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Harriet Kathryn Thompson Shaw

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HARRIET KATHRYN THOMPSON SHAW Harriet Kathryn Thompson Shaw was born on August 22, 1916, in York, Pennsylvania. She was graduated from York High School in 1934. From there, she went to Mt. Sinai Hospital School of Nursing, where she received her RN in 1938, winning a number of awards, including the prizes for best operating room nurse and best bedside nurse. At Mt. Sinai, the then Harriet Thompson acquired the nickname by which her friends knew her for the rest of her life, "Tommy." She joined the United States Navy Nurse Corps in 1939. While serving at Chelsea Naval Hospital, she met Robert W. Shaw, then a lieutenant in the Marine Corps, who had been admitted for a minor illness. A whirlwind courtship followed (including an airplane ride over Boston harbor), and they were married in 1940. She followed her husband to assignments in Paris Island, Quantico, and New River. When he was posted overseas, she returned to York, where her son, Robert Wilson Shaw, Jr., was born in 1942. After Japan surrendered, her husband returned from the Pacific theater and retired from the service. In 1946, the couple moved to Oaks, Pennsylvania, where a second son, Harry, was born, and where they spent the next 17 years. They moved to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in 1963, and entered Spring House Estates in 1993. Harriet made many friends there, and they helped to sustain her after the death of her husband in April, 2006. During their latter years, she and her husband enjoyed spending their winters in a condominium they purchased in St. Croix. Theirs was a loving marriage, filled with devotion and mutual respect. Harriet Shaw was much loved by her two sons, their wives, and her three grandchildren. She was a deeply religious woman, active at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Oaks as a Sunday School teacher, altar guild member and regular communicant. She had an informed interest in art, and her children recall with gratitude accompanying her to the Philadelphia Museum of Art at an age when such exposure tells. When the Oaks Cub Scout troop needed a Den Mother, she took on the job with energy and good will. She enjoyed golf and bridge, pursuing them with good humor, discipline, and success. Her first impulse was to look for the good. From her deep well of kindness, she gave unstintingly of herself to those around her. A celebration of her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2013, in the auditorium of Spring House Estates, 728 Norristown Road, Lower Gwynedd, PA 19002. Instead of sending flowers, please contribute to Partners in Health, P O Box 845578, Boston, MA 02284. Condolences may be offered online by visiting www.PhoenixvilleFunealHome.com. Arrangements are being handled by the Campbell-Ennis-Klotzbach Funeral Home, Inc., Main Street at Fifth Avenue, Phoenixville.

Published in The Mercury on Mar. 5, 2013
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