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Compiled Memories of

Robert K. Shaw

Collected by
Holly Shaw Miller
April 2010


By Robert K Shaw 06/15/1993
5370 Nugget Road, Fair Oaks, California 95628

(Re-edited by Robert K. Shaw, March 2010.)

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, Marjorie
Shaw, Beth Parker, (all of the above are deceased.) Maxine Owen, Karen
Blakely and Chyrl Markworth. I lived in Pleasant View, Utah until I was eight
years old.

Beth and Robert (Bobby) Shaw, late 1930’s

Some lessons learned in my early years in Utah:

1. To love the soil and be introduced to farming.
2. To feel the unconditional 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.

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 the challenge of 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, during World War 2, in 1944, I enlisted in the
U.S. Coast Guard. Boot camp was at Government Island, near Alameda,

Bob in the Coast Guard 1945

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.

Elder Robert Shaw 1947 Central States Mission

My parents and family members were very supportive of me during this
time. The two-year mission was a learning experience for me, in becoming
more familiar with 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 homes in Sacramento and 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 was Mary
Lou Abbott.

We were married on April 5, 1950, in the Temple at Salt Lake City,

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.

Sitting: (Uncle) Rufus Rhees, Mary Lou Shaw, Robert Shaw, (Aunt) Nell
Standing: Phyllis Tucker, Venis Powell, Erma Staples, Beth Parker, Blanche
Shaw, (Aunt) Mabel Ellis

Sitting: Robert, Josephine, John, and Riley Shaw
Standing: Erma Staples, Phyllis Tucker, Maxine Olson, Chyrl Shaw, Karen
Shaw, Venis Powell, and Beth Parker

Marrying Mary Lou was the best thing that has happened to me, in my

Early Marriage Years of Bob and Mary Lou Shaw

After college, we lived in Willows, Sacramento and Fair Oaks,

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 fifteen
years,I have worked as a substitute teacher for the Sacramento County

Schools. I also earned an administrative credential and worked as a principal
in the summer school program. I also earned an adult education credential.

My experience in teaching has ranged from pre-school to the university
levels. I have elementary, secondary, and administrative credentials. In the
County Schools, I have worked in special education. That assignment includes
vocational education and juvenile court schools. I liked 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 had nine children; Keith
Shaw, wife Sandy Smith, they had five children; Holly Miller, husband Eldon,
they had three children; Scott Shaw, wife Julia Guastella, they had two girls;
Michael Shaw, wife Margo Flake have three daughters. Each of our sons and
daughters has attended college and some have been graduated from various
advanced programs.

Sitting: Robert and Mary Lou Shaw, Gayle Shaw Soren
Standing: Michael, Scott, Keith Shaw, and Holly Shaw Miller

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, scouring 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
60-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. We have traveled in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia,
New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Philippines, and Israel.

Bob and Mary Lou Shaw at the ocean beach in San Francisco.

Mary Lou earned her college degree in her 40's. She has worked as an
adult education teacher for forty 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. A consistent attendance was
maintained of about 20 people. She also taught oil painting, arts and crafts

and assisted an activities director at a local nursing home. One of her goals
was to work into her 80's, and she accomplished her goal.

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, my 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

I retired in the year 2000.

"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.

(End of 1993 Personal History)

(Updated History Follows)

March 5, 2010: “This past Decade O f The Oughts” has been an
interesting one for us and our family. We have twenty two grandchildren and
twelve great grand children.

Gayle and Ron Soren’s family consists of: Owen, Janel; Alyson married
Jeremy Woodland, They have four boys, Tyler, Ethan, Calab, and Erick.
Carolyn married Jared Beck, two daughters, Ashley and Brooklyn Kate.
Jaron married Lindsey Doyle, a daughter, Lily, and a son, Conner. Camille
married Daniel Borup, two daughters. Louanna and Ambry. Shawn married
Mallory Cain. Kayleena, and Mariah.

Keith and Sandy Shaw’s family consists of: Riley and wife, Christina
McCann, son, Boston and a daughter, Phoenix. Ryan married Sarah
Zurcher. Shelsie married Cody Allen. Reagan and Randon are on full time
Church missions.

Holly and Eldon Miller’s family consists of Melissa, Jared, and Joshua.

Scott and Julia Shaw’s family consists of Ellen and Andrea.

Michael and Margo Shaw’s family consists of: Chloe, Sophia, and Eva.

It is great to have these young adults and younger children in the

My health has declined these past ten years. I have diabetes now and
suffer from many related ailments. I had a heart bypass operation in
December, 2005. Mary Lou and our family have been very caring and
supportive during this time. I thank the Lord for the strength of my body.

We have subdivided our large lot through the years. It is still our plan
to put in a cul de sac, so that houses can be built on the three lots. We engaged
a contractor and started work. We soon found that we were financially
challenged to undertake so large of a building project. Then, the current

economic conditions did not help, so we stopped. The plan still seems feasible
and perhaps we will start again at some future date.

We have a beautiful lot with several mature oak and fruit trees. It has
been a joy to live here for over fifty years. When we moved here, it was a part
of suburbia. Many changes have occurred and we are happy we still live here.

We have had many successful gardens over the years. This past year
with the help of a cooperative neighbor, Mark Bailey, the previous gardens
have been surpassed. Mark helped us revive the irrigation system that was
installed by our son, Keith, some years ago. Mark planted a large variety of
vegetables. The crops were enough for Mark’s family and our family,
neighbors and friends. It was an abundant harvest and a harbinger of gardens
to come!

A spin-off of the garden work was our efforts to beautify the property.
We planted fragrant tree roses next to a winding ramp to our front door. Lily

of the Nile in a semi circle borders the front yard. Crepe myrtle trees, shrubs
of many kinds, areas of dusty miller, and pots of still blooming pansies,
daffodils, and mums adorn our place. Pink rose bushes are along the fence
down by the mail box and border one of the garden spots. To us, this is a
beautiful improvement to our surroundings.

My Patriarchal Blessing has been a guide to me. On many occasions, I
have been warned of danger by the “still small voice.” Another promise I was
given in the blessing was to be able to save lives in water.

A literal fulfillment was a time in my early teenage years, when the
family was swimming at the Railroad Bridge near Riverbank, CA. My sister,
Karen, stepped off the concrete bridge ramp. She started to float down the
large irrigation canal. I was not an avid swimmer, but, I went toward her in
the canal and grabbed her hair and pulled her to the shore. My sister, Maxine
Owen, and my Mother were witnesses.

Another blessed incident was when my daughter, Gayle was caught in a
riptide near Long Beach, CA. She could not move to the shore. I held her and
was given directions on how to proceed by a passing lifeguard. Lou and Keith
Shaw were witnesses at this fortunate occurrence in our lives.

I look back on my 83 years of life and feel satisfaction and joy.

I have maintained a diary for many of those years. It is satisfying to go
back to that source and review the mostly happy days with my parents,
siblings, and family. I have done some family history research. I have the
challenge of doing more. I miss the family visits to Utah, Idaho, the East
Coast, etc. It is difficult for us to travel now.

I have enduring love for Dear Mary Lou and my immediate family.

I have done it my way with their help. Praise the Lord for past, present,
and future blessings and inspiration.