Megan Christine McNerney

MegMegan Christine McNerney went to be with her Heavenly Father on July 30th, following a sudden respiratory and cardiac arrest a week earlier.

Megan was born February 9, 1985. Affected by cerebral palsy since before her birth, she enjoyed a higher level of care throughout her life. She was baptized at St John Catholic Church in Greenwood and grew up in the Kirkland-Woodinville area.

Megan blessed the lives of many caregivers and therapists, whom she loved as family. She developed a love for horseback riding at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center for 20 years. As a toddler, she couldn’t wait to don her tiny cowgirl boots each week.

Megan liked traveling and was very aware of her surroundings and any deviation from expected routes. She was familiar with the location of every elevator at all the local shopping malls. Non-verbal her entire life, Megan would wave directions from her wheelchair, commanding the adjustment of window blinds or a side trip to Nordstrom’s elevator. She eventually gained the confidence and motivation to briefly walk on her own by a desire to access nearby elevators.

The outdoors were special to Megan. She enjoyed rolling along forest trails and feeling the rhythm that timber bridges played Meg,JMeg,Kon the wheels of her jogger stroller. August would sometimes find her at the base of a waterfall or in the cool stream of air issuing from the Big Four Ice Caves. She took delight in riding ferries and anticipated the hum of grated sections of bridge decking. She especially loved spending time at her grandparents’ cabin on Dabob Bay, and giggled with delight upon hearing the song of the Swainson’s thrush, or Grandma Gloria’s rendition of “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?”

Her cowgirl boots and fleece notwithstanding, Megan had a definite girly side. She preferred some of the more bright shades of pink, and some of her more chiseled male doctors. She liked to people-watch at the malls and enjoyed listening to girl talk, sprinkled with as much drama as possible. Occasional commotion and mayhem were seen as treats to Megan, even when she needed to be the catalyst. Many a straight back chair, or an occasional water glass, fell victim to her quick hands. Once she nearly scored a full beverage tray, but the surprised waitress was exceptionally agile and blessedly understanding. In fact, restaurant outings were another of Megan’s favorite social activities. But, she also enjoyed quiet dinners at home – preferably with at least 20 relatives – and always topped off with chocolate pudding and a noisy shot of canned whipped cream.

Megan’s preference for stimulation was also evident in her preference for spicy food and for the wilder rides at Disneyland. After years, she would still giggle with anticipation upon hearing the admonition to “…hold on to them hats and glasses, cuz this here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!” A good, solid earthquake or a train derailment would not be lost on Megan.

Megan had a great love for music and rhythm. She also loved the sound of youthful voices that were part of so many of her media pieces. She enjoyed the joyful music and young lectors that enlivened Life Teen Mass at her parish church. In the summertime she would occasionally explore other parishes on Sunday afternoon road trips extending from Sammamish to Covington. For Megan, the rainy season was punctuated by a succession of birthdays and holiday gatherings, and she was especially comforted by Christmas music. However, Megan perfected the practice spreading Christmas cheer throughout the year. She could easily listen to her various Christmas CDs and DVDs 365 days a year. And she also expected to watch Jeopardy six nights a week. In the evening it was always the same routine: time for Jeopardy, then time for bed. As if a signal to her family that things were as they should be, this is exactly how Megan drifted off to sleep for the last time.

But above everything that Megan seemed to cherish, she adored all those people who gave meaning to her concept of life, of love, and of God. She would become visibly excited as soon as the passing scenery suggested that a detour through Bothell or Woodinville was in the works. In fact, Megan’s love-hate relationship with anticipation and suspense required that any grandparent visit be announced only after the trip was in progress. She loved her sister and brother in law and drew great comfort and security from them. Megan’s mom was a constant loving companion and tireless advocate. Megan and her dad had a special relationship characterized by adventure and joy, but always founded on mom’s hard work. Numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors showed their love for Megan in ways that were often visible and sometimes subtle.

Megan also had a large community of caregivers who have become her second family – and in fact a third family, when her several hospitalizations are included. These men and women, serving in various professional capacities, have helped Megan enjoy the best that life could offer her. Her family would like to thank the physicians and staff at Fircrest Residential Habilitation Center and at Northwest Hospital & Medical Center for their consistent and thorough services, and for their kind concern.

Meg,CandMnew_crpMegan charmed all who met her with her dancing eyes, contagious laugh, and wonderful sense of humor. More than a few have wished they had her hair and lashes. She lacked nothing in life that is lasting, but in stimulating God’s love in so many others, she takes all that she gave away into her new life.

Megan is survived by her parents Jim and Karen, her sister and brother in law Carrina and Michael, her grandparents Tom and Gloria McNerney, her grandmother Donna Sowler, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Megan was preceded into new life by her cousin Briana Hart, her uncle Mike McNerney, and her grandpa Craig Sowler.


Funeral Mass
11:00 am, Wednesday August 6, 2014
Holy Family Catholic Church (
7045 120th Ave NE
Kirkland WA 98033
Reception with refreshments following

Private Committal Service
Holyrood Cemetery
Shoreline WA

Remembrance Suggestions:

Friends of Fircrest
Fircrest School
15230 15th Ave NE
Shoreline WA 98155

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
Dunmire Stables
18675 NE 106th St
Redmond WA 989052

29 Responses to “Megan Christine McNerney”

  • Kathryn Lalario says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Megan’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Karen and your family.

  • Pam Drake says:

    Dear Karen and Jim,
    I’m so very sorry to hear the loss of Megan. I had gotten to know her when she was at Redmond High School with Bridget and Pipper. She had a smile that would melt your heart. I send my thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
    Please take care

  • Wendy Schindler says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Megan. All of you are in my thoughts.


  • Nancy m cerruti says:

    Dear Karen and family,

    I am so very sorry to hear that Megan passed. I feel so lucky to have know her for a short time. I loved it when she came in for her haircuts, she was so infectious with her smiles and laughter , and every time I’d turn on the blow dryer she’d clap her hands because she loved it . Megan was such a precious gift I will never forget her. Love to you all.

  • Mary and Dave Bannister says:

    Dear Karen, Jim and Family,

    We know Megan will be greatly missed. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers at this time of loss.

  • Beth Larson, OT says:

    Remembering Megan from her first days as a student at Gordon Hauck school in Kirkland. She has left us with many fond memories. My thoughts are with you, her very loving family.

  • Jeanne Goldbloom says:

    Megan made the lives of all of those who knew her more meaningful, richer and real. Her smile, her laughter, her mischievous hair tugs and antics, her love of music, her fascination with the TV show Jeopardy and her love of family will never be forgotten. She always made me feel special when she came trick or treating or when she let me watch Jeopardy with her. I feel blessed to have been a small part of her life. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

  • jim and Laura Carr says:

    Jim and Karen, the Carr family offers our sincere condolence for your loss of Megan. We pray for peace and comfort for your entire family.

  • Lang Beeck says:

    Jim and Karen – I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the joy of her story her for us! Our prayers are with you.

  • Joe and Odie Lewis says:

    Our hearts go out to all of you. Know you are in our prayers.

  • Myrna Champoux says:

    Karen and Jim,
    You have been constantly in my prayers as I have lifted you before our Lord for peace and comfort in these difficult days. As I did not know Megan, I am touched by the story of her life, her joys, her love of others, and what she received from those who loved her. These words painted a beautiful portrait of a lovely young woman. I can see how she blessed your life

  • Lisa Rasmussen says:

    I remember caring for Megan, when she was hospitalized at Northwest Hospital. She was a very special person, who loved her family and one could feel the love that her family felt for her. I will lift your family up in my prayers.

  • JC Hestand says:

    Such a lovely and warm tribute to such a spectacular young lady. She truely gave generously from her heart. My heart is with each of you. I will look forward to seeing her again soon, Psm 37:10,11, 29. 2Corinthians 1:3,4.

  • Carmon and Kerry Comunale says:

    Jim, Karen and Family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and know that Megan is now held in the hands of God. Our best thoughts to you and your Family.

  • Luella R. Harris says:

    What an impact Megan has made during her lifetime. This should be a comfort for all! May mine make a difference too, LORD I PRAY!

  • Jon & Anne Lewis says:

    Jim, Karen and Family –
    So sad to hear about Megan. We love your tribute and reading about the beautiful ways she brought love and joy to the people around her. She is lucky to have had such wonderful, devoted parents. You are in our prayers.

  • Melody Hurley says:

    Your sweet Megan sounds like she was a joy and a blessing to many. Your family will stay in my prayers. May the Lord bless you and hold you during this trying time.

  • The Bowen Family says:

    We met Megan and her family at the Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Center. Our favorite memory is the day Megan realized she could stop the horse by pulling back on the reins, to a “whoa”. She had an impish grin, and spent her hour stopping, while the rest of us were doing circles, cones and walking! Thank you Megan for the incredible years riding – you are forever in our hearts.
    Pat, Matt, Colleen and Kelsey

  • Carolyn McNerney says:

    Karen and Jim, there are no words. Our hearts are with you. Carolyn and ron

  • Bente Christensen says:

    Karen – I just found out about Megan. Hope and I are so sorry about your loss. There are no words to say at a time like this but just know that you and your family are in our hearts and prayers. Bente and Hope Christensen

  • Jenny Nell says:

    dear Karen,
    the tribute you wrote is so beautiful and so Megan. It has been several years since I have seen her, but I promise you I will never forget her. I met her when she was a very young girl, climbing up on that big horse, with a grin as big as the moon.she was a delightful young woman and made an impression on all who knew her. You and Jim are devoted parents. No child could ever ask for more than you gave her.
    thank you for sharing her with me and the whole little bit family.

  • Kathy Altman says:

    Dear Jim, Karen and Carrina,

    My heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your beloved daughter and sister. I only met Megan a few times, when you brought her by our workplace, but well remember her happy countenance and the loving watchcare Carrina had for her.

    The author of Megan’s life story above did an incredible job of helping us to know Megan better and more keenly recognize and share your loss. When you are feeling especially sad, remember you WILL be with Megan again, and spend time imagining what that reunion and the life beyond together will be like. God bless and keep each of you until then.

  • lisa Bernardez says:

    Jim and Family
    I just heard I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter.

    The obituary was so very well written I felt like I knew her sweet soul.

    Praying for your strength and faith it this time of your life

  • Kathi Kinsella says:

    Several days ago I had the privilege of attending a very divine celebration of the life of Megan- tempered with life-changing insights, humor, and honoring Jim and Karen, Corrina and Michael, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, grandparents, care givers, and the communities we all rely on in this life. Thank you for the beauty of Megan’s day- especially the toast with chocolate pudding and the can of whipped cream! With my love always and my continued awe of your precious family.

  • Tracy McConnachie says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Megan’s passing. I enjoyed teaching her at Little Bit and watching her grow into a rider. It was especially exciting to see when she realized she could be in control using the reins, Spencer was such a trooper when she learned how to halt. He did enjoy the halt breaks during class! I did like to hear Megan giggle when she realized another rider or horse was being corrected, such a sly little giggle too! She kept us on our toes and our reflexes sharp and knew exactly what she wanted. Megan was such a joy and a pleasure to work with. You are all in my thoughts and prayers….

  • Jim and Barbara Sullivan says:

    Jim, Karen and Family,
    Barbara and i are sorry for your loss and grateful for experiencing the Fruits of the Spirit, especially Love and Joy, that you and Megan shared abundantly in community. The very best day of our 1953 Farmall Cub Tractor over its many years of operation was the day Megan sat on it and sang for Joy! She blessed that tractor and its work. May God continue to bless you and our communities with eyes that see and ears that hear such Fruits of the Spirit that you as committed and loving parents beautifully and patiently facilitated in the strugggles of life’s engagements!

  • Maggie Burns says:

    Karen and Jim,
    I’m very sorry to hear of Megan’s passing. I worked with her as a student at Juanita and then for a little while at your home. I learned so much from my time with her and can still see her grin. The tribute you wrote is beautiful. It is a blessing to know she is now in heaven sharing her joy.
    You and your family are in my prayers,

  • Kelly Conrad (Croghan) says:

    Jim and Karen,

    Barbara Burnett just sent me an email to tell me of Megan’s passing. I am so sorry for your loss. Megan was a fun, joyous person and I will always be thankful for the time I got to spend with her. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  • Lauri Adams says:

    Aspen is not my “home” unit but I spent a lot of time with Megan and grew very fond of her. I frequently bragged that she was the “prettiest” girl on campus. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Megan, making her smile and laugh made me smile and laugh. I will truly miss Megan and will think of her often with a smile. You (we) were all very blessed to have her in our lives. I am so sorry for your loss of this very special girl, she has touched so many of us.

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