Shawne Elizabeth McGregor, 57, died of natural causes on May 19, 2020 at CHI St. Alexius, Bismarck. She slipped away peacefully with her best friend at her side.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 23, at Bismarck Funeral Home. A livestream of the service will be available on the Bismarck Funeral Home Facebook page.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Bismarck Funeral Home.
Shawne was born May 10, 1963 at Deaconess Hospital in Grand Forks. Her parents were very young. In a time of uncertainy in raising a child with Down syndrome they thought it was best that she grew up and be schooled where she would thrive. Shawne was admitted to the Grafton State School in the fall of 1964 at the age of 16 months. She remained there until October 1981. Old photos from the Grafton days indicate Shawne was happy and thriving. In 1981 Shawne moved to the Memorial Group Home in Bismarck and attended BHS. She graduated in 1984. Sadly, there was no further contact with her family. In the face of adversity, she continued to make great strides in her life. She moved to an Intermediate Care Home operated by Enable in order to improve taking care of herself. She also began vocational training at Pride Inc. to learn the skills to help her get a job. She did have many jobs over the years including clerical, custodial work at Army's Sports Bar, the Law Enforcement Center, Western Area Power and housekeeping at the Radisson and Select Inn. Her employment opportunities were made possible with the help of the Pride Supportive Employment Program and of course her determination to succeed. In 2007 Shawne transferred to Pride Production doing in-house contracts for various local businesses. She retired in 2018 and participated in day activities for seniors through Prides Gracefully Aging Program. There, she enjoyed seeing her other retired friends, spent time coloring, dancing, listening to music and arts and crafts.
Shawne always wanted to live in her own apartment, so in 1986 she made another transition to a group home with Pride where she worked hard to learn independent living skills. With staff support the skills came easy to Shawne. She was soon washing clothes, cooking beginner level meals, cleaning with such care, learning how to be safe at home and in the community and how to manage her money. Eventually she and her dear friend Margaret got an apartment and would go on living together until 2018. The two of them enjoyed trips to San Diego, Las Vegas, Disneyland, Minneapolis to see the Twins, the Black Hills, the ND State Fair and Nashville. What was her last trip, she recently went to Disney World with her friend Michelle.
Shawne loved to dance. Lately her favorite songs were by Billie Eilish and Lizzo. She especially liked the dances at the Amvets and would be the last one on the dance floor at the end of the night. If the band did not play Ring of Fire, she would give them heck until they did. She loved getting together with her friends, especially the Church Supper Group one to two times a week. She played on different Special Olympic Bowling Teams and won many medals which made her so proud. Her favorite pastime was coloring and drinking Mt. Dew. She kept these items in her backpack which went everywhere she did.
Shawne cherished her Pride family and it was easy to love her back. She often controlled the upper hand with her staff and came out on top during many power struggles. She was just that convincing and determined. Shawne was eager to learn new things thus her success in working and living independently. She kept her home very tidy and even folded her dirty laundry. Her drawers were meticulously organized and preferred to do it all herself (although it sometimes took her until 2 a.m. to complete). People who just met her would always notice her beautiful nails. She got her nails done on a regular basis at the mall. She had the most fun T-shirts, tennis shoes and always wore a baseball cap. Over the years she was a regular guest in many staffs' homes. She was certainly the life of the party and enjoyed praying before meals at the Wanner's. She had amazingly funny wit, a passion for shopping, made a perfectly made bed, insisted on a fluffed pillow and the most affectionate smile which will be deeply missed by many.
Thank you to all that made a difference in her life. Especially to her Pride family, the Wanner family, to her DD Case Managers Karla and Jim, Guardian and Protective Services, Catholic Charities, her Pride Program Coordinator Dawn Thuen, her staff at Gracefully Aging, her Residential Coordinators Alisha and Margot, the CHI St. Alexius ICU Crew for their loving care and comfort measures, her friends Michelle and Patti who loved her and to Kaytlyn who has been there for Shawne through the years. You were her daily dose of sunshine.
Those who departed this life on earth before Shawne were her dear friends Clinton, Clyde, Margaret and Ann who was a special friend and staff.
In honor of Shawne, please color a picture to bring along to the service.
The recording of the service will be posted to the Bismarck Funeral Home website where you can also sign the online guestbook and share memories with her family at www.bismarckfuneralhome.com.
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