Kevin Peterson Shaw

April 8, 1978October 14, 2022
Obituary of Kevin Peterson Shaw
Kevin Peterson Shaw, 44, an adored husband, father, and friend, passed away on Friday, October 14th, due to injuries sustained in an accident. At the time of his passing, Kevin lived with his family in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and served as CEO of VMS Software, Boston. Kevin was the rare person who loved his day job, the challenges it presented, and the opportunity for new relationships it brought. Kevin was born in Venezuela to parents Dennis and Janet Shaw. He spent his childhood with his parents and older sister Kelly in South America, in New Jersey, and in Georgia before his family settled in Minnesota. It was there that Kevin filled his childhood room with computer equipment and began listening to Pavement and Modest Mouse. Like his father, he attended Tufts University, and graduated with a dual major in Computer Science and English, while also developing his talent for eating massive quantities of food in one sitting. More importantly, it was there that young Kevin (still with a full head of hair) caught Bethany Schlegel’s attention when they met in the stairwell of their dorm. The two quickly began a courtship that grew into a beautiful, loving partnership between two creative and empathetic people. Kevin and Bethany were married in 2007 and, unsurprisingly, celebrated in an art museum. Kevin and Bethany became something better and enduring when they found each other all those years ago. The two continued to collect people into their lives to share in the joy they found in everything. That joy expanded even more when their daughters Violet and, later, Alexa (whom Kevin lovingly called “Louie”) were born. Sudbury quickly became their community, and the girls’ friends and parents became their friends, too. Without question, Kevin’s family was his world. Violet and Alexa each reflect their parents’ creativity, love, and curiosity in her own way. Anyone who spends even a little time with Violet and Alexa will see Kevin in them: in the way they laugh with their impish humor, and their taste for novelty t-shirts. He shared with them his deep curiosity about, and capacity to be readily inspired and awed by, the world around him. Kevin delighted in experiencing this world and its mysteries and his first impulse was always to share that wonder with those he loved. He spent an untold number of hours sharing science experiments and road trip adventures with Bethany, Violet, and Alexa. In fact, Violet’s fondest memories of her dad are of the two of them together in the car. Guided by their shared eagerness to explore, Kevin, Bethany, Violet, and Alexa embarked on countless projects together, small and large, many of which will carry Kevin’s legacy far beyond today. Kevin loved both the old and the new, such as when he incorporated home automation technology and sensors into his historic home so he could monitor it from afar and watch his daughters run up the driveway when they got home. For Alexa, her trips to Home Depot with Kevin were the best. Although Kevin must have spent what added up to months at the Home Depot (as a toddler, Alexa reported that Home Depot was where her dad worked), many of the recent trips with Alexa were to gather the supplies he needed for building the spectacular treehouse for his daughters that is located deep in the stand of pine trees behind their house. Kevin was so very proud of Violet and Alexa, and he loved them so easily. To know Kevin was to know that he found joy and infectious delight in almost everything and everyone he encountered. While he could spend hours programming systems and tracking down the latest AI processors, he also found great joy embracing traditional pastimes like beekeeping, raising chickens, and tapping his maple trees. We knew him as a caver, a hiker, a tech guru, a drone pilot, a world traveler, a master SCUBA diver and instructor. He was someone who was willing to sleep in Shadow Haven on winter nights in Vermont so cold and dark that the Milky Way reflected off the still lake, coming in from the outside to jostle with his Uncle Charlie for the meager warmth of the wood stove. He was a late-night rollerblader along the Minuteman Bikeway, long after rollerblading stopped being cool. In recent years, he loved spending time advancing the projects of the Sudbury Historical Society. Always affable and greeting people with a smile and a mischievous twinkle in his eye, Kevin was the person who would jump to help — whether it meant helping gut remodel someone else's house or the quiet heroism of donating bone marrow to save a young woman’s life. Kevin was there not for the credit, but for the people. Everything that Kevin was — his empathy, his generosity, his loyalty, and his joy — led to many deep friendships with people from all walks of life. He had an unusual ability to make people feel special whether he knew them for years or days. It’s hard to imagine that he had even more to give to those very special few that he considered his dearest friends – those who were like the brothers he never had. In quiet moments, Kevin could look at you thoughtfully and share either a peaceful silence or intimate conversation, and was someone who could be a companion in activity or stillness. Though social and warm, Kevin most identified as an introvert – Bethany most enjoyed this side of him, cherishing their after-dinner walks, those companionable moments together when they could catch up on their days and enjoy just being together. Kevin leaves an untold number of family and friends impacted by his generous spirit and infectious curiosity. We will all miss him deeply as if a part of ourselves has gone, but we will all carry something of him with us and hope to pass along a fraction of what he gave. Kevin is survived by his wife and life partner of 25 years, Bethany, his daughters, Violet and Alexa, his parents, his sister Kelly Dzurik, and many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins. Kevin, with his huge heart, was “a magnet for good people” and will be dearly missed by many. A memorial service for Kevin will be planned at a future date. For those who feel moved to donate, the family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with expenses and education for the girls.

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