The world became a more colorful place on Feb. 8, 1976, when Shannon Colleen Lewis Billings, Shannon the Great, was born in Anchorage, Alaska, the same place where she passed away peacefully on Jan. 12, 2021. Shannon was born to Robert N. and Margaret A. (Wood) Lewis. She grew up in Anchorage and graduated as senior class president of Service High in 1994. She had a big personality that brought out the best in those around her.
She served an internship for Senator Frank Murkowski and then attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Utah State University. She worked in Denali National Park and then went to Arkansas to work on horse farms as a vet tech. She returned to Fairbanks in 1999 and gave birth to her son Jake. She built an extended family in the Goldstream Valley and in 2003 married Hank Billings.
On March 27, 2005, Shannon sustained a traumatic brain injury from a car accident. Her life was forever altered. She gave birth to her daughter Lew that June. She spent 18 months in the hospital and at home before transitioning to assisted living. She was confined to a wheelchair without short-term memory, but the love and assistance of her exceptional caregivers allowed her to recover her kind, genuine personality.
Shannon is survived by her Fairbanks family, Jake Rockett, Hank and Lew Billings, Heidi Lewis and Emma Charlton; her father, Robert N. Lewis of Eagle River, Alaska; her mother, Anne Wood of Anchorage; two sisters, Sheri Caringer of Carmel, Ind., and Heidi Lewis; and four brothers, Rob Lewis of Nashville, Tenn., Jim and David Lewis of Anchorage, and Scott Lewis of Sammamish, Wash. The world became a quieter and sadder place when she left us. To our strong, smart, sassy, sarcastic, serendipitous, superb, selfless, silly, saucy Shannon, bless your heart forever.