Everett and Gunnar, the youngest of the Shanahans’ five children. (Photo submitted)

Sudden death leaves Vancouver Island family of five children without a father

GoFundMe campaign set up by Lake Cowichan widow’s friend

The sudden death of a devoted dad and husband has devastated Lake Cowichan’s Shanahan family.

Rob Shanahan died in the ambulance on the way from Lake Cowichan to Cowichan District Hospital last Tuesday, July 7. The exact cause of death has not been determined.

Shanahan, who would have turned 39 in August, leaves behind wife Tiffany and five children – Danika, 12; Makayla, 10; Ema, 8; Everett, 6; and Gunnar, 4.

The Shanahans were soulmates, loved each other through thick and thin and would have celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary on July 19.

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To help Tiffany and the kids through this difficult time, Tiffany’s friend Katie Mryglod from Carlyle, Saskatchewan has set up a GoFundMe page that has already raised more than $18,000.

“I’ve known Rob the whole time,” said Mryglod. “It’s just hard. He was awesome. He was such a good dad. He was so present as a dad.

“He was fun. He was super sarcastic. He would crack jokes constantly.”

Mryglod has been here visiting family and helping to comfort Tiffany since the tragedy. Tiffany has Chemainus connections as a 2004 graduate of Chemainus Secondary School and an employee of the Western Forest Products mill in Chemainus.

“She’s very strong-willed,” said Mryglod of her friend. “It goes in waves. There’ll be moments of happy, people celebrating, and there’ll be moments when it hits.”

The Shanahans moved back to B.C. from Airdrie, Alberta in 2016. They run a family exterior finishing business called Shanahan and Sons.

What happened to Rob is so shocking for friends and family because it came completely out of the blue.

“No big health concerns or anything,” said Mryglod.

Some kind of a smaller celebration of life is being planned during COVID-19.

RELATED: Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

The Shanahans had always talked about making a long trip in the future across Western Canada, stopping in to see Mryglod along the way in Saskatchewan.

Mryglod and Tiffany met each other when they went to school together in Grade 8 in Sooke and have remained friends ever since through constant moves. Mryglod has four children of her own that’s given them a continuing connection.

All the funds raised from the GoFundMe will be used towards helping the family to grieve without financial stress and worry and support some of the future financial needs of the children.

“Anything you can contribute will be such a huge help to easing the pressures during these heartbreaking times,” noted Mryglod on the page. “The support means so much to myself and everyone around this beautiful family.”

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Tiffany and Rob Shanahan. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Tiffany and their five children after Rob’s sudden death. (Photo submitted)

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