William "Bill" Glenn Shaw, beloved husband of Barbara Louise Shaw of Troy, Idaho, passed away peacefully at their home on April 14, 2011, at 12:25 p.m. of leukemia.
Bill was born Oct. 22, 1926, in Jerome, Ariz., and was raised by his mother, Armetta Pauline, father, J.C., and sister, Fern. Coming out of the Depression, the family struggled, moving from Arizona to Raton, N.M., where his grandmother, Rose Thompson, resided.
His mother remarried to Matt Heck and moved to Pinedale, Wyo., where Bill lived on ranches through his youth and later moved to Wells, Nev., working on the historic UC Land and Cattle Co. ranches. He rodeoed, played basketball and began working at the Southern Pacific Railroad after school.
In June 1943 at age 16, Bill enlisted in the Navy to join the fight in the Pacific as part of what are now known as the Navy Seals. He served on the USS Freestone, USS Astoria and USS Little Hale. Bill earned numerous medals in the campaigns of Eniwetok, Philippine Sea, Guam, Peleliu and Okinawa, including the prestigious Purple Heart for continuing to fight for days after being hit by sniper fire. That same toughness Bill showed by holding the Pacific 7th Fleet boxing title.
After an honorable discharge in August 1947, Bill moved back to Elko, Nev., and worked on ranches and in construction and ran chain gangs repairing railroads through the West.
On Oct. 2, 1949, he met Barbara Odermatt and the two married in Winnemucca, Nev. Bill had a driving tenacity to give his family a better life, and in the summer of 1956, they moved to Ketchum, Idaho. Bill worked for the U.S. Forest Service, managed hotels and owned the Ketchum Chevron Service Station. He tended bar, and when not disturbing the peace, he was deputized to keep the peace. Never one to want to miss the fun, he was forever bringing home new friends for Barb to feed, providing us more aunts and uncles than we ever knew we had. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, sports and being with the guys. He loved to ski and wanted his kids to learn.
He worked for Sun Valley Resort to give his kids that opportunity. He took his mechanical talents and held positions with the grounds crew, ski lifts and ice rink, as well as plumbing and the graveyard shift in the boiler room shoveling coal to heat the resort.
Feeling that was not enough, he helped start the Sun Valley Ski Team with 15 kids, including his son and later his youngest daughter. This effort helped produce many Olympians and the team now trains more than 400 skiers a year. He had built a reputation as one of the finest ski mechanics in the valley with Pete Lane's, Sturtevants and Greyhawk. In the summer, he built Shaw Construction and was know for perfection, tough love and jobs completed on time in masonry.
In 1976, Bill and Barbara moved to Driggs, Idaho, to help build the ski shop at Grand Targhee. He later became public works supervisor for Teton Village Ski Resort in Jackson, Wyo.
In 1984, Bill and Barbara moved back to Elko, Nev., to set up operation for a new Super 8 Motel, which the couple worked for 20 years, winning five national management awards, Barb as the manager and Bill doing the maintenance.
In 1994, they moved to Moscow, Idaho, where Barbara managed the property and Dad lived out his last days in Troy.
He is survived by his loving bride of 61 years; children, Peggy and C.J. James, Bill and Suzanne Shaw, and Patricia Pitti; grandchildren, Vickie and Craig Schulle, John and Lisa Peterson, Stephanie Caddy, Chris and Regina Theiss, Britta and Gary Jones, and Kate, Brittany and Hunter Shaw; great-grandchildren Scott, Doug and Page Theiss, Rose Peterson and Athena, Zade and Joseph Caddy; and nephew, Jim Couchman, and nieces, Susie English and Martha Reynolds.
Visitation and viewing of, and prayers for, Wild Bill Shaw will be Tuesday April 19, from 2-3 p.m. at Vasser & Rawl's Funeral and Crematory, 920 21st Ave. in Lewiston, Idaho, 208-743-6541. A celebration of Bill's life will be held at their home at 3810 Highway 8 in Troy, Idaho from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Donations can be made to Family Home Care & Hospice, 1610 NE Eastgate Boulevard No. 850, Pullman, Wash. 99163, 509-334-6016, www.familyhomecare.org. Or make the time to talk with Barbara, 208-835-8343. It would be worth far more than money!
For those who can't make it, lift your glass to the sky and toast our Bill with a spirited Irish tune or Cherokee Chant!