Gladys Louise Shaw
January 28, 1914 - March 2, 2020
Gladys Louise Shaw, 106, peacefully passed away on March 2, 2020. She joins her husband Henry, brother Jack and parents John A. Jacobs and Helen E. Martz Jacobs. She is survived by her children: Charlene Mendelsohn, David Shaw (Alice), and Kathleen Jachcik (Albert); her grandchildren: Ethan, Jacob, Robin (Rick), Jonathan (Rochelle), Emily, Carolyn, Kathryn (Scott), Peter (Tara), Jodi, and Melissa (Zack); and great grandchildren: Henry, Alyssa, Aaron, William, Nathan, Ryan, Taylor and Jaeden as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Gladys was born and raised in State College, Pennsylvania. She enjoyed living in a college town where she could take classes, attend concerts and sports events, use a large library and dance to Big Band music in Rec Hall. She did well in school and at sixteen graduated from high school with honors in Commercial Studies. Three days later she was employed in the Registrar's Office at Penn State where she worked for seven years. She met Henry there, and they were married in l937 after he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. In the 1940s they moved to Detroit and she became the first woman to be a cashier at Henry Ford Hospital. Later she worked as an administrative assistant in adult education at Wayne State University and then as a secretary to the CEO of a large wholesale food company.
All three of their children were born and grew up in Detroit. Gladys was a great mother and set a wonderful example for living a productive and generous life. She shared the beauty of God's world--walking in the softly falling snow, watching a rainbow, admiring the blooming flowers and trees in the spring or the brilliant colored leaves in the fall, or just soaking up the warmth of the sunshine under a bright blue sky. Cooking, baking, canning, knitting, sewing, and embroidery were among her many talents. One year (c.1950) she entered items in the competition at the Michigan State Fair and won a number of blue ribbons. She liked to read books and to keep in close touch with family and friends via letters, cards, emails, and phone calls.
In early 1975 they retired, sold their home and headed west, settling in Phoenix. Over the years they enjoyed trips to Hawaii, Greece, Europe and Alaska. They also had a beautiful cabin in the Colorado mountains where they spent sixteen summers. They had seventy wonderful years together. Eight years after Henry passed away she had to have major surgery, and after rehab, she moved to Indianapolis to an assisted living place within five miles of Charlene. She had fun in Indiana experiencing the seasons again and getting to know her great grandson Henry. We were blessed to have her with us for such a long marvelous life.
Reflections from family:
(1) Mom had a profound belief in a world larger than her own personal space. A belief that people share roots that bind us all together, and that underneath it all was "nature", or all of creation, that tied everything together in ways best explained by religious teachings. Nevertheless, she was always prepared to acknowledge that other people might see and feel things differently than she did. Engaging Mom in a conversation might reveal as much about you as it did about her.
Mom's view of sharing the world led her to work hard to avoid waste of material things which no doubt helped her through the Great Depression. She always tried to consider other people's needs ahead of her own. Her view of not wasting things also influenced her to plan meticulously for the future, whether it was a family outing or a card game or retirement.
(2) So many memories...such a good cook and baker. There were special baked goods and homemade cookies for our school lunches. I learned so much from Mom about how to treat people, what is important in life, how to can and prepare food, etc. Family and friends were so important to her and her outlook on life was just amazing. She outlived so many friends yet never gave up on her life and continued to bless and support others.
(3) When I think of her, I think of Philippians 2:3-4. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Mom treated everyone the same with love. And in return they loved her. That's a special lady. The kind that Jesus is proud to call "My child".
(4) Gram loved unconditionally and took care of her family so well she is irreplaceable. She made us cinnamon toast and cinnamon rolls and potato rolls that can never be duplicated as hard as we try. She read to us, let us cry, and kissed our scraped knees and hurt feelings away. She would sing to us while stroking our hair, and she could stick kleenex in our ears or bend our fingers in play. But she loved us more than is physically possible for one person to love.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Gladys to the American Cancer Society, First United Methodist Church of Phoenix, or Compassion International www.compassion.com/gladysshaw.