Friedel M. Shaw

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SHAW Friedel M., wife of the late Norman B. Shaw and mother of Leonard Shaw, died of the complications of Alzheimer's at Vero on the Parkway nursing home in West Roxbury at the age of 91 on June 2, 2016. Born in 1924 into a farm family in the countryside of Heidenheim, Germany, she grew up as the middle of three children, soon learning to diligently help with the never-ending farm work and to care for her younger sister Gertrud (who arrived in 1930). Although her parent's poverty and the turmoil of the Depression dictated her working nearby as a maid while a teenager, she soon escaped (that drudgery) to the small city of Gunzenhausen, fifteen miles away, where she found employment as a doctor's secretary and later as a bank teller during WWII. In 1945, as one of the GIs from the U.S. 1st Division (a brigade of which was stationed in her town) spotted her walking near her parent's home, he wasted no time in introducing himself and learning her name, and, a few days later, showed up at her parent's doorstep, politely inquiring as to whether he might speak with a Friedel Schott? Although it took that young G.I. a couple of years to discover the state of his own mind, he eventually did propose, they married in 1950 and settled in Hyde Park. Being well-versed in coaxing life from the soil, Mom quickly turned her new home and yard into a profusion of blooming flowers and fresh vegetables (later winning numerous awards at the New England Flower Show, for, among other entries, her six-foot high 'Bird of Paradise'), hardly even stopping when her son arrived in 1964. Soon acquiring a degree from Harvard night school, she worked as a lunch mother in the Boston public schools, and later (starting in 1985) as a medical secretary at the Beth Israel/Deaconess hospital until she retired in 2001. To remember her and celebrate her life, a memorial gathering will be held at her home at 19 Skyline Rd. in Hyde Park, on Saturday, June 11th, from 1-5 PM; all who knew her are welcome. (For those who would like to send flowers, please donate instead to the Shriner's Burn Hospital (for which Dad volunteered) or in Mom's name to a medical .)

Published in Boston Herald on June 8, 2016
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