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Obituaries » Della Jane Shaw Newburn

Della Jane Shaw Newburn

April 10, 1928 - April 3, 2019


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Della Jane (Newburn) Shaw
Della Jane (Newburn) Shaw, of Sebastopol passed away on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, just a week short of her 91st birthday. Surrounded by her family, she was comfortable and at peace.
Jane was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 10, 1928. The second of four daughters, Jane was a curious girl with a sparkling wit and mischievous side. As a small child, Jane and her family moved to Carlsbad, California where she grew up and remained into adulthood. She learned how to swim in the ocean, had a keen sense of adventure, and a pure heart.
She was an avid scholar and trailblazer for her time. Jane was a plane spotter in World War II and met her husband after his term in the Navy. Jane graduated from Oceanside Junior College and started her teaching career in 1948, during the post-war teacher shortage. After obtaining a state-issued emergency teaching certificate, Jane taught at several elementary schools in southern California, including the same school in Carlsbad that she attended as a child. She continued her education taking summer and night classes at San Diego State University, earning her baccalaureate while teaching full time.
Jane and her growing family moved to Sonoma County in the ’60s. Her husband eventually constructed their family home in west Sebastopol where they raised their three boys. She continued teaching for 40 years at both Gravenstein and Twin Hills Schools. Her easy nature, quick smile, and sense of humor won her over with her students.
A former student remembers her fondly:
“I loved her class. It was fourth grade, and she let me read aloud to other students, which was like a dream come true, that I’d never even known I had. “Doctor Doolittle” was my go-to book. What’s funny now is that I was so caught up in doing a good job, I didn’t give a second thought to whether the other kids approved; the important thing was that Mrs. Shaw did. She would indulge, and even slightly encourage goofy behavior, and then back to the lesson…What a wonderful person and teacher.”
That former student went on to become a teacher himself, underlining Jane’s impact on her students’ lives. She truly nurtured and inspired.
Jane was active and loved bowling, camping with her sons (and later, grandchildren), and watching football and baseball. In retirement, she took up genealogy, and especially loved tracing her Irish roots back as far as she could follow.
She was a beloved daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Jane is survived by her husband of 70 years, Zachary David Shaw II; sons Zachary David Shaw III, Douglas Alan Shaw (preceded in death), and Garrett (Gary) Daniel Shaw; five grandchildren, Jason Daniel Shaw (Patte), Sophia Marie Shaw, Eavan Jayne Warfel (Wade), Zachary David Shaw IV (Viki), Sarah Elizabeth Harris (David); and nine great grandchildren.