March 23, 1992 to May 16, 2013
A bright, shining star graced us for 21 wonder-filled years. Megan Marie Shoal was born March 23, 1992, in Missoula, to Mark and Heather Shoal. She was taken from us on May 16, 2013, in a vehicle accident in Minot, N.D. It is in her honor and lasting memory that the Megan Shoal Memorial fund, as part of the Big Hearts under the Big Sky program, was established.Megan grew up in Plentywood, a primarily farming and ranching community in the extreme Northeastern part of Montana and serves as the County seat for Sheridan county. Within her town of 1,700 people and a midst the downhome rural culture Megan grew up and was well known. She attended Plentywood High School where she graduated with honors in 2010 before leaving to attend college.
Meg was a real character right from the start. She was precocious, independent, full of life and absolutely adorable. A “Daddy’s Girl” through and through, Megan was a big fan of Westerns starting at an early age, with John Wayne being her favorite actor. Even in college, she often called her Dad to let him know when a John Wayne movie was on TV. As a preschooler, she dressed up as Rooster Cogburn for Halloween, whiskey jug and all! One of her favorite all-time movies was “Young Guns.”
In grade school, Megan was quite the entrepreneur. She out-sold her mother at craft shows with her various handmade goods — just funny little “doo dads” that people seemed to want to buy from her. After she sold an item, she might even ask with a smile, “Do you want your change?” Often her customer did not. When someone came over to the house, she would get out her foot massage supplies and work for tips. However, if you were missing a toe, you were out of luck! Later Megan enjoyed buying gifts for the people she loved with the money she made. She was extremely creative and artistic; Meg was good at so many things
Megan really kept her parents busy all through school as she was involved in just about everything possible. She was one of the first girls in wrestling and was known as a scrapper in all of the sports she played. She put her heart into everything she did. Meg was one tough cookie! She strived to be unique, never following the crowd, and was well-known for her fashion statements. Always an animal lover, for a time she was a vegetarian until she met the love of her life, Colton Hellegaard, and became a mighty huntress! Megan’s last four years were spent almost entirely with Colton. Together they hunted, fished, took care of their dogs, and spent much of their time on his family’s farm. She was so looking forward to finishing school, getting married and moving to the Hellegaard farm with Colton. Her heart will always be there.
Megan was known as a giving and caring person who touched the lives of all who knew her. She was also a budding outdoors woman who enjoyed a day in the field as much as anyone. It is fitting and right that her memory be honored as part of the Big Hearts under the Big Sky program. She certainly would have liked helping others who face the challenge of a life threatening illness or honoring those who have provided extraordinary service to our Nation, enjoy the therapeutic benefits that come from outdoor adventures in Montana through the Big Hearts under the Big Sky program.
Megan’s light touched so many people’s lives. She was a gift. Though we dearly wish we could have had her longer, we thank God for the time we had with her. She made our lives “sparkle.”