Nature 17
Official Obituary of

Joan Henderson Shaw

February 17, 1934 ~ February 29, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old

Joan Shaw Obituary

Joan Henderson Shaw, cherished family matriarch, passed away peacefully at her home in Accomac, VA on Thursday, February 29, 2024. A remarkable 90 years young, Joan will be especially remembered for her subtle, insightful wit and unconditional love, both of which perfectly complement the fact that her loved ones will only have to bare February 29th every four years. Born February 17, 1934 in Nassawadox, VA, Joan was the daughter of the late Dr. Upshur Kerr Henderson, Jr. and Daris Greer Henderson. She adored her parents and remained devoted to each of them until their passing, carrying their values of kindness, generosity, and integrity throughout her life.

Joan graduated from Accomac High School, class of 1951, and then attended Longwood University. She returned home to the Eastern Shore and later became the longtime administrative assistant to the Accomack County Superintendent of Schools. Joan dedicated herself to her profession with diligence and professionalism and always looked forward to interacting with co-workers each day until her retirement. Her true joy, however, was found through her role as a mother and grandmother. Joan embodied grace, sincerity, and an unwavering devotion to her family, earning her the title of the best mom, grandmother, sister, and aunt anyone could ask for. Her granddaughters were the light of her life, and she cherished every moment spent with them, imparting her gentle nature, warm heart, and sense of humor upon them. Joan’s presence brought warmth and joy to every gathering, her funny stories bringing laughter and happiness. With a sense of style that was unmatched, Joan was always dressed to the nines, exuding class and elegance wherever she went. Yet, it was her inner beauty that truly shone through – her kindness, generosity, and love for her family. This warmth was not just reserved for family, it was extended to friends and strangers alike – Joan could (and would!) talk with anyone.

In addition to her parents, Joan was predeceased by her husband, Brooks L. Shaw and her brother, Upshur Kerr Henderson III and his wife, Bonnie. She leaves to cherish her legacy, her son, Brooks Douglas “Doug” Shaw and his wife, Cathy, of Annapolis, MD; granddaughters, Claire, Katherine, and Nathalie Shaw; nieces and nephew, Cindy Joynes, and her husband, Arthur, Lisa Scott and her husband, Scotty, and Terry Payne and his wife, Melissa; brother-in-law, Wayne Shaw and his wife, Jeanne; and sister-in-law, Carol Roop; as well as their families.

Funeral services will be conducted from the graveside at the Edgehill Cemetery, in Accomac, on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 1:00 p.m., with The Reverend Monica Gould officiating. All are invited to join the family for a reception at the Island House Restaurant, in Wachapreague, immediately following the service.

Contributions in Joan’s memory may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105 (

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements by the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home.

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Funeral Service
March 7, 2024

1:00 PM
Edgehill Cemetery
Joynes Neck Road
Accomac, VA 23301

Reception following the service
March 7, 2024

Island House Restaurant
17 Atlantic Avenue
Wachapreague, VA 23480


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856


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