Velma Marie Shaw, 103, of Taylorville, died on Monday, March 11, 2019, at Hickory Estates in Taylorville.
Visitation will be held Thursday, March 14, from 10 to 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville. Funeral services will follow, beginning at 11 a.m. at the church with the Rev. Michael Evanchak officiating. Burial will take place in Oak Hill Cemetery in Taylorville.
Mrs. Shaw was born Oct. 4, 1915, in Bingham, to Cassie and Cecil Casey. She married Alex Shaw on Oct. 31, 1936, and he preceded her in death on Dec. 30, 1997.
She attended Taylorville High School but left before graduation to help support her family during the Great Depression. She was the oldest person in Christian and Montgomery counties to earn her high school diploma when she returned to school in 1987.
A longtime active member of the Christian County YMCA, she was a regular at exercise classes there until nearly 100 years of age. Additionally, she was active in groups such as the Order of the Eastern Star and the Navy Mothers Clubs of America, served as Den Mother for the Cub Scouts and was named a lifetime member of the Presbyterian Women.
For more than 50 years, First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville was blessed with the talents of Mrs. Shaw and her sister Verla, known as the "angel ladies," for the golden angels and holy families they created for the church's annual Christmas bazaar. The sisters' creations shipped all over the U.S. and to countries across the world, and were featured on the Today Show, in Country Woman magazine and in many regional and local media. They sold so well that the sisters created a student scholarship fund that was awarded through the church.
In addition to working in the home for many years, she was employed at Walker's Variety Store and Sangamon Paper Company in Taylorville, and for many years worked as a professional seamstress from her home. She also co-owned/operated Taylorville's Gas Light Motel for 15 years.
Mrs. Shaw is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Shirley Shaw of Taylorville; five grandchildren, Dana (husband Scott) Doucette of San Gabriel, CA, Brian (wife Lily) Shaw and Brett Shaw, both of Sierra Madre, CA, Joli (husband Clint) Hohenstein of Forsyth and Gina (husband Mike) Williams of Olathe, KS; five great-grandchildren, Bryce and Cole Williams, Seeley and Tucker Hohenstein and Kellie Doucette; great-great-grandchild, Julian Doucette Reyes; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews including local residents Philip Romagnoli and Shirley (Richard) Davis.
In addition to her husband of 61 years, she was preceded in death by a son, James Shaw; and siblings, Verla (Hugo) Romagnoli, Viron (Marguerite) Casey, Vernon (Josifa) Casey and Lowen (Louise) Casey.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to First Presbyterian Church, 116 East Franklin Street, Taylorville, IL 62568 or Christian County YMCA, 900 McAdam Drive, Taylorville, IL 62568.
Online condolences to the family may be left at www.assalleyfuneralhomes.com.