January 7, 1928 - November 1, 2020
Wandalee Shaw passed away on November 1, 2020 at Brookdale/Rosehill in Shawnee, Kansas after a battle with the COVID-19 virus.
She was not in death nor in life a statistic. To her family Wandalee was their beating heart. She was the walking, talking embodiment of the “Greatest Generation.” Like so many unheralded women, she humbly and without recognition did her part to rebuild this country after WWII.
Hers was a modest, unpretentious life well lived. She was born on January 7, 1928. She lost her father, Ira C. Redman, when she was 4 years old in a tractor fire. She lived her young life with shortages and poverty in Galesburg, Kansas, but with a role model of a strong, uncomplaining and courageous Mom of her own, Dessie Redman. Her family had nothing, but she still prevailed as a high school graduate in war torn America to take the train each week from Galesburg, Kansas to pursue her college education in Chanute, Kansas. She worked for room and board by providing household services. She was a vibrant young woman, a cheerleader and a social and popular student.
After completing 2 years at Chanute Junior College, she married Neale Shaw when he returned from fighting in WWII. Life for brides of that generation would not be full of romance or roses. Five children arrived. Not much money and little recognition commenced.
But, what also commenced was lots of love, lots of laughter, lots of faith, family, friendship, and lots of popcorn and fudge Sunday evenings after morning church and a roast beef dinner! Her children were the lucky recipients of not only her love but her extraordinary cooking and baking. Foregoing any niceties for herself, she made sure the limited grocery budget covered 3 meals a day for her family, day in and day out, throughout her mothering years. She kept an immaculate home. She instilled in her children, especially her 4 daughters, that they would go to college. She was an advocate for women’s rights. Her expectations for herself to obtain a college degree were met when she returned to college at age 52 and graduated from Pittsburg State University with a BSE in 1982. She thereafter served as a second grade elementary school teacher at McKinley Elementary School in Parsons, Kansas and later as the school librarian at Meadow View Elementary School in Altamont, Kansas until her retirement in approximately 1990.
Wandalee loved to play Bridge and the game Rummikub. She loved to win. She was a fierce competitor, especially against her children and grandchildren. She loved music and loved to dance. She had many friends and loved to entertain. She and her family were members of the Parsons Presbyterian Church and her faith was a constant in her life. She was a member of Chapter BS, P.E.O. and loved the fellowship with her sisters. She was gracious, kind, loving and strong. In games and in life she played the hand she was dealt with all of her heart and soul.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Neale Shaw. She is survived by her 5 children, Sue Messerly and son-in-law, Kent Messerly; Janice Martin and son-in-law, Steve Martin; Nancy Carpenter and son-in-law, Kent Carpenter; Cathy Muller and son-in-law, John Muller; and Greg Shaw and daughter-in-law, (much more a daughter than daughter-in-law), Pam Shaw. She is also survived by 12 loving grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren and also by her sister, Lois Shrum and brother-in-law, Everett Shrum.
There will be a private service for family Thursday morning at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Galesburg, with Rev. Jennifer Dawson officiating. At some future date Wandalee’s family hope a public Celebration of her life can be held. Her family asks that you please remember the remarkable person Wandalee Shaw was and honor her with your thoughts and prayers.
Memorials are suggested to either the First Presbyterian Church or the Stella Wells Basket Fund. They may be left at or sent to the Carson-Wall Funeral Home, Box 942, Parsons, KS 67357. Friends are welcome to sign the register on Wednesday at the funeral home. Cards may also be sent to the funeral home. Online messages may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.