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April 16, 1927 - January 22, 2024

In loving memory ~

George Clyde Shaw was born in a tent on April 16, 1927, in the lamp-oil boomtown of Borger, Texas He was delivered by an inebriated doctor who weighed him on a meat scale and forgot to record his birth certificate. That would come back to haunt him sixteen years later when he didn't want to miss out on World War II and begged his parents to let him drop out of his freshman year at Live Oak High School to join the US Merchant Marine. (His grandmother had to sign a sworn affidavit that said, yes, he had indeed been born.)

Always a farm kid, whether in Texas, New Mexico, or Nevada, he had never seen the ocean or been on a boat, and now he was sailing almost every ocean: the Atlantic, Pacific, Baltic, Indian, and the Mediterranean on both American and Norwegian Merchant vessels. After two years of adventure at sea, he came home to finish high school, get married, and start a family. Always finding ways to serve his community, he became a Mason and also served as a volunteer deputy sheriff.

After a serious back injury at a lumber mill, he started driving cab, then became an airline agent/Manager, scheduling his work hours so that he could take classes at Yuba College in Marysville. With a family to support, he took on a number of extra jobs while he finished his Masters Degree at Chico State University. Even when he was hired as a teacher in Red Bluff, he maintained a daily 4 a.m. paper route and was the weekend DJ at the local radio station. (His students loved it.)

In the early '60s, he became a History, Foreign Affairs, and Political Science Professor at Yuba College, where he taught for 25 years, became the Dean of Language Arts, and retired in 1990 as the Director of Human Resources. In the meantime, he had become an official in the California Teachers Association and had run for the California State Assembly. While waiting ten 10 years for his wife to retire, he was hired as a "Rent a Dean" to step in temporarily at colleges while a retired Dean, Personnel Director, or Contract Negotiator was being replaced. After moving to Clearlake in 1990, he joined the Clearlake Elks Lodge and became the Secretary, Exalted Ruler, California State Vice President, and District Deputy Exalted Ruler for his region of the state. After his wife retired in 2002, they moved to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, where he joined the Parksville Qualicum Elks Lodge as well as the Royal Canadian Legion.

In 2022, he received a Gold Medal in Washington, DC for his service in WWII, and Norway's Ambassador to Canada came to the Qualicum Legion (and Elks Lodge) to give George the Norwegian Medal of Freedom in person.

He passed away at Nanaimo General Hospital on January 22, 2024.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Helen Shaw; his three children, George Shaw Jr, Ellen Johnson, and Clarke Shaw; his two sisters, Edith Armstrong and Betty Jean Bowen, in addition to numerous grandchildren, nieces, and nephews who loved him dearly and will always remember him for his love of humanity, his gentlemanly manner, wit, and intelligence.

We will miss those awful puns and that mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

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