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MY STORY

By Robert K Shaw 6/15/1993


5370 Nugget Road, Fair Oaks, California 95628.

I, Robert Keith Shaw, was born on March 16, 1927, at Dee Hospital in
Ogden, Weber County, Utah. I was the eighth of ten children born to my
parents. My father was John Riley Shaw, age 38, and my mother was
Josephine Cottam Shaw, age 35. The names of my brother and sisters are as
follows: Venis Powell, Erma Staples, Phyllis Tucker, Riley Shaw
(deceased), Marjorie Shaw (deceased), Beth Parker, Maxine Owen, Karen
Thomas and Chyrl Markworth lived in Pleasant View, Utah until I was eight
years old.
Some lessons learned in my early years in Utah:
1. To love the soil and be introduced to farming.
2. To feel the un- conditional love of my mother.
3. To learn to play sports. I found a baseball glove for a left-handed player
under the seat of an automobile that my father had purchased, at that time.
What luck!
4. I learned a bit about girls by dancing with Connie Rae Rhees at Primary.
The dance was called, "Comin' through the Rye."
My early schooling was at the old building across from the Pleasant
View Chapel. I was in the "Butterflies" reading group, for the slower
readers. I was baptized in the font at the back of the old P.V. Chapel. I
remember Sister Johns "heading me back to Primary," when I tried to 'short-
circuit' the program and go directly home from school, on Primary day.

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After severe economic and marital upheavals in the family, we moved
to Oakdale, California in February, 1936, for a better life. I was amazed to
see oranges growing on the trees, at that time of the year, after leaving frigid
Utah. Some lessons I learned in my new residence:
1. To become acquainted with my Aunts on my father's side. They were:
Harriet (Hattie) Higginbotham, Dora Grott, and Hazel Zerbe. I became
acquainted with their husbands and family members.
2. To adjust to multi-cultural people and customs. There were many migrant
farm workers, Hispanics and different racial groups in the Central Valley of
California where we lived.
3. To enjoy learning and school work.
4. To learn to perform physical work and learn skills, like carpentry, from
my father.
5. To be encouraged to stay active in the Church and magnify my Priesthood
and be introduced to the scriptures.
At the age of 17-years, I enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard. Boot camp
was at Government Island, near Alameda, California. While on a troop train
traveling across the country, I was able to stop in Ogden, Utah and visit with
my brother and sisters. They came down to the station in the middle of the
night to see me. I earned a third-class petty officer rating as a radio operator
at the military school in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Then, I served at the
Humboldt Bay Air-Sea Rescue Station located in Eureka, California. I was
honorably discharged in 1946.
After my military service, I was called on a mission for the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to the Central States, at age 19-years. I was
set apart for the work by Elder Oscar A. Kirkham. My parents and family
members were very supportive of me during this time. The two-year mission

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was a learning experience for me, in becoming more familiar the scriptures
and being able to teach the Gospel principles. I worked in the states of
Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The term of my mission was
from 1947 to 1949.
My parents were not able to help me when I was considering going to
college. By using the G.I. Bill of Rights, then available to veterans, I was
able to be graduated from Modesto Junior College and Brigham Young
University. Later, I earned my master's degree from Utah State University.
The G.I. Bill also made it possible for us to purchase our home in Fair Oaks.
I have never regretted any time or expense involved in getting an education.
It has all been useful to me.
I met my future wife in Independence, Missouri. Her name is Mary
Lou Abbott. We were married on April 5, 1950 in the Temple at Salt Lake
City, Utah. My sisters, Venis Powell, Erma Staples, Phyllis Tucker and Beth
Parker, were very kind in giving us a wedding party. Also, at the reception,
were Great-Aunt Nell Rhees and Great-Uncle Rufus Rhees. Nell is the sister
to my grandmother, Lillie Rose Cottam. Blanche Marberger Shaw also
attended. Her daughter, Kandy Lynn, was about six-months-old, at the time.
Dear Aunt Mabel Ellis (mother’s sister) was there with her daughter, Leona
Thompson. Marrying Mary Lou was the best thing that has happened to me,
in my life. After college, we lived in Willows, Sacramento and Fair Oaks,
California. I have worked in the accounting, credit and teaching fields.My
credit for teaching in the San Juan Unified School District in Suburban
Sacramento was 27-years. I worked mostly in the elementary grades. For the
past nine-years, I have done substitute teaching for the Sacramento
County Schools.

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My experience in teaching has ranged from pre-school to
the university levels. I have elementary, secondary, and administrative
credentials. Also, I was a summer school principal for several years. In the
County Schools, I have worked in special education. That assignment
includes vocational education and juvenile court schools. I like the variety of
these substitute teaching assignments.
My wife and children are the "wind beneath my wings." The family
members are: Gayle Soren, husband Ron, they have eight children; Keith
Shaw, wife Sandy Smith, they have five children; Holly Miller, husband
Eldon, they have three children; Scott Shaw, wife Julia Guastella, they have
two girls; Michael Shaw, wife Margo Flake, are expecting their first child.
Each of the above has attended college and several will be graduated from
various advanced programs.
The Fair Oaks area has been a good place in which to raise our
children. They graduated from high school and were active in Church,
Young Women's and Young Men's organizations, priesthood activities, etc.
All have been married in the temples of the Church.
Life has been good for Bob and Mary Lou. We have been married for
43-years, and counting. One of the passions of our lives is traveling. We
save up and, when the opportunity presents itself, we fly to distant places
and enjoy ourselves. Mary Lou earned her college degree in her 40's. She
has worked as an adult education teacher for twenty years and loves her job.
Lou is also a skilled florist, having learned that business in her teen-age
years. She has taught a weekly genealogy class in adult education for over
five years. A consistent attendance of about 20-people is maintained. She
also teaches oil painting, arts and crafts and assists an activities director at a
local nursing home. One of her goals is to work into her 70's, or beyond.

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I have also been interested in my "roots.” Many family members have,
over the years, been kind to give me information about my family's history.
Frankly, I have much to do in organizing and using the data, in the most
useful ways. As a beginning, short histories of my father and brother have
been published. I also have worked with Mary Lou in compiling and editing
histories on her side of the family. It is our goal to get more of such accounts
written for family use and also to place copies in libraries and Family
History Centers.
"Not to know what happened before we were born is to remain perpetually
a• child. For what is the worth of a human life unless it is woven into the life
of our ancestors..." Cicero, Roman statesman and orator

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