Shawana Shunta Marie Gaines was born at Centerville Hospital in East Saint Louis, Illinois, to Paula Howlett and Harold Farris Jr. Shawana was the youngest child of Paula's three children.
The first five years of Shawana's life was spent in Illinois (East Saint Louis, Chicago, and Evanston). At the age of 5, Shawana relocated to Portland, Oregon.
Through her years, she's attended Woodlawn, Kelly, Lane, Madison, Centennial, Gresham High School, and MT. Hood Community College, where she obtained her G.E.D.
To know Shawana was to know true love and joy. Shawana was a fun, loving, and caring spirit. Never liking conflict. She was a very talkative and creative person with her writing and her art. Her baby face made her so lovable and easy to approach. When Shawana loved, she loved hard. Her sarcasm and sense of humor was always a delight. She was also a very quiet person, but when she roared, she was heard as the "Leo" that she was.
She worked hard and was very responsible to her duties in life to maintain her independence. Shawana was a strong woman that stood on her own two feet, and never liked to ask for help, or let anyone know of her struggles. She was determined to reach greatness by all means.
Shawana is survived by her mother Paula Howlett, father Harold Farris JR, maternal grandfather Paul Howlett, fraternal grandmother Dorothy, sister Kiseana Gaines, brother Sean Gaines, life partner Shaniqua Hall, son Amauri Hall, niece Keona Grant, nephew Dionte Grant, and a hosts of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.