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Forest Lawn Funeral Home & Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens

2401 Southwest 64th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL

OBITUARY

Shannon Collins

April 2, 1992July 3, 2011

Shannon was born at Plantation General Hospital on April 2, 1992, well after her due date. Even from that early beginning, Shannon would do things on her own schedule and in her own way. Shannon always had her own eclectic sense of style. A natural green-eyed strawberry blonde from the moment of her birth until her passing, no one could mistake her Irish heritage. Pink was never her color, even as a little girl. Her favorite color was purple.

Always a resident of Pembroke Pines, FL growing up, Shannon attended Hawkes Bluff Elementary School from kindergarten through fifth grade. She attended Falcon Cove Middle School in Weston for sixth grade, followed by Silver Trails Middle School for grades seven and eight due to school district boundary changes. For awhile, she played clarinet in the school band and sang in the chorus. Although she discontinued playing the clarinet, she took lessons in electric piano, guitar, and drums, always loving to be involved in music. She even had a "garage girl band" for a little while. Shannon attended Cypress Bay High School for ninth and tenth grades, and then West Broward High School for her junior and senior years, again due to school district boundary changes. She was in the veterinary technician program at West Broward, and graduated from West Broward High School in June 2010.

Shannon was active in Girl Scouts from kindergarten until the end of middle school, when she opted to become involved with rescue horses and fostering dogs and cats through the Humane Society. Beginning at age 14, she started volunteering at F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Horse rescue, feeding and watering the horses and other animals twice a week. She also adopted Beckit, a wonderfully patient and loving one-eyed bay gelding who taught her how great love can be between a horse and a girl. Although Beckit passed away in 2008, Shannon went on to find Charley, who will greatly miss her. Shannon also adopted her dog Boo from the Humane Society after several years of fostering puppies and kittens. There is no animal on earth that she loved more than Boo.

Although most of Shannon's teachers considered her a quiet and shy student, she was not so quiet or shy at home or with her friends. She always had a good circle of friends who truly knew what a fun person she could be. Shannon had a great sense of humor, was generous of heart, and fiercely loyal. While some who knew Shannon might have described her as too much of an idealist, her friends and family understood that she always had a strong sense of what is right or wrong, and was extremely protective of those she loved.

Shannon was a very talented photographer, loved to draw, and also wrote stories and plays. She loved to travel, and had to go horseback riding everywhere she went, whether Hawaii, Montana, or Ireland. Shannon loved the 7D Ranch in Cody, Wyoming, where she vacationed several summers in a row. She also loved visiting Ireland where everyone looked like a long-lost relative, and visiting Rome, where she was treated like a princess by all the handsome young Italian men.

After graduating from high school, Shannon was essentially self employed, feeding horses at a barn in Davie, and dog sitting/dog watching and transporting students before and after school events for working families. In November 2010, she moved in with some roommates in Davie, FL. Shortly afterward, she met Austin Shepard, who would become the love of her life. In the spring of 2011, Shannon moved back home, hoping to save money to later go to veterinary school. She started working with Austin as much as possible at a bounce house business, using her beloved Chevy Silverado to haul the bounce houses to and from the job sites. She began giving riding lessons on Charley, learned to shoot like Annie Oakley, and was regularly beating both her dad and Austin at pool (and was counting the days until she could also beat her brother, Ryan, at pool). Life was very good.

Shannon's life was overshadowed by Type 1 diabetes, diagnosed at age 12. Very recently, she had acquired an insulin pump and was doing much better at managing this disease. However, a cascade of events related to her diabetes resulted in her untimely death at only 19 years of age. Shannon is survived by her parents Blair Collins and Valerie Ahmuty, her brother Ryan Collins, her uncle "Sonny" Collins, and her beloved boyfriend, Austin Shepard, as well as many other family members, friends, and loved ones who will dearly miss her. Services were handled by Forest Lawn Funeral Home South. Shannon will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens South, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

Memories

Shannon Collins

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Betty Labadie

December 22, 2011

Dear Valerie:
We were very sorry to hear about Shannon when we received your card today. There are no words that can convey how sad we feel. We always remember you fondly and the times when the kids were little. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Please give our regards to Blair and Ryan. I know Shannon is in a better place. We hope to speak to you soon.
Betty, Mario, Erika Labadie

Marta De la Cruz

July 12, 2011

Dear Valerie, I am really sorry for your loss, I will keep your and your family in my prayers and my thoughts.

Gigi Louis

July 11, 2011

Words cannot express how truly sorry I am for your loss. My heart goes out to you.

Elizabeth Fisk

July 10, 2011

Valerie, Blair, and Ryan - Tom and I share your sadness over the loss of your dear beloved Shannon. She will always remain in our hearts, and daily thoughts and prayers. Love and Hugs, Tom and Elizabeth

Kim Davis

July 9, 2011

Valerie, Blair and Ryan - I would like to express my deepest, heartfelt sympathy to all of you. I am so sorry for the loss your bear and the pain and sadness that has come upon each of you. Shannon was loved by a caring, giving, devoted and wonderful family. May your memories bring you strength and peace in the days to come.

Opal Pitter

July 9, 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

Sherri Auten-Wallace

July 8, 2011

Blair, Valerie, Ryan, and Austin,
Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you. Shannon will continue to live on within you and in the many people that she is helping.

Nora Bruscato

July 8, 2011

Dear Valerie, Blair and Ryan,
There are no words. All of my thoughts and prayers are with all of you as well as my son. I am so grateful that Shannon loved Austin as much as she did. She taught him what loving another person really meant. We are always and forever here with you. My hope is that we can all find some peace during this time. We love you!

AnnMarie Burgess

July 8, 2011

Dearest Valerie, Blair, Ryan, and Austin, My Heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Shannon will always be in our hearts. I'll always remember her as the sweetest. kindest most gentle soul and her love for her horses. God Bless you all. With Sincerest Sympathy, Ann Marie Burgess and Family (Heather's mom)

zee lall

July 8, 2011

Dear Valerie and Blair, Our sincerest condolences on the loss of your beautiful daughter. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. I will see you on Sat. Zee Lall (Miramar, Fl.)

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