For Veterans Day, Peggy Shaw, communications director at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal, wrote a poignant tribute to her father Charles Shaw on Sandy Springs Patch. He joined the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Charles Shaw passed away just over a week later at the Richard M. Campbell Veterans Home in Anderson, SC. He was 86.
A memorial service was held last Saturday - Pearl Harbor Day - at Grace Episcopal Church in Anderson.
An obituary by McDougald Funeral Home said Shaw, a native of Anderson, was the youngest son of Albert and Pearlie Lee Shaw. A graduate of Hardin High School, he joined the U.S. Navy at 17 to serve in World War II. He had hoped to serve his time on a destroyer, but the Seaman First Class was assigned to a tugboat in Yorktown, Va.—helping to tow World War II ships into the ships’ graveyard. He often told the story of walking along the deck of the tugboat one night, holding on to a rope railing in the dark, and then suddenly reaching a place where a length of rope was missing. He toppled off into the cold, black waters of the York River, and was saved by quick-thinking sailor who had heard him go overboard.
After his service, Shaw used the GI Bill to earn an engineering degree at the University of South Carolina, while working the night shift at a hotel to help support his young family. For most of his career, he worked at Southern Railway, where he helped develop the “piggyback cars” used for combined rail and truck freight transport—purpose-driven cars that could carry specialized freight. Shaw was also a vice president at R.L. Banks & Associates transportation consultants in Washington, D.C.
In his free time, he enjoyed playing tennis, vegetable gardening, and listening to Gospel music.
Shaw was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg, Va., and served as a CASA volunteer, working as a court-appointed advocate for children. He transported people in need to medical appointments, and was once named volunteer of the year in Fairfax County, Va. He will be remembered by many as a man of faith and generosity—someone who made a difference in the lives of others, the obituary said.
In addition to his daughter, Peggy, Shaw is survived by several children and great grandchildren.