William Shaw

Dec. 16, 1944 — April 27, 2020

William Donald “Bill” Shaw passed away on April 27, 2020, after fighting multiple myeloma for almost 15 years, and, kidney failure brought on by that disease. He died at home with his wife and very close friends by his side.

Bill was born in Astoria, Oregon, on Dec. 16, 1944, as the only child of Donald W. and Anna Louise (Storm) Shaw. He went to Hammond Grade School, graduated from Warrenton High School in 1963, attended Clatsop Community College and graduated from Portland State University in 1968. In 1991 he married Ellen Yvonne Herrmann in Seaside, Oregon.
Bill’s parents owned and operated two small grocery stores in Warrenton and Hammond, and he began stocking shelves as soon as he could match the package pictures and lift the products onto the shelves.

He accompanied his father to the produce markets, other grocery supply outlets and the bank in Astoria, and had vivid memories of those businesses and of the people who worked at them. As soon as he got his driver’s license, he was thrilled to be able to take over these duties for the family business. He never lost his enjoyment in finding a great deal, it didn’t matter if it was for himself or someone else.

During his high school and college summers he (and many other local young people) worked for Point Adams Packing Co. in Hammond, earning money for college. As a young man, he became a general contractor. He and his father built the Hammond Marina gas dock, while continuing to operate Shaw’s Market in Hammond, and built a laundromat next door to the store. He also performed a lot of excavation, or “dirt” work, as he referred to it.

After closing Shaw’s Market, he, his father and Truman Slotte formed Triple S Investments, building residential and light commercial projects. During the economic downturn in the 1980s, they disbanded the company and Bill began a new career as an insurance agent with Knutsen Insurance in Astoria, and later became one of the principals in the company, working there until he retired.

Bill served 28 years in the Hammond Volunteer Fire Department, serving as chief many of those years, retiring in about 1990. The department was a very important part of the community, and Bill thoroughly enjoyed this time of service and the many people with whom he served.

He also served on the Hammond Planning Commission for eight years, and later on the Hammond Town Council for eight years. For a few years, he was a member of the board of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oregon, and was named agent of the year in 1995.

Bill was a member of the board of directors of the Bank of Astoria for 30 years, and was its chairman for 15 years. His position on the bank’s board was a big part of his life, and he truly enjoyed everything about that work.

Bill was smart, a leader, a mentor, entrepreneurial, a hard worker, very community-minded, the most trustworthy person you would ever hope to meet and had a terrific sense of humor. In short, he was a great guy. He was loved beyond words, and will be terribly missed.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Don and Louise Shaw.

He is survived by his wife, Ellen, and the many members of her family; and by his cousins, Terry (Doug) Arnall, of Warrenton, Trudy Enke, of Hammond, Arlee (Bill) Jensen-Saar, of Astoria, and many other cousins and their families.

Special acknowledgement goes out to very wonderful friends Leslie and John Shepherd, and to the entire extended Shepherd family, with whom he had a rare kinship.
Thanks to the entire staff at Providence Seaside Hospital and Providence Seaside Medical Group and its Oncology-Hematology Clinic for their kind care over the years; and the nurses and technicians at the Fresenius Kidney Care North Coast Dialysis Clinic for their support and care.

Bill spent five months at Clatsop Care before returning home in March, and we thank all of the staff members for the fine care he received while in residence.