WINTER HARBOR/MOUNT DESERT
Wesley A. Shaw, 76, died on Aug. 13, 2017, at his home in Winter Harbor after battling diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Pick’s disease and kidney failure for many years. He was born in Cambridge, Mass., Feb. 24, 1941. He was a direct descendent of Mary Chilton, the first woman to step onto Plymouth Rock from the Mayflower in 1620. He was the great-great-great grandson of Frances Shaw, who owned much of the land now known as Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro. He was the eldest son of Malcolm Thoreau Shaw and Phyllis May Shaw, who spent the early years of his life growing up on the family’s tree and horse farm in the small farming town of Plympton, Mass., at the head of the Winnetuxet River and where the Plymouth Pilgrims grazed their cattle in the summers.
After securing his initial bachelor’s degree at Defiance College in Northwestern Ohio, he returned to Southeast Massachusetts and resided in Bridgewater with his wife, Gail Wells Shaw, where they raised their three children. After early years in publishing a small newspaper and working in his father’s land surveying company in the mid-1960s, he entered the education field and with subsequent degrees in counseling psychology (BA, Med, NCC, CAGS and Ph.D.), directed the summer residential program of advanced studies for gifted and talented high school students at Bridgewater State University. He concurrently served as counseling school psychologist and administrator of federal programs for the Bridgewater Public Schools for 28 years. He also worked in a part-time capacity as a therapist for many years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution for the criminally insane located in Bridgewater.
During this period he also operated part-time real estate and marine/boating businesses, became a USCG-licensed 100-ton master and operated his sail training sloop out of Marion Harbor on Buzzards Bay. (This business was later “moved” to Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island in the early 1980s). During this period he also lectured in sailing and seamanship at yacht clubs, libraries, and schools throughout Southern New England and served as the assistant district staff officer in charge of sail education for the Coast Guard’s First CG District. He continued as a visiting lecturer at Bridgewater State and was subsequently accorded professor emeritus status.
Also, throughout this period he remained quite civically active and served as president of the Jaycees, elected member and chairman of the Bridgewater Planning Board for 13 years, chairman of the Industrial Development Commission, Appeals Board, and was active in the First Congregational Church.
In 1976, while living for the summer aboard their small cruising sloops for 60 days, he sailed to Maine and set up his mooring at the head of Somes Sound, purchased land in Somesville up by Long Pond, and subsequently built a small seasonal home. In subsequent years he created the very successful MDI Water Taxi and Tours business out of Northeast Harbor. He also created, under contract from the town of Mount Desert, the present mooring rental system used in Northeast Harbor and served as the town’s mooring rental agent for many years.
Wes retired from his education positions in Bridgewater in 1990, moved full time to Maine, and turned the Long Pond property into his year-round home. Once fully relocated, he remained civically active and served for many years as the treasurer and then president of the Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce, a director of the Southwest Harbor Chamber of Commerce, vice president of the Joint Island Chambers of Commerce, treasurer of the Great Harbor Maritime Museum and member and trustee of the Somesville Union Meeting House, United Church of Christ.
His retirement from the education field in 1990 coincided with the advent of “desktop publishing” and emergence of Apple’s Mac computers. He created a small publishing company in Somesville, Ripples Graphic & Publishing, and created the Northeast and Southwest Harbor’s Port Directories, publishing 40,000 copies annually. He also proudly conceived and created the very successful MDI Business Location Maps — publishing 250,000 copies each year for over 20 years — of what became the “largest distribution map in the state of Maine.” For many years he was considered a “Mac guru” on Mount Desert Island and was happy to help and advise so many others to venture into the computer and digital age.
Health problems forced Wes to sell his Port Directories in 2001 and MDI Water Taxi service in Northeast Harbor in 2006. The Business Location Maps were sadly sold in 2014 prior to his death.
In 2006, in accord with his “downsizing” due to health issues, Wes relocated to a small home adjacent to his beloved ocean at the head of Henry Cove in Winter Harbor. Unable to adjust to a “retired” lifestyle, he created the Winter Harbor Water Taxi & tours service with yet another new boat. Shortly he assumed part-time management of the Winter Harbor Marina and Bar Harbor Ferry dock and also served for a few years as the Winter Harbor town harbormaster. He became an active member of the Schoodic Chamber of Commerce, was an active member of Winter Harbor’s First Baptist Church and studied with the Jehovah Witnesses.
He is survived by his first wife, Gail Parsons Wells Buckingham, of Bridgewater, Mass., and second wife, M. Louise Young Shaw of Winter Harbor; three children, Christopher A. and David W. Shaw of Raynham, Mass., and Candace Shaw Glendenning of Redlands, Calif.; seven grandchildren, Ryan, Karyssa and Kendyll Shaw and Madison and Bryce Shaw, all of Raynham, Mass., Lyam and Logan Glendenning of Redlands, Calif.; brothers, Winston B. Shaw of Bar Harbor and Trenton and Wayne C. Shaw of Stotts City, Mo.; two stepdaughters, Lisa Mechaley Revkin of Cold Spring on the Hudson, N.Y., and Sharon Mechaley of Greenwich, Conn.
Per Wes’s request, no services will be held. His ashes will be scattered on the waters he so loved off the Winter Harbor Marina in Henry Cove, in Somes Sound, and off his beach in Long Pond on Mount Desert Island, and in the family plot in the Brookside Cemetery in Somesville.
Donations in Wes’s memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 15829, Alexandria, VA 22312, or American Heart Association, 51 U.S. Route 1, Suite M, Scarborough, ME 04074, or American Cancer Society/ Maine Cancer Foundation, 107 U.S. Route 1, Suite 250, Falmouth, ME 04105.
Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert, ME 04660.
Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.