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Sept. 19, 1914~June 12, 2010
Lt. Col. Eugene A. Shaw, U.S. Army retired, 95, of Charlottesville, Va., died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, June 12, 2010, in Louisa, Va.
Born Sept. 19, 1914, in Meeker, Colo., he was the son of the late David Kirk Shaw and Verda Taylor Shaw. Also predeceasing him is his former spouse Phyllis Linden, and four siblings: brothers Herbert, Rollin and Jerry, and sister Frances.
He was a long-time member of the Writer’s Group of Northern Virginia and a published author in Army journals and Colorado state technical magazines, as well as the author of two books, one on the Korean War and another on his experiences in World War II.
An avid photographer, he served as volunteer photographer for many years at various events sponsored by the Northern Virginia Athletic Directors, Administrators and Coaches Association.
For many years he was an active member of Unity of Fairfax Church and held positions of responsibility with that congregation. A member of the Freemasons, Rio Blanco Lodge No. 80 in Meeker, he was also a Shriner in the Alexandria Consistory of the Scottish Rite in Alexandria, Va.
He became an enthusiastic birdwatcher in his later years, making many long journeys and hikes to observe and photograph birds in their natural habitat. In his youth he was a skilled hunter and trapper, having grown up in the northwestern area of Colorado. He had great respect for nature and animals and the earth itself, a passion he displayed consistently throughout his life.
A career Army officer, he served in two wars, was a battalion commander, was responsible for missile artillery defense in Alaska, and was stationed in numerous posts with increasing responsibility, with tours at the Pentagon and directorship of major Army missile weapons systems during the final years of his Army career. As a civilian with the Department of the Army, he later continued support for and Congressional defense of major military weapons systems.
A voracious reader, he particularly enjoyed military history and related novels. His sports interests in tennis and golf continued well into his later years, as did his enjoyment of fishing and lighthouse photography in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. With his former wife, Phyllis, he enjoyed bowling and bridge.
Gene learned surveying skills as a young man, and put that knowledge to use in Alaska, in Colorado and on the wartime front in his military career. He pursued an engineering degree at the University of Colorado, and strongly encouraged academic excellence and instilled in all his children and their offspring an awareness of the value of knowledge and the need to continually pursue learning in all its forms, academic, practical, and artistic.
His military decorations include a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Clusters and a Silver Star awarded for heroism for leading an escape from a German POW camp during World War II
Having served in combat in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Germany and Korea, he was a courageous soldier and a wonderful example of the “Greatest Generation.” He later served in the Army of occupation in Japan and always led his subordinates not by word but by example.
Survivors include his four children, Gayle von Keyserling of Kents Store, Va., Kirk Linden Shaw of Jarvisburg, N.C., William Fairfield Shaw of Gordonsville, Va., and Suzanne Shaw Simko of Arlington, Va.; a sister, Doris Williams, of Champaign, Ill., 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
A devoted friend and loving father, he is loved and will be missed by many who consider it a privilege to have known him.
A graveside service with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery was held Monday, Aug. 2, 2010.
Friends may send condolences to the family at www.hillandwood.com.