Sarah Jane Shaw rode off into the sunset March 18, 2013 at the age of 84.
The Guest Book is expired.
She had her horse waiting for her at the trailhead, picketed so he could graze while she finished up the last part of her life suffering the unpleasantness of Alzheimer's.
Now she has swung up into the saddle and started up the trail with her dog. Before getting out of sight, she turns back and smiles good-bye. Then she is off, up through the rolling grass covered hills and into the canyon. She'll ride through the silent pines till she reaches the lake in the high basin. She'll water there and then head up the steep switchbacks, her reflection diffusing into the ripples with all the colors of the wildflowers. Up she'll go, past the last drifts of winter and the white bark pines. Above tree line she'll follow the old cairns to the saddle between the peaks. Her hat pulled down tight against the biting wind, she'll meet the crest, and finally, cross over. Enjoy your ride Sarah Jane.
Born Sept. 12, 1929. As a child she lived in Vermont while attending the Putney School. Her father died before she could know him. Her mother traveled the world. As a teenager she lived in a log cabin with her sister at the foot of Storm Mountain in Colorado long before Steamboat was even a dream. She got her degree at Colorado State and worked as a map maker there. While mountaineering she met Carlton Shaw. They married and came to Bozeman in the spring of '56 with two Arabs and a mustang, a baby girl, and Puppy Jo. They never left. She spent 45 some years raising and training horses near the mouth of Bridge Canyon. She rode with the Saddle Club, showed at the Fairs, led 4-H'ers, skied Bridger Bowl, snowmobiled, raised three kids, explored mountain trails, fixed a lot of fences and trimmed a lot of hooves. She worked hard every day of her life. She was an artist; her favorite subject was her animals. She had a gentle way and was really good with her animals.
Her mother, Helena and her brother, Harry precede her in death. Her sisters, Mansi, Elizebeth, and Pricilla; her husband, Carlton; and children, Linda, Tim, and Chris (and their families); and extended family around the world remain behind.
Her ashes will reside at Sunset Hills Cemetery. A celebration of life memorial with music and dancing will be announced. Many will miss the gentle smiling Sarah.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Mar. 24, 2013