At sunrise on August 29th Ellie "Megan" Rose Mischaikov, left us while traveling from someone she loved to somewhere she loved. And both loved her back immeasurably. Megan was a 2011 graduate of Sehome High School, where she played on the state championship soccer team alongside her sister Teya. She also played basketball, tennis and snowboarded, but above else she loved horses. She was an accomplished rider, twice competing in Cutting at the American Quarter Horse Youth World Championships. Megan expressed her love for children by volunteering at the YMCA and will be remembered fondly by all the children she babysat. Megan went on to earn a BA in Scientific Communications and a minor in Business Administration from the Edward R. Murrow College at Washington State University. She was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and rode for the WSU Equestrian Team. Many family trips abroad and a semester in Paris introduced her to different countries and cultures but it was the wide open spaces of her Oma's farm in Everson, WA that stole her heart and led her to the wild open spaces of Colorado. When asked as a little girl what she wanted to be, Megan would always answer 'A cowgirl!' The Medano-Zapata Ranch in San Luis Valley, Colorado fulfilled her passion for horses, wrangling and adventure. Beginning as an intern she worked her way up to Zapata's Head Wrangler where she drew from and added to the spirit of the ranch. Spirit was a gift of hers, one she shared freely and instilled in others as they worked, played and learned side by side - dawn till dusk - testing their limits and revealing the best of themselves and each other. Megan's photography captured the awe and peace she found in the ranching life. If Megan was nearby energy increased and laughter ensued. Lovely and confident she left people in stitches with her self-deprecating humor. Disciplined, yet graced with a delightful sense of mischief, she worked hard, played well and was always ready to dance. She was proud of, and fiercely loyal to, her family, friends and Alma Mater, WSU. No one wearing the UW purple could escape meeting her without a friendly and forceful, "Hello, I'm Megan... GO COUGS!" Megan gave it to you straight and cared deeply that the message was fair and meaningful. Few minded her forthrightness. She always spoke from love. So darned un-coachable, yet so open to learning. Above all else, Megan loved her sister Teya, who shares her passions and memories. Nothing gave her more joy than time spent with her sister. Preceded in death by her grandfathers Hans Guenther Brandorff and Michael K. Mischaikow, Megan is survived by her immediate family Ted, Angela and Teya Mischaikov, her grandmothers, Rosemarie Brandorff (Oma) and Eleanor Mischaikow (Omi), her extended family of uncles, aunts and cousins, and the many friends who loved and supported her. A celebration of her life will be held at the Bellingham Ferry Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue on Saturday, September 10th at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to support Megan's commitment to sustainability and leadership through the "The Ellie Megan Rose Ranchlands Fund for Leadership and Sustainability" (aka the "Dance While Ya Ranch Fund") c/o The Ranchlands, 22500 Peyton Highway South, Colorado Springs, CO 80928 and also "Brushfire" c/o Sehome PTSA, or the
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Sept. 7, 2016