Joyce K. Shaw
April 20, 1934  -  October 26, 2018

Joyce K. Shaw

Portland, TX

Joyce K. Shaw

Joyce Karlson Shaw, 84, of Portland, Texas passed away on October 26, 2018 at Doctors Regional Medical Center in Corpus Christi.

Joyce was born to Ethel and Alton Karlson in Renova, PA on April 20, 1934 and was raised in Media, PA. She graduated from Media High School in 1952 as Co-Captain of the cheerleading squad and Vice-President of her class.

Following graduation, Joyce took a job in the secretarial pool at DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. It was then she also met Jay Shaw, and they married on July 11, 1953 at Media Presbyterian Church. They made their home first in Claymont, DE before moving to Holly Oak Terrace, DE where they raised five children. Joyce was a fulltime housewife and mother until her youngest started school and she pursued a diverse variety of part-time positions.

In 1976, Jay accepted a new post with DuPont at the company’s plant in Ingleside, TX. Joyce and all but their oldest daughter moved into a home on Marie Place in Portland, TX, where Joyce worked in several fields including hospitality, retail, real estate and her favorite, on the staff of the Portland News. Joyce’s exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail made her a valued employee at every professional endeavor.

When Jay retired in 1985, they were able to more fully pursue their love of travel in their RV, taking to the road for lengthy trips and eventually visited every state with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska.

In 1995, they moved to the Southwood Retirement Community in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where they made many new friends and Joyce was a dedicated volunteer in St. Joseph Hospital’s Mercy Closet while Jay installed Lifelines all over the area.

In 2009, Joyce and Jay moved back to Portland, TX to be closer to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They volunteered with the Salvation Army Food Bank until Jay suffered a stroke in 2013 and their extracurricular activities were curtailed, though they continued their weekly Saturday night dinners out at various Portland restaurants.

Joyce was a prolific and gifted letter writer, then easily adapted to email, keeping up steady correspondence with family and friends dating back to childhood. She kept track of every birthday and anniversary, and many will miss receiving her cards commemorating them. Before she went to the hospital for surgery, she made a list of November and December milestones, purchased and stacked the cards in dated order. Her family will be sure those people receive the cards intended for them.

Joyce took pride in all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. More than anything, she cherished her role as a wife and partner to the love of her life, her husband of 65 years. They were both a daily example of honoring the promise of the marital vows they took in 1953.

Joyce was pre-deceased by her parents, Ethel and Alton Karlson and her beloved younger sister Donalyn Karlson Morris. She is survived and will be dearly missed by her husband Jay Shaw, children Kay West of Nashville, TN; James and Terry Shaw of Newark, DE; Carolyn and Ray French of Portland, TX; Linda O’Donnell of Richmond, TX; and Kenneth and Mary Catherine Shaw of Buchanan Dam, TX; as well as 11 grandchildren: Kristin Simmons, Holly Baker, Travis French and Jamie French, all of Portland; Doug O’Donnell of , Fulshear, TX and Mandy O’Donnell of College Station, TX; Katie Shaw of Newark, DE: Joy West of Charlotte, NC and Harry West of Brooklyn, NY: and Keller Shaw of Burnet, TX and Coby Shaw of College Station, TX; and 11 great-grandchildren.

At Joyce’s request, there will be no formal services; memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association

Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements entrusted to:
Charlie Marshall Funeral Homes and Crematory, Inc.
2003 W. Wheeler Ave.
Aransas Pass, Texas 78336


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  1. Susan Scanlon
    Aldan, PA

    Please accept my condolences on the loos of Aunt Joyce. She was a truly wonderful lady who will be deeply missed.

  2. Carol Hoffman Cook
    San Diego, CA

    I'm just so sorry......I cannot imagine this earth without Joyce's lovely smile and bubbling personality. We were cheerleaders together at Media H.S. Though I hadn't seen her since graduation we kept in touch all these years and her passing leaves a huge hole in my life. I'm holding Jay, and all of her dear ones in my heart. Carol Cook

  3. George F. Moyer
    Glen Mills, PA

    Joyce and I had a lot in common and I enjoyed her emails and will miss them. About the only thing we disagreed on was the Houston Astros. She was a fan of them and I am not.

  4. Gerard
    Paradise, CA

    Prayers for this fine woman and mother of fine children .

  5. Ruben and Tina Garza
    Portland, TX

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you and the family. . It was a great pleasure to have known her. We will miss her very much. God bless her.

  6. Patricia Reichert
    Ocean View, DE

    Kay and family, I am so sorry to hear of your mother, wife, grandmother and loved one. I send heartfelt sympathy and prayers.

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