Sherry McConkey

Sherry McConkey

Editor’s Note: When we caught up with Sherry, she had just returned form a hike up Eagles Nest on KT in Squaw Valley. She was looking for a spot to place an eagle sculpture that was made by the Standteiner Family. On October 3, Squaw Valley will hold a ceremony to rename Eagles Nest “McConkey’s” and will spread Shane’s ashes there.

Shane didn’t have a mean bone in his body. When people met him, they felt how genuine he was with his eye contact with those smiling eyes. When people asked him questions, he answered with honest and sometimes horribly out-of-line answers, but people loved that; it brought out the truth in themselves knowing it was OK to be yourself. He made everyone laugh, smile and feel good. He took the seriousness out of life and made it so much damn fun. There was never a dull moment with Shane.

How could you not be driven and excited if you were Shane McConkey? He was so true to himself andothers. He did what he wanted because he believed in himself and he knew he could do it. Shane was not cocky, he was confident and humble and truly the most amazing guy I have ever known.

Shane always told me he wasn’t an artist, but to me he was one of the best. Watching him when he came up with his ski idea was incredible. His office was filled with little notes and sketches just like Einstein. When he skied, it made skiing look like the best sport ever. When he flew, he was a bird. His mind was always looking for ways to make things better so we could all have more fun whether it was watching him be funny, ski or BASE jump.

Shane and I always both loved eagles. I remember a lot of people asking me how I felt about Shane doing what he loved. I said, “Well, asking him to stop would be like caging an eagle.” I couldn’t even cage a bird. It would be like him saying that I can’t snowboard or rock climb or mountain bike anymore. We knew what we wanted and needed in life. It was and is who we are. We had so much damn fun doing the things we loved together.

He made sure that we had a family life. He didn’t go out and party — in fact, he couldn’t stand it. We had a great home. When we were home, we were home, with friends and family.

I know Shane gave everyone so much in the ski and BASE world, but to his daughter, family, friends and I, he gave all he could. I would always just shake my head in awe at how lucky I was. Even when I was a raving bitch, he would just look at me with his adoring eyes and say, “You’re so sexy when you’re mad.” What do you say to that? How can you think of that when someone is being mean? You must be the coolest, most loving, handsome, intelligent, artistic, athletic, impressive bad-ass motherf—er in the whole wide world. He was and will always be the Love of my Life. To me, it’s the saddest ending to the greatest lovestory ever.


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