Patricia Shaw Obituary

Patricia Alice Shaw
Patricia Alice Shaw

March 17, 1942 - September 19, 2019
Born in Lancaster, PA
Resided in East Lyme, Connecticut


The family of Patricia Alice Shaw of East Lyme is deeply saddened to inform her many friends and acquaintances that their wife, mother and grandmother passed from this life to the next on September 19, 2019, at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London at the age of 77. Her loving family was at her side at the time of her passing.
Pat was originally hospitalized at L&M on August 30 and was subsequently transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital by Lifestar helicopter. Physicians at Yale eventually determined that Pat was suffering from severe encephalitis as a result of contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare disease with a high mortality rate for which there is no currently available treatment. Pat is a very strong and courageous person who fought so courageously 25 years ago to become a breast cancer survivor, but her strength came up short this time and she was not able to overcome infection. She was transferred back to L&M on September 18 and died the following day.
Pat was born on March 17, 1942 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the only child of Lawrence Harrison Ross and Mary Flora (Reinhart) Ross, both of whom predeceased her at the ages of 93 and 92, respectively. It was her hope to live to a similar age.
Pat was extremely proud of her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. She married her high school sweetheart , Dr. Gerald Shaw, a deacon at St. Matthias parish in Est Lyme, on November 21, 1964, in Parkesburg, PA and together they raised their three sons, Jeffrey (wife Robin) of Exeter RI, Timothy of Pacifica, CA, and Charles, of Braintree and Provincetown, MA. She and her husband were looking forward to the celebration of their 55th anniversary on November 21.
Pat was a lover of education. She completed her nurses training at the Lancaster General Hospital in1963 and earned a B.S. in Nursing from Millersville University in Pennsylvania in 1965. She taught psychiatric nursing at St. Francis Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey, while her husband completed his medical school education. After having their first son in June of 1966, Pat planned to take six weeks of maternity leave and return to her teaching job immediately, but that didn’t work out. She enjoyed being a mother so much that it was several years, two more children and several relocations later before she returned to a job outside the house.
Pat was always blessed with a “yearning for learning,” as she so often said. She was a voracious reader and was seldom seen without a book in her hand or with one in easy reach. It was her goal to read a book a week, which she did. She kept a log of every book she read over the past 25 years. For many years, she served as a volunteer with Literacy Volunteers of America in the SE CT area, teaching those unable to read. She especially enjoyed working with those for whom English was not their native language, presenting a challenge for both her and them.
Pat was always a person of deep faith. She was raised in a deeply religious Methodist family in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, where Catholics were few and far between. To the chagrin of many in her family, she managed to fall in love and marry one. After working with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor at St. Francis Hospital, she was drawn to join the Catholic church and became a Catholic in April 1966. Since then she has studied the Catholic faith in addition to living it, teaching it and passing it on to others. In 1998, she earned a Masters of Arts degree in Moral Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT.
She has been a life-long lover of animals, not only as pets, but in the wild. She and her husband have owned and cherished many dogs during their life together and her affection for her beloved Samoyeds is well known. In addition, she has rescued from the humane society many hamsters and guinea pigs over the year, leaving six guinea pigs behind at her passing.
Creative and artistic, she enthusiastically produced many hand-crafted, cross-stitched and needle point Christmas, birthday and special occasions cards and gifts for special friends. Always thinking of others, she also crocheted many baby blankets, baby caps and booties that she provided to various charitable organizations.
She was generous and kind to all, always bringing laughter and joy to any gathering.
There is so much more that could be said to describe this incredibly unique individual, but she would not be happy if I were to go on. Her advice to me always was, “Keep it simple sweetheart,” so I will honor her wished. A complex lady who was also simple in her wants and in her needs. She will be truly missed by her loving husband, sons, granddaughters, and all who knew her.
Pat’s family looks forward to greeting and receiving relatives and friends from 5 to 7 P.M. on Tuesday, September 24th at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 48 Grand Street, Niantic.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 A.M. on Wednesday, September 25 at St. Matthias Church,317 Chesterfield Road, in East Lyme. Pat will be interred at the East Lyme Cemetery immediately following the mass. Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting
In lieu of flowers, please considering donating to the Humane Society of the United States in her memory.




Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand Street
Niantic, CT US 06357
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Matthias Church
317 Chesterfield Rd
East Lyme, CT US 06333
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
10:00 AM


Connecticut Humane Society
169 Old Colchester Road
Quaker Hill, CT US 06375
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