Landscapes 14

Ruth (Spalding) Shaw

May 8, 1931 ~ October 27, 2021 (age 90)


October 29, 2021


Ruth S. Shaw


ORANGE- Ruth S. Shaw, 90, formerly of Wheeler Avenue in Orange, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 27, 2021 at Lifecare Center of Attleboro. 

Ruth was born on May 8, 1931 in Hartford, CT to J. Ralph and Annie (Todd) Spalding.  She grew up in Wethersfield, CT and graduated from Wethersfield High School in 1949.  She attended The University of Vermont for 3 years before transferring to Boston University, where she completed her degree in 1953.  Ruth married her husband, The Rev. Dr. Arthur W. Shaw, on June 14, 1952.  They enjoyed 36 years of marriage prior to Arthur’s death in 1989.

Ruth lived in several towns in Massachusetts after her marriage.  She and Arthur lived in Belmont, South Byfield, Baldwinville, and Greenfield before moving to North Orange in 1970.  Ruth was active in all of the churches that Arthur served, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, and participating in women’s groups.  Ruth was a member of the Dorcas Society at the Community Church of North Orange and Tully and served as its Treasurer for many years.  She was also the clerk of the Orthodox Congregational Society.  For almost 50 years she worked on church suppers and the Village Fair, enjoying both the work and the sense of community.

There are two things that Ruth believed were especially important in life: volunteer work and education.  In addition to her church work she volunteered with the Bloodmobile, political elections, and Girl Scouts. Ruth had many interests and was a lifelong learner.  She was active in the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus, Great Books Club, and the Athol Bird and Nature Club.  She had a passion for geology and took every course offered at Greenfield Community College.  She traveled extensively with Elderhostel (now Road Scholar), learning about art, music, and local history.  Ruth also traveled on group tours, led by Professor Richard Little from GCC, to study geology in Hawaii, Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, Iceland, and the Caribbean.  Ruth was an avid gardener, seamstress, and knitter.  She loved people and had many friends of all ages.

Ruth is survived by her children: Daniel Shaw (Rose) of Bellmawr, NJ, Meredith Larson (Alan) of Rehoboth, MA, and Leslie Musiak (Joseph) of Middleton, MA ; grandchildren Jasmine and Timothy Shaw; Carl, Scott (Elizabeth), and Emily Larson; and Samuel and Andrew Musiak.  Ruth also leaves many nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends. 

In addition to her parents Ruth was predeceased by her sister Jean Benson, an infant son Mark Edward, her beloved husband Arthur, and a companion, John Klassen.

There are no calling hours.

A service celebrating the life of Ruth Shaw will be held at Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, MA, at 1:00 PM on Friday, November 12th. 

Burial will be immediately afterward at Jones Cemetery in North Orange.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Community Church of North Orange and Tully, 48 Main St., Orange, MA 01364;  Athol Bird and Nature Club, 100 Main St., Athol, MA 01331; or to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, 97 N. Hatfield Road, Hatfield, MA 01038.

Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.

Guest book and directions online at WWW.WITTYFUNERALHOME.COM

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth (Spalding) Shaw, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
November 12, 2021

1:00 PM
Witty's Funeral Home
158 South Main Street
Orange, Massachusetts 01364

Interment following funeral service
November 12, 2021

Jones Cemetery
Jones Cemetery Road
Orange, Massachusetts 01364

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