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Beverly J. Shaw was born on April 8, 1927, on the old Brown Ranch up Rifle Creek near Rifle, Colo., to Delbert William and Annie Lee (Moore) Johnson. She was the 10th child and the fifth daughter along with five sons.
At the age of four, Beverly’s family moved to the Magor Ranch on Piceance Creek. Her father was the ranch manager for a number of years. She loved the country life and was an extremely good horsewoman.
Growing up on a ranch, she loved the outdoors and was the first “women’s libber” on Piceance Creek as she ran the buck-rake as well or better than any man, and got paid a man’s wages.
After the family home burned down, they moved to the Foot Place. While on Piceance Creek, Beverly attended Stewart School and the Rock School. She was graduated from the eighth grade in the Rock School, where she was known as “honest Bev” and could run as fast as the boys. She rode a pinto pony fives miles one way each day to the Rock School.
For high school Beverly moved to Rifle and attended and graduated there. She lived with Mrs. Busby, one of her teachers. Bev worked in the Dime Store in Rifle and while at a dance she met a good-looking boy, Robert W. Shaw, from Meeker. Before, long the two were dating, and, on April 4, 1948, the couple was married in Rifle. After the marriage, the two moved to Meeker, where they lived upriver, and Robert, or Bob, as he was known, worked ranches. Beverly worked for the United States Air Force Ground Observer Command and called in airplanes and kept track for them of the type of plane and the direction of travel.
Bev was a good Christian woman and attended the Christian Church for years. She also loved being a homemaker and yearned to be a mother.
After six years of marriage, their first child, Rodney Wayne was born. Beverly was in Seventh Heaven. She loved being a mother. Five years later, Virginia (Ginny) Louise was born and the family moved to Bob’s home place up Strawberry. There, Bev became involved with Harmony Club and held all offices locally and in the state. She loved her community and won the blue ribbon at the county fair every year for her chocolate Devils Food cake. She loved to garden and put up a variety of foods every fall. She was an accomplished seamstress and made all the family’s clothes. She cleaned “clean peoples’” houses part time for extra money.
Bev was part of bowling leagues and went to state many times. With her outgoing personality and sweet disposition, she had many friends and was a joy to be around.
In 1976, her world was turned upside down when Bob died. She was left to raise her daughter, who was in high school. The two moved to town (Meeker) and Beverly began a new career.
Sheriff Bob Kracht came to the house and told Bev he needed an honest, smart and dependable woman to be a dispatcher. Bev told him she would think on that and try and come up with someone. He told her he was looking at her. She took the job and was an emergency dispatcher for Rio Blanco County for 19 years.
During this time, she was able to travel with her sister, Winnie, and the two would take off on various adventures. After retirement in 1995, Beverly moved to the ranch next door to her daughter, son-in-law and family.
As she tells it, “When your son-in-law asks you to move in next door, you do it.” Her favorite days were having the grandsons rush in and out next door, watching the river flow by and the eagles swoop and catch fish. She loved to have all her kids and grandkids come visit and she was soon the last of the Johnson Tribe and became the matriarch of the family.
Bev was an avid Bronco fan, loved to crochet and spent every Friday/Saturday at some sporting event with her grandsons. When not doing that, she was traveling with her son, Rod, and his wife and seeing the U.S.
Several years ago, after taking a medication that caused blood clots, Bev’s exciting adventures slowed down. She never complained and was a trooper with her “lead rope” of oxygen tubing she continued to go as much as she could.
In September 2014, she decided to move into the Walbridge Wing in Meeker and was a joy to all the residents and the staff. She brought a ray of sunshine and happiness that resonated throughout the nursing home.
On Feb. 25, 2015, her sweet, gentle soul went to be with the Lord. She was at peace and back with the love of her life. She will be missed by family and scores of friends.
She was preceded in death: by her parents; five brothers, Ray, Roy, Waymon, Johnnie and Pat; and four sisters, Edith, Gladys, Winnie and Virgie.
She is survived by: her son, Rodney W. Shaw of Grand Junction, Colo.; her favorite grandaughter, Jamie Pantuso (Chaunsey), and their two children Kaci Jo and Tanner; grandson Jake W. Shaw; and two great-grandchildren Jesse and Kylie; She is also survived by: her daughter, Ginny Love (Sam) and their children Cade, Cody, Sammy and Patrick; and two great-grandsons (of Cody) Dylan and Dante.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Walbridge Wing.
Beverly’s services were held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, 2015, at the 4-H Building in Meeker, and burial was on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in the Highland Cemetery in Meeker, Colo.