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Friends remember student’s love for others

Prendergast loved helping others, family and friends say

Shannon+Prendergast+trained+a+service+dog+named+Lottie+through+Canine+Companions.
Shannon Prendergast trained a service dog named Lottie through Canine Companions.

Shannon Prendergast trained a service dog named Lottie through Canine Companions.

Shannon Prendergast trained a service dog named Lottie through Canine Companions.

KATIE SHADLER, Evergreen reporter

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When Shannon Prendergast was in high school, she invited a fellow swimmer over to her house for a Prendergast family game night.

Within just two weeks of knowing each other, Prendergast had welcomed new swimmer Sarah Crockett to the team just like everyone else. Between games, food and laughter in the Prendergast home, Crockett felt a new sense of belonging.

“Now you are a part of my family,” Crockett recalled Prendergast telling her that night.

Crockett said from then on, they were best friends. She saw how Prendergast cared for others and welcomed them into her life daily.

“No one loved like Prendergast did,” she said.

Prendergast, a junior zoology major at WSU, died in a car crash Sept. 26 on I-90 east of Kittitas.

“I grew up holding this baby girl, and I’m in disbelief she is gone” Prendergast’s cousin I. Giselle said. “She held my babies. She was taken too soon.”

Bespalov and Crockett said Prendergast lived her life fully, despite living to just 20.

Bespalov said Prendergast — a swimmer, lifeguard and scuba instructor — was passionate about being in the water. She also cared deeply about helping others, Bespalov said. She volunteered to help special needs children with her mother and trained a service dog through Canine Companions for Independence.

Lani Brumley, one of Prendergast’s close friends, said her kindness also extended to animals. From helping a blind frog in a creek, to training her service dog Lottie, to caring meticulously for a chipmunk through her unpaid internship at PAWS animal shelter over summer, Prendergast would do anything to save animals.

“Her compassion for life was just amazing,” Brumley said.

WSU junior Alyssa Wolfe and junior Mia Robinson said their friend group would frequently get together to watch Disney movies, make apple cider, go swing dancing in Moscow and make arts and crafts.

Wolfe said at Christmas one year, Prendergast made all her friends little Santa sleighs out of candy bars with little trinkets unique to each person.

“It just showed how much she loved people,” Wolfe said.

Robinson, Prendergast’s roommate, said Prendergast was always looking for ways to get the group together and have a good time.

She said Prendergast was strong-willed, passionate and, above all, happy. She exemplified those attributes daily through caring for animals and being there for the people she loved.

“She believed the world could be a better place and wanted to prove that,” Robinson said. “She saw the best in people and forced them to see the best in themselves.”

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Friends remember student’s love for others