Doerksen with Rigdon-Ransom Funeral Directors in Salem.

Shannon was born April 13, 1970, to Kiowa James and Roberta Lynn Dougherty.

He was diagnosed with A.L.S. in November 1999, and was told he had six months to live. He refused to accept that fate and said he would live to see his son turn 4. On Oct. 22 he kept that promise.

He adapted to all of the changes in his physical capabilities quickly, efficiently and with a seemingly effortless grace. A master of all trades, he retired from his own business as a professional floor installation and repair technician in February 2000. Having his own business was one of his lifelong dreams.

With his wife and three children, he moved from Baker City back to his homeland in the Willamette Valley in March 2000 to be closer to his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.

In August 2001, he was hospitalized for pneumonia and was told he would not live through September without medical intervention. Irritated by such a bleak prognosis, and determined to celebrate another holiday season with his loved ones, he checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice.

At that time, Shannon had lived with the inability to speak, and the challenge of eating without any use of the muscles in his mouth and throat for more a year. He had developed some unique “survival techniques” in order to continue on without the aid of a feeding tube.

In the last eight months of his life, he lost all manual dexterity and his ability to walk or hold his head up, but he never lost his ability to appreciate humor and love. It was his love for everyone in his life which gave him the courage and strength.

Shannon is survived by his dad, Kiowa and his wife, Shannon’s second mother, Sandy; in-laws, Sally and Chris Graf; his first true love, Sandra Hollister and their daughter, Stevirae Lynn; his wife, Dustine Lynn, and their sons, Augustus James and Shawn Tyler; three older sisters and their husbands, Kim and Bob, Kelly and Jesse and Kathleen and Rocky; two older brothers and their wives, Sean and Renee and Shane and Deana; stepbrother, Brad; nieces and nephews, Brandi, Fofo, Mandi, Brett, Robert, Rain, Elizabeth, Ashlee, Johnny, Alexx, Shannoa, Kyle, Kiowa, Mason, Madison, Micheal, Michcal, Dustin, Cody, Cameron, and Jasmin; cousins, Billy Jo, Sam and Kerry Martin, and their children, Jake, Josh, Little Sam, Rick, Curtis, Mellissa and Katelynn.

The family offered special thanks to Kirby, Malina, Paul, Laura, Girl Shannon, Gramma and Grampa Fiesen, Andrew, Andrianna, Lexy and Malia.

Instead of flowers, memorial contributions in his name can be sent to P.O. Box 385, Dallas, OR 97338.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, November 1, 2002
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor

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