Elizabeth (Beth) Shaw (95) of Westport, MA and formerly from Barrington and Bristol, RI, died peacefully at her home on Sunday, May 23, 2021, surrounded by her loving family. She celebrated her 95th birthday on May 1. Beth was born in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada to William Noble Thomson and Sarah Sinclair Thomson. She was the only daughter amongst five brothers. Two brothers, Walter and Donald, preceded her in death. Her husband, William (Bill) Harold Shaw, passed away in 2006.
A post-graduate course in nursing brought her to Providence, RI and a serendipitous visit with a few classmates to the Rhode Island Yacht Club sealed her fate when she met her future husband, yacht designer, Bill Shaw. Bill noticed her standing on the dock in a dress and high-heeled shoes as he sailed by. He later spotted Beth and her friends sitting in a car in the parking lot. As he approached them, he asked where they were from. Beth’s response…”I’m Beth from Canada”, and mentioned she was taking a course at a local hospital. A few days later, not knowing which hospital she was enrolled at, Bill called around to area hospitals asking if there was a “Beth from Canada” in their nursing program. Lo and behold, he found her to be at the Lying-In Hospital (now known as Women & Infants). A romance quickly followed. After their marriage in Feb 1951, they had four children. During the early years of their marriage they lived in Norfolk, VA, then moved to Darien, CT when all four children were younger until the early 1960’s, then they moved to Barrington, RI where they lived for over 31 years before eventually moving to Bristol, RI.
Although she eventually became a US citizen, her Canadian heritage always remained in her heart. Summer trips back to Canada with her family brought her back to her roots and to visit with her family. We have fond memories of going to the family’s summer cottage at Rhoddy’s Bay and enjoying swimming and tubing with our Canadian cousins as well as frequent trips to the local Dairy Queen, which is apparently still there today.
Beth’s life involved raising her children, sailing, traveling and skiing. She also enjoyed needlepoint and volunteering. She was a former member of the Barrington Garden Club, and a docent for the Providence Preservation Society. She was also a former member of the Noroton Yacht Club, Barrington Yacht Club, Bristol Yacht Club and until her death, a member of the New York Yacht Club. A lifelong reader, she belonged to book clubs and played a weekly game of bridge, a game she learned as a student nurse. Her parents bought her a piano when she was 13, as she learned how to play - by ear - at a very young age. She enjoyed entertaining her many friends with her music. She was always well-dressed with an eye for style and fashion. In a similar manner, she enjoyed interior decorating and keeping her home well-maintained. Our mother was very sociable, with many friends, whom she adored, and she enjoyed opening her home to entertain her guests.
Beth will be dearly missed by her family and her many nieces, nephews and her three loving brothers, Jack Thomson, George Thomson, and Ramsey Thomson from Canada. She leaves behind her children and their spouses: Katherine Stuart (Bruce) of Newport Beach, CA; Patricia Schneider (John) of Westport, MA; Marilyn Shaw (Scott) of Bristol, RI; and William H. Shaw, Jr. (Lynn) of Seekonk, MA.
She was very proud of her grandchildren and their accomplishments. She loved every moment she spent with them as they brought her much joy: Joshua Slepkow (Oni), Cameron Stuart (Mackenzi), Emily Tavares (Brian), Marisa Stuart, Katherine Sloan, Olivia Sloan and her two great-grandchildren: Grayson Slepkow and Natalie Tavares.
The Shaw family would like to thank all our Mother’s private caregivers over the last year for their compassionate, kind and respectful care to our dear Mother. She loved them all: Dale Abdow, Dianne Medeiros, Lisa Rose, Heather Pacheco, and Peggy Price. We would also like to thank Beacon Hospice of Fall River, MA, for their exceptional care of our Mother.
We will miss our mother, but our memories will always be ones filled with laughter, not tears. Our mother had a great sense of humor and leaves behind her legacy of laughter to those of us who knew and loved her.
Funeral services will be privately held.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Beth’s memory can be made to either Beacon Hospice, 182 North Main Street, Fall River, MA 02720 or Pet Refuge Stoney Lane, North Kingstown, RI 02852, and would be deeply appreciated.
Arrangements entrusted to the SOWIECKI-SNYDER HOME FOR FUNERALS & CREMATION SERVICES in Taunton, MA.
For online condolences, please visit: www.sowieckifh.com