Jerry Shaw, 80 years old, passed from this life on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at his home, surrounded by family.
Born on January 21, 1942, in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Jerry Shaw was the son of Homer and Cora Bates Shaw. His paternal grandparents were Abby and William Shaw and maternal grandparents Joe and Elizabeth Bates. Jerry married Bethene Adele Kester on June 10, 1960, after both graduated from Southeast High School in Wichita, Kansas.
Jerry lived on the Osage Reservation in Grayhorse, Oklahoma, until the age of 10 when his family moved to Wichita, Kansas.
Jerry and Beth attended Kansas State University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in May of 1965. While at KSU Jerry was a member of the Wildcat golf team and was a four-year letter winner. Upon graduation from KSU Jerry spent the next seven years teaching and coaching at the high school level in Alta Vista, KS; Council Grove, KS; and Udall, KS. In 1972 Jerry and family moved to Wichita where he completed his Master’s Degree at Wichita State University and went on to teach Native American Studies at Wichita State University for 43 years. His passion in life was to share his knowledge and experiences with young people of all cultures. His life’s work earned him many awards but he always felt the most special recognition came from creating his annual Osage Cultural Workshop. Students earned three credit hours and spent a week on the Osage Reservation learning the culture.
Along with his wife Beth, Jerry created the Wichita Public Schools Native American Tutoring Program. This program ran from 1973 to 1995.
After retiring Jerry and Beth made their home in Fairfax and enjoyed being close to family and Grayhorse. Jerry was very involved in the Osage Culture, serving as Whipman on the Grayhorse Dance Committee for 12 years and Head Committeeman for 12 years, serving in many roles from 1974 until this past June of 2022. Our culture was very important to Jerry and he served as a member of the 31st Tribal Council from 2002-2006. During this time, Jerry was instrumental in creating the Osage Language Department as an attempt to save the Osage language. In 2002, there were a limited number of Osages who could understand and speak the Osage language and twenty years later, there are well over 500.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and brother Bates. He leaves behind his loving wife of 62 years, Beth; three sons, Ed Shaw and his wife Ruth of Pawhuska, Oklahoma; John and his wife Pam of Fairfax, Oklahoma; and Justin Ashworth of Wichita, Kansas. Also six beloved grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and loved ones.
Jerry will lie in state at his home in Fairfax, Oklahoma, through Sunday. He will then be taken to the Grayhorse Chapel where a wake service will be held at 7:30 p.m. An Osage service will be held Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the Grayhorse Chapel. A Christian service will then be held at the Woodland (Fairfax) High School auditorium at 10:00 a.m. Jerry will be buried at the Fairfax Cemetery next to his parents and brother. A traditional Osage meal will follow at the Grayhorse Community Building where everyone is welcome.