Sophomore remembered for love of children, family

Shaina Percy, an early childhood development student, died April 6.
Sophomore Shaina Percy died April 6 of injuries from an April 3 car accident near Montgomery City. Percy's husband Jacob, pictured with Percy, who had just returned from active duty in Afghanistan, was driving the car. COURTESY OF THE FINCH FAMILY

Kathy Finch has three children, but she always says she has four. The fourth is her daughter Shaina Percy's husband, Jacob Percy.

Mrs. Percy, a sophomore studying early childhood development, died April 6 of injuries sustained in an April 3 car accident. She was 19.

Jacob Percy, a member of the Army National Guard, left for Afghanistan in December. He returned April 3 for two weeks to celebrate Mrs. Percy's 20th birthday. That night, he lost control while driving, and the two of them were thrown from the car.

Mrs. Percy married Jacob Percy, her boyfriend of three years, last October. Finch said Jacob Percy and her daughter were soul mates.

"She always said, 'He's the one I'm going to marry,'" Finch said. "They were always connected, made for each other."

Finch said her other two daughters would sometimes even argue with Jacob Percy as if he were their brother.

"He was part of this family, like he was our son," she said. "I would do anything for Jacob. We all would."

Jacob Percy put Mrs. Percy on a pedestal, Finch said.

"He treated our daughter with such high respect and everything," she said. "He loved her with all his heart. That's all I've wanted for my girls."

Mrs. Percy was Jacob Percy's life, Finch said. She said Mrs. Percy will be his guardian angel, especially when he returns to Afghanistan.

Mrs. Percy's other love, Finch said, was children.

"She always loved being around kids, working with kids, doing anything about kids," Finch said. "She loved little ones and all little ones loved her."

Finch laughed, saying children felt closer to Mrs. Percy because of her height. She was 4 feet 11 inches.

"She always had a thing with little ones because she was small," Finch said. "They felt closer to her size."

From ages 15 to 17, Mrs. Percy worked at the New Florence McDonalds drive- through. Finch said there was a little boy who would frequent the drive-through just to see Mrs. Percy, even just to get something as small as an ice cream.

"He would ask, 'Where's Shaina?' if she wasn't working," Finch said. "If she wasn't there, then he didn't want nothing. He just wanted to talk to Shaina."

When she wasn't working at McDonalds and going to high school, Mrs. Percy also studied martial arts with her sister Monica. Mrs. Percy studied martial arts for six years. One day, the martial arts master sparred with the two sisters.

"He said that was a bad mistake, because we beat him up," Monica Finch said. "He threw her, and I had him at the feet."

Monica Finch said she and her sisters were very close.

"We were really there for each other no matter what," she said.

Finch said her daughters always acted like siblings.

"They argued," she said. "But if anything ever got one of them down, they were all together, no matter what. Her sisters will truly, truly miss her so much."

Mrs. Percy was a very outgoing sweetheart who would do anything for anyone, Finch said.

"Even if she didn't have money, she would make sure it got done some how," she said. "She was a great girl."

Mrs. Percy is survived by her parents Kathy and Roger Finch, her sisters Monica and Kayla, her husband Jacob, her grandparents Lee and Audrey Duniphan and John Finch, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Donations are being accepted for Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis.

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