New Shawn Myers Memorial Garden dedicated on Daniel Island
The afternoon sun streamed through the trees as a small crowd gathered in a circle along the trail at the Daniel Island Commemorative Park on Jan. 31. It was a cold day, but hearts were warmed as family and friends joined together to dedicate a special new, reflective space in memory of the late Shawn Myers, who passed away unexpectedly five years ago, leaving behind his wife, Elizabeth, and two young children, Allen and Emily.
Some of those present wore bright orange, in support of Elizabeth, who attended Clemson and spoke at the dedication. Clutching notecards and tissues, and with her mother standing beside her to offer comfort, Elizabeth expressed her heartfelt gratitude to those in attendance.
“I want to thank you all for joining me and my family today to remember Shawn,” she said, her voice reflecting the emotion of the moment. “He was a lot of different things to all of us. He was an amazing husband of 14 years, a loving father, a trusted friend, an inspiring coach to many young girls and boys. It means the world to me to have you here.”
Elizabeth shared her appreciation for the creation of the new Shawn Myers Memorial Garden, which features three benches, a bald cypress tree, a Natchez crepe myrtle, spartina grass and other unique landscaping elements. A circular bronze plaque and a plaque from Elizabeth’s Delta Delta Delta sorority at Clemson will be added in the near future. The garden was made possible through donations to a memorial fund set up for Shawn after his death and matching contributions from the Daniel Island Community Fund.
“When an unexpected tragedy struck, Daniel Island pulled together to support a grieving family,” stated Jane Baker, vice president of community services for the Daniel Island Property Owners Association. “Through the generous contributions of friends, family, business partners and the Daniel Island Community Fund, a second phase of the Daniel Island Commemorative Park opened this (past) week with a dedication to Shawn Myers, a beloved resident who passed away in 2014. Being able to beautify the island with a lasting gift that generations of residents will appreciate is a very special part of the Myers family legacy.”
Elizabeth expressed her thanks to all who have supported her family through this trying time, including her fellow staff members at Daniel Island School, where she teaches first grade.
“I want you to know how humbled and blessed I have felt to have the outpouring of love and support this community has shown my family and me to carry on without Shawn,” she said to those gathered. “I encourage each of you to live each day to the fullest and to always say ‘I love you’ when you part from your loved ones.”
Columbia resident Katherine Lockwood, one of Elizabeth’s sorority sisters, also spoke at the dedication, sharing a prayer with the crowd.
“Dear Lord, we are thankful that Shawn’s gifts to the Daniel Island community will forever be remembered,” said Katherine, with Elizabeth by her side. “May this place not be consumed with sorrow, but with love, for all that Shawn was, all that he gave of himself, and all that he hoped for those he loved. Let us all come here to remember a life well-lived, and to honor Shawn by serving others and loving others as you, our Heavenly Father, have called us to do.”
Shawn attended Winthrop University, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He was an investment advisor with Wells Fargo in the years before his passing and also served as a dedicated soccer and football coach for Daniel Island youth. Elizabeth hopes the community will find the garden named in Shawn’s honor to be a welcome place for all seeking peace and reflection.
“I hope this memorial will be and continue to be a place that we can all come to take a moment out of busy schedules and lives to pause and remember what a wonderful man Shawn was to each of us,” she said. “I also hope it stands as a symbol of just how precious life is.”