Shane was so present, friendly and approachable. Not all young men his age are like this. He seemed so comfortable with himself and mature. He clearly had the utmost respect and love for your family. He seemed to love looking out the front window in that sunny area of your kitchen—that’s how I’ll remember him, taking in the sunshine.
I remember Shane well from his days at the Shelburne Supermarket. During check out I chatted with him a number of times, where he shared his University of Toronto experiences and his love for certain teachers at CVU who had inspired him in high school. On my frequent visits to SS I always overheard Shane's lively exchanges with customers and employees. I remember marveling at how funny, witty, smart and kind he was. He was so quick. Nothing escaped his bright attention.
I recall seeing Shane at the Shelburne Supermarket. He was so happy to engage in conversation with us, and to share the latest book he was reading. He even went to get it out of his backpack to show [us] the cover. That was classic Shane—always so excited about what he was reading.
Shane was always a lovely spark of light and so positive and I know the baristas thought of him fondly as he always took the time to engage just that little bit more and felt the comfort here to do so.
Shane was such a light, he always asked how we were doing with genuine kindness and curiosity. He would regularly strike up a conversation and we had many friendly debates about philosophy. My heart hurts knowing that such a good soul was taken so early in his life. I'm thankful that I had the chance to meet him. He made an impact he made on everyone he knew and crossed paths with.
He was always extremely engaging and thoughtful; a positive spirit. Shane knew that I liked to collect old coins. So, one day before he left to go back to school, he gave me an old nickel from 1895 that he had. He was a kind soul.
When I think of Shane, I remember the young red headed boy that I would see in the halls of CCS, and I think of a bright shining light. He always had a quick hello, smile and willing to have a conversation with a grown up. I had the pleasure of running into him I think it was last summer at Lantman’s and his light was as bright as ever. What a fine young man he had grown into. I love to think that there must be a higher purpose for Shane at this time and we were all lucky to have crossed his path in his short life.
Of the many joys at CVU, Shane's smiles in class and in the hall stand out like a beacon for me. With even a brief glance and a quick hello, he brightened the day for me. Anyone with such a wonderful outlook and such caring is often in short supply in our all too busy days.
I was lucky enough to have him as a student. His intellectual curiosity and love of learning was so impressive and memorable. Whether it was in the classroom or the hallway, having a conversation with Shane was joyous and meaningful.
My memories of Shane are that he always engaged in a friendly conversation. He was kind and thoughtful. I love that he attended and participated in Heidi's softball games and gatherings!
He was always very true to himself. Shane was easily one of the most optimistic people I knew. It’s sad that his light isn’t among us anymore, but it doesn’t mean it still isn’t shining. Shane’s impact on those who knew him speaks louder than words. Although I believe his time was cut short, I also think that he must be doing greater things that we will learn of when our time comes. He always seemed wise beyond our years. I feel truly lucky to have been able to have known and spent time with Shane, and I look forward to seeing him again someday.
Shane’s greatest attribute, in my opinion, was his ability to see every day as a new opportunity. A new adventure, a new piece of knowledge, a new friend, or the reconnection of an old one. Shane knew that no day was just another day, there was always something new, and he did his best to find it. He loved to converse, with anyone, friend or stranger (and to Shane if you weren’t a stranger, you were a friend), and what made conversing with Shane so special was that when he asked a question, he really cared about the answer. He wanted to know how your day was, or what you’ve been up to lately. These are incredible characteristics that we can all learn from Shane, and I believe it is our honor and our duty to live our lives with the same excitement and optimism he showed to all of us. Sometimes things like this don’t make sense, sometimes the pieces don’t add up. Shane’s piece always added up, he fit into whatever puzzle he found himself in, and I’m sure his piece will fit into whatever puzzle he finds next.
…every memory I have of that time (with Shane) is so incredibly joyful and bright. Most of that is due to the positive and incredibly humble personality of Shane. I cannot think of one other person with whom I only share positive memories, only him. I will never forget the welcoming demeanor and caring attitude of Shane. He always allowed me to speak my ideas, ask for help, and just have a friendly chat with him. He was incredibly inclusive, and I can’t think of a single time when he was abrasive or unkind. For that, I wish I could tell him how grateful I am to have had a friend of that nature at so young. Many people will never find a person like that in their lifetime, let alone when they are thirteen.
Every memory that I have of Shane includes his laugh and his smile. Just like the sun rose every morning and shined its light down upon the Earth, Shane was smiling and having a conversation with someone that would brighten their days too. He was a caring, compassionate, and kind fellow that this world doesn’t see much of anymore. Shane’s wonderful laugh and voice and tone still resonate in my ears. The way he would tell his mom to get out of the basement because he was embarrassed but still so appreciative, the way he talked to my family members for hours whenever he came over to my house, the way he always made me feel like I had someone to talk with and pal around with on the playground or at a social party. I know that wherever Shane is right now, he is giving someone a reason to smile just as he gave everyone that he crossed paths with.
At his young age, he had already realized the importance of "belief", or religion in life. It took me half of a long lifetime.
Shane and I crossed paths in London. His memory was impeccable, he had learnt by heart all of the flags of the world at the age of 5. My parents and older siblings alike, adored Shane. We all believed Shane would be immensely successful in whatever endeavour he pursued. We all enjoyed his friendly, gentle nature. But there is no doubt, in his 20 years on this earth, Shane has made the world better place.
Meeting Shane for the first time, he was probably 7 or 8 years old, he looked at me and said, “Hi, Ms. […]” and shook my hand. I was taken aback at how polite and poised he was. He probably went on to talk and talk about something, but I don’t recall what the subject was. Conversation and his genuine desire to connect and engage with everyone is what I will remember.
I want you to know Shane was, and always will be, a bright light during my teaching career. His positivity, effervescence and true, authentic love of learning is some thing I will never forget. When I learned of his interest to become a teacher I was thrilled and not unsurprised. And he was kind, so very truly and genuinely kind.
When I think of Shane, I remember his exuberance and passion for life. His energy was big, even as a 10-year-old. Shane would always carry the latest book he was reading, usually a fantasy novel. Most importantly Shane always had something to say! Something he thought I might need to know, and even if I didn’t need to know Shane insisted on telling me! Shane was articulate, had a great sense of humor and an ability to entertain yet listen to others at the same time. Shane was present for whatever moment he was in.
Please know you have the love and support of [our] family. But the Lord enables us to have this love to give to you. Just like He enabled us to receive Shane. For that, I am blessed to have known your son. I only wish I had gotten to know him more. But I know there will be a time for it.
I recall one game in Williston where…Shane was doing his math homework at the game…and in between the work, he’d look up and watch Heidi, and cheer for her batting or as she stood in the field. I just remember his earnest greeting to Heidi after the game–he hugged her shoulder, “good job, Heidi!” and paid attention to who she was in that moment. There are no words to the immense loss you must be feeling, but I know you find consolation in your faith, in knowing that Shane is with God, serving a higher purpose.
You could step onto St. Michael's college property and within 5 seconds, you could hear Shane yelling "HI!" to everyone he knows. I saw him with a book almost every time I bumped into him. His soul was so wise and old, I had to update him on the newest slang and trends. Shane was fond of memes. He was like a grandpa. He would send memes and then mock my slang in a very formal and grandpa-way.
Shane had the gift of true empathy, which allowed those he interacted with to be brightened by the experience. His particular turns of phrase, coupled with the velocity with which he spoke, were infused with a boyish charm. Perhaps our eager Shane was in a hurry to tell us everything there was to say in the limited time he would be with us. As Shane grew, so too did his faith. With admirable humble piety, Shane devoted himself to practicing his Catholic faith, quietly praying the Rosary, studying religious texts and praying for others. Perhaps it isn’t that Shane wanted to spend less time with us on this planet; perhaps it’s that he wants to spend eternity together with us in Heaven. And by the example he set of taking time to be kind to others in small things, listening with an open and empathetic heart and having deep faith, we stand a better chance.
Sweet Shane Beal, you have been in my heart. You the most energetic and genuinely caring young man I’ve ever met. You are a very rare breed. Every single time I’ve passed you in the halls at CCS, you greeted me with your warm smile and enthusiastic hello which always made me smile and brighten my day. Your kindness and heart touched every one of us the same way. I too believe you have been called for a very special reason.
He was unforgettable. He was enthusiastic, curious and funny—a joy to work with. What a loss to his family, St. Michael's, and the world at large. This world needs more Shane Beals in it. May you be comforted in knowing how much he affected those around him.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who would choose Shane’s register (at Shelburne Supermarket), regardless of the length of the line, to have the pleasure of talking to him. We’d patiently wait as Shane and the person at the register, groceries bagged and paid for, wrapped up their lively conversation. I told Shane he would be the perfect guest at a dinner party, especially for those of us who are on the shy side, always with something interesting to talk about—and never short on words!
Shane was such an incredible spirit in the world a true light! He was engaged and thoughtful and loving and all of the qualities he embodied were the ones that made him such a special soul and such a sacred human on our planet. I know he’s carrying on his work that he started here on the planet in another form now but I also know he is close by and watching over you and sending you love in this time.
All who knew and loved Shane will remember him as a young, vibrant student, sweet, kind and a good, good friend.
Shane always went out of his way to say hello to me every day he was working. Even when he wasn't working and just passing through the library, he always made sure to say hi.
The night after I heard the news, some friends came over… I poured out an extra glass of my favorite Scotch whiskey for Shane, turned out the lights, and lit the Scotch ablaze as tribute to Shane's passing. We shared a toast and stood around the glass as its contents burned off for 30 long minutes. When the flame had died, we set about the rest of the night, the glass remaining untouched, but with us throughout the night. I choose to see that tribute as metaphor—the beautiful flame that captivated us symbolizing Shane's very life and his existence which radiated to everyone who crossed his path, our gathering around the glass symbolizing every one of Shane's friends and family that his flame drew near, and the glass remaining with us the rest of the night symbolizing the fact that Shane will always be with us in the memories we shared with such a terrific friend and family member.
He was a wonderful and kind friend and was always welcome at our house. He would talk a mile a minute and you knew that his mouth was just trying to keep up with his brain for there was so much going on in that head!
He was great! So helpful, so cheerful, worked like a beaver, jumped in whenever he saw something that needed doing, just a pleasure to be around… always with a cheerful smile and a friendly word. The last time we saw him we asked how he was doing. He beamed. “Great!” he said. “Can you imagine being lucky enough to have this job and be here doing what I’m doing?! It’s unbelievable!” What a gift to be so in the moment, so aware of the wonder in the world, so able to communicate his joy and delight.
His vibrancy was an indication of his connection to a higher power. We do not know why a young man with such beauty and personality is taken so early, but the mystery may reveal something very powerful. The good news is that Shane had a strong faith and belief system. He knew who God was and because of this he was able to connect on a deeper level than others.
You have always brought me joy and happiness. My world became brighter, adventurous, and magical through you. Thank you, Shane! You always made me smile and I loved your big hugs. As you got older and became a young man, I treasured your texts and calls. I was so happy that you were able to share your life with me.
He radiated so much positive energy it immediately made me feel at ease. Always smiling, always happy, and always curious about the world. Shane was clearly passionate about his studies, and that’s something that I always found admirable!
Shane was a natural leader in his year. I was struck by his exceptional poise and self confidence, by his shining intelligence, and by his kindness and courtesy. He also made me laugh. He was already making the world around him better and held out the promise of doing so much more. I feel privileged to have known him.
He always showed up with a book, a smile, and a story to share. He was so smart, he would come up with games and story ideas that were so elaborate they were hard to keep up with. He had the ability to see beyond someone’s age, young or old, and be a friend. He met everyone with an openness and true curiosity.
Shane talked a lot! I don't think I ever remember him stopping. This was great for me because I am terrible at keeping a conversation going. Shane definitely could though. He was always really nice and checked in with me after tests to see how they had gone for me. I really appreciated Shane's friendship especially at a time when I was starting a new chapter and trying to find my way.
Shane always made me laugh when I was sad.
I saw him all the time at the library, where I spent many hours. If I was stressed out about an assignment or feeling overwhelmed, seeing Shane at the counter always brightened my mood. He was always there with a warm smile and friendly greeting. Please know that Shane was truly well known and well-loved around St. Mike's. He was one of those people who seemed to be friends with everyone, and I don't think you could find someone to say a bad word about him. Please accept my deepest sympathies, and may God Bless and keep you all. I know that Shane is safe at home with Him.
He was the kind of person that made you feel like what you had to say, your views on the world and the things you were passionate about mattered. He was always enthusiastic to talk about anything and everything, whether philosophy, politics, physics, history, technology, television shows, video games…anything his friends had an interest in, he would listen and contribute and share in the enthusiasm. And boy was he smart. I remember once he told me, in a rather joking tone (because even intellectuals can have a great sense of humor), that his goal was to become the image of the aged intellectual man sitting in a large library in an ornate armchair smoking a pipe, giving lectures to students like him who had a true love of learning. He was a man of integrity and righteousness. He stood strongly by his beliefs and values no matter the opinions of majority around him, he was truly admirable and inspired others to take more pride in their own values. He will be missed.
I was often struck by his comfort speaking with adults. He always had a smile, a hello, a thank you when I saw him in the halls or supervised lunch and recess—things that, as you know, are not exactly common from middle school students. He had a smile in his eyes that exuded a warmth, kindness and childlike excitement about the world around him. I always looked forward to seeing him when I went to the Shelburne Supermarket and would intentionally choose his register so that I could say hello and hear what he was up to. He was engaged, excited, open. It is not at all surprising to learn what an important role his faith had become in his life. Reflecting on my encounters with him over the years, it seems that faith was always there under the surface guiding him, even before he knew it.
We are so sorry to hear about Shane. We’ll always remember his drumstick twirling-solos and how he could talk a mile a minute in his younger years! I always had to ask him to repeat himself (maybe it was me getting older!) because he was so excited or intent on telling his story. It was great to see him take such an interest in living his faith. You’ll now have an angel watching over you all.
I smiled when I read the part in his obituary about the grocery store—that’s definitely what I thought of when I thought of him. Big smile, ready to chat about anything, efficient and cheerful no matter what.
We were trained together and then worked together at the John Kelly Library. He was a joy to be around and an enthusiastic being. Whenever he was shelving, he would always come down with an interesting looking book that he just had to delve into further. He was entranced with the beauty of the books that we got to shelve. He will be dearly missed.
I could tell right away that he would be a great addition to our [library staff] team. He was so enthusiastic and friendly. I remarked many times to other colleagues that I was amazed at how he was always in a cheerful mood, and he was that way with everyone! I was struck by how happy he was, even by the little things.
His presence and his warm smile were impossible to go unnoticed…my friends who [knew him] remarked how passionate and dedicated he was, to his faith and his studies in History and Philosophy.
Shane was a friend to everyone… He was curious, and always happy to have a conversation. He was THE drummer. He exemplified drummer excitement and happiness. He always made people smile and laugh. I often loaned him a pen, ruler, pencil—and always got it back. We had great book discussions, and debates. He never discounted anyone else’s opinions.
From the moment I started talking to Shane, I was already struck by his kindness, his energy, and the good humor and good cheer that radiated from everything he said. I will especially remember how enthusiastic Shane was about everything that we talked about. I have been a fast talker all of my life, but Shane was probably the first person I met who actually talked faster than I do. I mean that as a compliment, though: it demonstrated clearly the passion and excitement and curiosity he held for every topic that came up and every person he met.
Shane was a very trustworthy and dependable friend and I always found him to be an exceptionally genuine person, both in his words and his actions. He was extremely smart, witty, and was very confident in himself and what he wanted to do. We will carry our fond memories of him with us always.
He had a warmth of character you could just sense. Shane is someone who, while taken from earth much too soon, put his best self out there in the time he had.
Shane was one of the most kind and thoughtful students I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. I feel like I was gifted the unique opportunity to watch him grow up right before my eyes.
This is what I remember most about your son: his smile. I can close my eyes and see his open, friendly face and his smile. When I would see him at Shelburne Supermarket, it felt a little odd sometimes saying “hi, Shane!” when I was pretty sure he only had a vague notion of who we were. But he never missed a beat. There was always some little chatter we were able to do in the 2 or 3 minutes it took for him to ring us up. So light and funny that I always left saying to whomever I was with, “Shane Beal is such a sweet kid”. And he always will be.
I always loved talking to him and was so pleased that, when most middle schoolers wouldn’t give you the time of day, Shane always loved to talk to everyone, staff included! His wit, intelligence and humor always made my day better. He will be in our hearts forever. He died when he was so close to God and his loving family, and that is a great comfort.
My trips to the Shelburne Supermarket were always made more lively when I saw Shane at the checkout counter—what a kind, thoughtful young man with such infectious energy!
He was such an extraordinary young man. I remember well his uncanny ability to zero in on the younger students that needed a little TLC. At the end of the day on his way through the hall, he would high five certain kids, making them feel so special.
I love the way I really had to listen when he spoke. Firstly, because he spoke so-so-so fast. But more importantly, because he always had thoughtful things to say. I love that he was curious, always, even if he was being curious about why he didn’t care for a certain thing. I love that he devoured books, and that he wanted to talk about them. I love that he elevated the behavior of those around him – just by being him. I love that he was thoughtful enough to keep me updated about things he knew would bring me joy, like when he got his job at the library.
His passing is a huge loss for the world. We share with you a belief that he must certainly have been called to a higher purpose. He certainly was that caliber of a human being, a truly extraordinary soul, called to be a part of a larger spiritual universe guiding all of us to be our best, kindest, most generous selves that we can be. I hold him close in my heart. He was cheerful, enthusiastic, intelligent, funny, kind and eccentric in all the ways I respect. Like, for example, his passion for Russian rock music! What a treat to be introduced to it with his enthusiasm and joy for music.
We have all been blessed to have Shane make a difference in our lives. Thank you for sharing Shane. We are forever grateful for his positivity, sweet and encouraging nature. Always approachable and ready for a thoughtful conversation. His light will continue to shine in all he knew.
I can’t tell how sick and sad I feel that Shane is gone from us. I want so much for him to be out in the world, adventuring and making it better with his humor, intelligence and kindness.
A quirky observant questioner. His active mind compelled him to ask and comment with gusto, sometimes impulsively, always with good intention. He was a fun and lovely cashier at the Shelburne Supermarket. He perked up when encountering fellow Charlotters. He was engaging and able to multi-task. He seemed to be thriving at University and loved to share his experiences. All in several fast-paced minutes.
He was the best thing that has happened to [the place we worked together] in a long time. I loved his smile, friendliness, energy and playfulness with the kids. He would walk to work and still play tag with the kids. They also loved his magic tricks. He was such a nice young man, I can’t tell you how much he will be missed.
I could tell after a few [music] lessons that Shane was a truly special guy. He was so polite, had a lot of positive energy to share, and was just an all around great person. He put forth a great deal of effort into his studies and was generally just an extremely intelligent young man.
Shane was such a force, with bountiful passions and heartfelt opinions--and he made such an impact. I got to experience some of [our sons’] exchanges personally… hours of merry debate and video game strategy boomed from their computer command room.
Even when disagreeing with other students, he was always kind and humble, while ensuring the conversation remained constructive. His enthusiasm was contagious.
Shane walked in our front door with maybe one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. "Hello Mrs. X, it's so nice to meet you," he said as he shook my hand. "Thank you so much for having me over," he said as he looked back at me over his shoulder since my son was dragging him down to the basement. I stood staring in disbelief that such a nice young man had just walked into our lives.
Love Shane with all my heart. The most spiritful, smiley, jumpy human being ever. Thinking of him every time I come on St. Mike’s grounds. What a wonderful soul.
Shane, I loved your spirit and enthusiasm about faith, learning, community and family & friends. I will cherish our memories. Much love.
Shane, you were an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing time with me to talk about faith & politics. I pray that as you were a part of His body on Earth, may you be blessed to be one of Christ’s saints in Heaven. Amen
Shane, if there was one way to characterize what you’ve done for me, it was on of a ray of light that guided me through dark times. To this day you give me strength through strenuous tasks.
Although we did not always agree, I enjoyed every conversation and moment with him. I have never met a more humble, respectful and earnest a person as Shane, and I still remember him with joy in my heart.
He was nothing less than a light in the dark, and a beacon of hope for the future.
Shane was nothing short of extraordinary. A fine young man with a heart of gold and always a smile. He will be missed.
I am struck by the immense joy and hope of Shane’s family—and all of us—through this time, and I only hope that when I go, I will have loved as well as him. Have comfort in knowing he is with our Blessed Lord.
I feel extremely blessed to have known and learned from Shane. I will always remember him as one who was full of the joy of the Lord.
Shane was one of the most genuine, inspiring, kind and educated people I knew. Just his thirst for learning and knowledge still keeps pushing me every day.
Shane, I’ll never forget your spirit and zest for life. Thank you for your listening ear and for challenging us to think beyond how we thought we could.
He is the clearest example of a life well lived that I know and remains an inspiration to us all.
I can say that my confidence in my own opinion has greatened from just talking to him.
Shane was magnetic and larger than life. I was jealous of him and his vitality, initially, but as I came to know him, I was just grateful he was friendly to all.
Shane blessed us all even when he said hello (the Pope wave, but cooler). He changed our lives for the better, and I hope continues to through those lives he touched.