Cover photo for Sonja Shadow's Obituary
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1973 Sonja 2023

Sonja Shadow

December 23, 1973 — December 20, 2023

Sonja Noel (Scott) Shadow, 1973 - 2023

Sonja Noel Shadow-of Missoula, MT-passed away December 20, 2023 after living with severe anxiety disorder for an extended time. She was 49.

Sonja was born to Mary Ann (Cauthen) Scott and Richard Lynn Scott on December 23, 1973 in Columbia, Missouri. Sonja was a curious, intelligent, active, and adventurous child. She participated in various youth programs affiliated with her family's church, joined Brownies & Girl Scouts, and played softball. Later, Sonja attended Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah, where she excelled both socially and academically, serving as Women's and Men's Association (WAMA) Secretary and becoming a Class of '92 valedictorian.

After high school, Sonja attended Utah State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Math Education. During her time there, Sonja co-founded the school's first Women's Club Sports Rugby Team. Sonja (along with several close friends and an older sister) eagerly joined front-line fire-fighting efforts that were mobilizing in the forests of Utah and Idaho at the time. This choice proved prescient as it would introduce Sonja both to the US Forest Service-for which she would work professionally for many years-as well as to her future husband Greg. During this time, Sonja discovered and embraced her own form of open-minded spirituality. Sonja came to see the gifts of the natural world, the wonders of the universe, and goodness as her moral compass that would guide her.

On December 22, 2002, Sonja married Greg Shadow whom she loved for the nearly three decades they were together. Sonja and Greg cultivated their relationship with time spent in nature. They shared time hiking, rock climbing, skiing, canoeing, and mountain biking. Sonja and Greg brought two beautiful children-Ivan and Liza-into their world. As parents, Sonja and Greg partnered as they taught and raised their kids to become the wonderful and kind human being each is today. Sonja loved being a wife and mother. Though it required much devotion in both time and energy, the effort Sonja put into her family brought her joy. Her family was as essential to Sonja as she was to her family.

Sonja was preceded in death by both of her parents (Richard Scott and Mary Ann Scott); she is survived by her husband (Greg Shadow), son (Ivan Shadow), daughter (Liza Shadow), two sisters (Micheline Kolic of Bloomington, IL; Tomi Smith of Idaho Falls, ID), three brothers (Brandon Scott of Nokesville, VA; David Scott of San Antonio, TX; Eric Scott of Farmington, UT), and many other extended family members.

Mental illness is a brain disease. It is as real as cancer or kidney failure or any of the scores of other ailments that afflict our bodies. Mental illness ended Sonja's life, but her spirit lives in our memories and hearts.

Sonja, we love you. We miss you. You were wonderful.

A memorial gathering will be held on the summer solstice to celebrate Sonja at a Montana location to be determined.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sonja Shadow, please visit our flower store.

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