John Virgil Shaw

OBIT John Shaw Paper 1Lt. Colonel John Virgil Shaw passed away surrounded by his loving family on Sunday evening, April 26, 2015 at the Washakie Medical Center after a courageous battle with cancer.

John Virgil Shaw was born on Jan. 2, 1929 in Buffalo, WY. He was the first of three boys to be born of the union of Mary Ellen (Roediger) Shaw and Milton Albert Shaw. The family moved to Worland when John was five. He entered kindergarten in Worland and graduated from Worland High School in May of 1947. John had a life-long love of sports and in high school he played football, basketball and baseball. In College he played football. He held office every year from the 8th grade through graduation and his senior year he was both president of the senior class and the student body.

Following high school, he entered the University of Colorado. He eventually received his BA in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

He joined the United States Air Force on August 22, 1951 as a private. He went to Officer Cadet School in 1953, and he successfully completed pilot training in Dec. 1956. He served in the Korean conflict as the Wing Intelligence Officer which was quite an accomplishment for a second lieutenant. He flew 174 combat missions in Vietnam. In October 1961, as a Captain, John was a pioneer in Midair Refueling. Heavily decorated, John was most proud of the “Distinguished Service Medal”, the “Distinguished Flying Cross”, the “Air Medal with 16 clusters”, and the “Airman’s Medal”.

John married Phyllis Dell Wright on June 10, 1955. They had two children: John David and Dinah Dell Shaw. Phyllis died of brain cancer October 4, 1972, while John was serving as the Air Attache to Colombia. John and the children returned to the states and his final military assignment at Mountain Home Air Force Base, ID. While there, he reunited with his beloved friend from high school days, Mary Eloise Laird. After a whirl-wind courtship they were married November 1, 1975.

The family retired from the Air Force on June 30, 1976 and returned to Worland. Shortly after returning to Worland, Eloise and John established a brokerage service with Investors Diversified Services, soon to become part of American Express. This eventually spun off into Ameriprise Financial. He retired from Ameriprise Financial on February 10, 2007 and his son, John David took over the business. He was extremely proud of the relationship he had with his clients.

After returning to Worland he became a member of Kiwanis, serving two terms as president. John served on the Board of Trustees for the Gottsche Rehabilitation Center, the Board of Directors for the Worland Senior Center, and on the Vestry, serving as Jr. Warden and treasurer for St. Albans Episcopal Church for several years. He volunteered for United Way, Meals on Wheels and “Born Again” thrift store. John was a “die-hard” Wyoming Cowboy fan and a proud member of the Cowboy Joe Club. John truly believed that the only path to world peace was through strength. After retirement, he pursued the goal of world peace through membership in the Military Order of World Wars, the American Legion, and the Veteran of Foreign Wars.

He was extremely proud of the scholarships, administered by the UW Alumni Association that they provided for high school graduates from the Big Horn Basin. They also gave money to the University for another Shaw Scholarship which was administered by the Wyoming Foundation.

John built his life around the love of Eloise, John David and wife Margaret, Dinah and husband Steve, and his grand sons, Matthew and John.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Alfred and Dinah Roediger, parents, Milton Albert and Mary Ellen Shaw, first wife Phyllis Wright Shaw, and brother Milton Edward Shaw.

He is survived by wife Eloise Laird Shaw, son John David and his wife, Margaret Douglass Shaw of Thermopolis, and his daughter Dinah Shaw Fuller and her husband, Stephen Fuller, and their two sons, Matthew and wife Krista Fuller, and John Fuller, all of Spokane Washington.

Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, May 2, 2015 at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church with Rev. Ed Farmer officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery with full Military Honors. Visitation for family and friends will be held 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 1 at the Bryant Funeral Home Chapel and one hour prior to the Services at the Church. Memorial donations may be made to the Worland Senior Citizens Center or the Wounded Warriors Project in care of Bryant Funeral Home, PO Box 524, Worland, WY 82401. Online condolences may be made at Bryant Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.