Velma Marie Shaw, 103, of Taylorville, passed away March 11, 2019, at Hickory Estates of Taylorville.
Born October 4, 1915, in Bingham, Ill., Velma was the oldest daughter of Cassie and Cecil Casey. The family lived in Iowa and in Morrisonville before moving to Taylorville.
She married Alex Shaw on October 31, 1936, and celebrated 61 years with him. He preceded her in death on December 30, 1997.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Shirley Shaw of Taylorville; five grandchildren: Dana Doucette and husband Scott of San Gabriel, Calif.; Brian Shaw and wife Lily of Sierra Madre, Calif.; Brett Shaw of Sierra Madre, Calif.; Joli Hohenstein and husband Clint of Forsyth, Ill.; Gina Williams and husband Mike, of Olathe, Kan.; five great-grandchildren: Bryce and Cole Williams, Seeley and Tucker Hohenstein and Kellie Doucette; great-great grandchild Julian Doucette Reyes; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, including local residents Philip Romagnoli and Shirley (Richard) Davis.
She was also preceded in death by her parents; son James Shaw; siblings Verla (Hugo) Romagnoli, Viron (Marguerite) Casey, Vernon (Josifa) Casey and Lowen (Louise) Casey.
Velma attended Taylorville High School but left school 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 long-time active member of the Christian County YMCA, Velma was a regular at exercise classes there until nearly 100 years of age.
For more than 50 years, First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville was blessed with the talents of Velma 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 United States 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, Velma 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 was also co-owner/operator of Taylorville’s Gas Light Motel for 15 years.
Velma was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Navy Mothers Clubs of America, and she served as a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts. She was also named a Lifetime Member of the Presbyterian Women.
Funeral services will be held on March 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville with Rev. Michael Evanchak officiating. Visitation will be one hour before, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery following the service.
The family has entrusted Shafer-Perfetti and Assalley Funeral Home in Taylorville with ceremonies. Condolences may be shared at www.assalleyfuneralhomes.com.