Shannon (Shannah) M. Gates Kueffler, (46) of West Fargo, N.D., passed away 04/08/2023 at Essentia Health Hospital in Fargo, ND due to health complications. Shannon was born August 24, 1976, to Steven & Becky Pahl-Gates in Eau Claire, WI.
She was born with a sparkle in her eyes and a smile that melted any heart and as a young child was known to often bring home many pets, one such pet hamster, Shannon had smuggled into the house, soon to her mother’s dismay discovered it had bitten Shannon’s finger while feeding it Cheetos. Shannon attended Wisconsin School for Visually Handicapped where she met many dear friends and was an excellent student. With the assistance of the school’s instructors, she excelled greatly with her art; music, voice, forensics, drama, and was a member of the swim team. Her love was with her piano and singing performing many recitals and concerts during her time at the school. After graduating as Valedictorian in 1995, she attended the North Central Technical College, Wausau, WI, and later University of Wisconsin – Stout in Menomonie, WI.
While at UW-Stout in the fall of 2001, she met her future husband and with her spunkiness, quick wit, humor, and gentle nature immediately won Mark’s heart. From the day they met Mark & Shannah or as he called her “My Love” were inseparable, rarely ever finding one without the other and were married June 28, 2003. Shortly thereafter, the couple & their dog Jedi moved to West Fargo, ND and made the city their home. Mark quickly found Shannah was definitely a girly girl, with her love of jewelry, dresses, lotion, and shoes, she loved her shoes and squeezed as much out of a dollar as she could at local shoe & thrift stores, joyfully picking out one of her literally hundreds of pairs of shoes. She was a spitfire at times and was not afraid to standup for others and for what was right, especially with regard to animals, family, and friends, she was open-minded, not easy to anger, but, quick to the bite, but loved all people and always giving the benefit of the doubt. People she met along life’s journey describe her as “the gentlest soul I ever met”, “an advocate”, and “quick with a quip”. Any animal that came her way was an instant best friend, once while going to one of her many medical appointments, Shannon sitting in her wheelchair suddenly found herself with a lap full of dog and quickly started licking her face, the dog’s owner was very embarrassed, but, Shannon just giggled and soaked it all up and said “Can I take her home?” Shannon spent most of her time at home writing poems, songs, listening, creating, and playing music. Often when she wasn’t feeling well, Mark would drag her to the piano and ask her to play how she was feeling and straight away with her amazing natural talent would quickly compose a beautiful piece of music and would soon find her with a smile. She also was a prolific reader, at times reading up to 4-6 books per week.
Shannon struggled with many health conditions over the years and the couple traveled many hours back & forth to medical appointments. She hated medical appointments but, somehow, was not one to complain much about her health and with her quick wit and frankness always seemed to leave the doctors & nurses with a smile. At one such appointment the doctor asked, “Why are you here today?”, with a sparkle in her eye and a smile, without hesitation she replied, “You’re the one that wanted me here, you figure it out!” stunning the doctor as the nurse giggled in the background.
That was “My Love”, my beautiful bride, my dearest one, I love you and you will be profoundly missed.
Shannon is survived by her husband Mark, her parents Steve & Becky Gates, her aunts Lori (Bob) Marko, Judi (Rick) Franz, Kathy (Roger) Stodola, Uncles Rick (Roz) Gates, Kelly (Sally) Gates, Dennis (Tamera) Pahl, Daniel (Mary) Pahl, Mike (Chris) Pahl, Rick Pahl, and numerous cousins. Mother-in-law Lorene Akovenko, sister-in-law LaVon Kueffler, Two nieces Jaklyn Cross, Isabella Anderson, & two nephews Alexander & David Anderson. And, Shannon’s friends she held dear to her heart; Mike Helland, Phil Tyrell, Casey Wollner, and Holly Dugal and many others.
Shannon is preceded in death by her grandmother Doris Gates, grandparents William & Joan Pahl, Aunts Connie Price and Pat Johnson, and father-in-law Jack Akovenko. Her beloved family pets; Miku, Jedi, Jazz, mama seekers, and many others.
A private family service & celebration is currently being planned sometime this summer.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center
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