Family, Friends Remember Senior Ariel Shaker

Memorial Service shows 'a life extremely well-lived'

Lerenzo D. Tolbert-malcom

The crowd in Memorial church joins in a sing-along during the memorial service for Ariel Shaker, ‘10. Shaker passed away last Wednesday, having suffered critical injuries in a polo accident the week before.

Friends and family remembered Ariel E.F. Shaker ’10 for her creativity, imagination, and friendship during a memorial service held in Memorial Church on Friday. Shaker passed away last Wednesday night after suffering injuries in a horseback riding accident the week before.

One of the Palo Alto native’s friends from home welcomed those in attendance to the “Ariel Party,” telling everyone that Shaker had said that if she never got married she would just have a big party and call it the “Ariel Party.”

Shaker’s friends from Harvard and from her hometown said Shaker believed that enjoying day-to-day activities was as much of a part of being passionate about life as being dedicated to big goals. Many shared memories from what Cabot House Master Jay M. Harris referred to as “a life extremely well-lived.”

Linkmate John A. Abraham ’10 recalled that Shaker would ask people, “What about it makes you happy?” a phrase that was printed below Shaker’s picture on the cards that were handed out as people walked into the church.

Darius W. Weil ’10 recalled the time that he had spent with Shaker eating the bread she had baked and talking about literature and her dreams of being a writer.


“She knew better than I that people matter most,” Weil said.

Harvard Polo Club Coach Crocker Snow, Jr. ’61 spoke of Shaker’s deep love for horses and added that she was “a true team member.”

Bob Dylan’s music was a recurring theme at the memorial service. Cabot House tutor Richard Johnston talked about Shaker’s love for Dylan and introduced a performance of the song “Farewell Angelina” by a small group of Shaker’s friends. Dylan’s song “I Want You” was played as attendees flooded into Memorial Church before the service and Shaker’s friends also led a group rendition of “Rock Me Mama” toward the end.

“I always thought Ariel was an amazing person, but that’s a mom’s job to think that,” said her mother Teresa Feiock. “You all have helped me to realize that was true.”

Pieces of Shaker’s art work were on display in the entry to the church alongside messages from members of the polo community. More of the Visual and Environmental Studies concentrator’s work will be displayed in the VES office in the Carpenter Center in the coming weeks.

—Staff writer Lauren D. Kiel can be reached at