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Larry Shaw


1939 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Larry Shaw Obituary
Larry Shaw

August 12, 1939 - August 19, 2017

Larry Shaw, Prince of Pi, has died.
Larry invented Pi Day in 1988, about the middle of his 33 years at the Exploratorium, where he performed just about every conceivable function for the museum as technical curator. When he retired in 2005, the then-director said to him, "You are the Exploratorium."
Between graduating in physics from Reed in 1961 and joining the Exploratorium in 1972, Larry worked at various physics-related jobs, got married, motorcycled to Yucatan, hiked and climbed in the Sierras, read poetry by flashlight in Big Sur.
After retiring from the Exploratorium, Larry had more time to pursue his longtime passion for art and photography, turning his beautiful photos into beautiful abstractions. He also undertook a second carrier (volunteer, of course) as an audio engineer for non-profits.
An ardent Buddhist, Larry has visited, studied, and practiced at important Buddhist sites in the U.S., Tibet, China, Nepal, and Japan. With his family, he joined the Buddhist Temple of Marin in 1985, where he joyfully engaged in all temple activities and served several terms as president.
He was a true bodhisattva, always willing and able to help all in need, and to share his knowledge and insights. All who knew him attest to his extreme good cheer, contagious enthusiasm, amazing range of interests, seemingly inexhaustible energy, and genuine, unforced loving regard toward everyone.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Catherine Shaw; his two daughters, Dr. Tara Shaw and Dr. Sara Shaw; grandchildren, Liam and Sophia Shaw-Grenham; siblings, Robert Shaw and Winifred Kershaw; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, everybody's spouses, children and children's children.
A Buddhist memorial service will be held in late September, and a secular celebration of life in early November. Please contact the family for details. Memorial donations may be made to the Buddhist Temple of Marin, 390 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941, or to Vajrayana Foundation at Pema Osel Ling, 2013 Eureka Canyon Road, Watsonville, CA 95076.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 17, 2017
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