Obituary: Joan P. Shaw
Joan Petrunick Shaw of Fraser passed away on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, at the age of 81.
Joan was born on 9/9/33 (and 3×3 is 9) in Buffalo, N.Y., to Ida and Louis Petrunick. She met the love of her life, Roger Shaw, at Amherst High School and graduated from Michigan State University as Senior of the Year in 1955. She was in the first class of music therapists in the nation and a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority. After her internship at the Topeka State Mental Hospital, she married Roger on June 12, 1956. They lived in Urbana, Ill., Troy, N.Y., Los Alamos, N.M., and St. Louis, Mo., before retiring to her heaven on earth, Fraser.
An accomplished musician, she shared her love of music by writing the Unity Color Key Songbook, directing children’s choirs, leading Girl Scouts in song at Busch Stadium, playing in the Kirkwood Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Ladies’ Friday Music Club, the Junction City Jazz Band, barbershop quartets, various string ensembles, appearing with the Gateway City Big Band and teaching viola, violin and piano lessons in the St. Louis area.
She taught music therapy at Maryville College and Meramec Community College. She worked at Clayton on the Green where she created her nationally renowned geriatric music therapy program, as outlined in her books “The Joy of Music in Maturity” and “Musical Bridges.”
Since arriving in Grand County, she led the Mountain Messiah, played piano as one of The Uprights giving proceeds to local music scholarships, played weddings with the Alpine Classic Trio and wrote “Mountain I Dos” about those experiences. She delighted in Grand County Piano Club gatherings. Through the Grace Notes of Grand County, she offered music therapy to those in need and she gave young musicians a chance to play by founding the OURchestra with her husband.
She enjoyed the Grand County Wilderness Group, assisting with library book fairs, the Grand County Quilters, the PEO, the Fraser Creative Writing Group, learning about philosophy and fly-fishing, and cheering on the Grand Chorale.
She is survived by her husband, Roger; son, Gordon Shaw (Sue Rae Irelan); daughters Beverly Shaw (Jeff Zinn) and Mara Shaw (Mark Chen); grandchildren Alex and Nate Shaw Netzhammer, Cassie and Karenna Chen, and Jackson and Bailey Shaw; and sister, Lois Holt, all of whom carry her spirit and energy within them.
A celebration of her life is scheduled at 2 p.m. March 7 at The Church of the Eternal Hills with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Colorado Headwaters Land Trust at P.O. Box 1938, Granby, CO 80446 or http://www.coloradoheadwaterslandtrust.org or the Grand County Wilderness Group at P.O. Box 916, Winter Park, CO 80482.
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