Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
A life well lived.
Our matriarch, Florence B. (Drost) Shaw, 99, known fondly as Flo, mom, ma, grandma, gram, mema, Aunt Flo, FloBee, and pain in the dupa, passed away on January 11, 2024 at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, New Britain Campus. Florence died just days shy of her 100th birthday absently disregarding her many promises not to and our simple request to live forever.
Florence was the beloved wife of the late John Thomas "Tim" Shaw Jr, whom she married in the late 1940's. She was born in Meriden, CT on January 13, 1924, to the late Stanley and Eva (Skowronek) Drost. Florence was a long-time resident of Wallingford where she raised her family and spent her professional career as a legal secretary to Attorney Joseph Delaney. She lived in Newington for the past 19 years. Florence graduated Lyman Hall High School in 1942 and soon after attended Laurel College in Meriden. With husband Tim, Florence built a life in Wallingford raising three children.
Family was everything to Florence and she and Tim put the needs of the family ahead of their own. Holidays and Sunday dinners were events to celebrate life and enjoy each other's company. When not entertaining or preparing a meal Florence devoted her time to several passions. Creative by nature, she was an artist, often working through a still-life painting, or an arts and crafts project. As requested, her still-life paintings, now likely increased in value by the ones of dollars, will remain hanging in our homes rather than the Louvre. Florence also had a love for cooking and would whip up a meal for ten at the drop of a hat, cook the world's best fried chicken, and bake pies so good they would be considered illegal in many states.
Florence took immense pleasure in her youthful looks, and at times was required to sign an affidavit to attest to her age. Doctors experienced cognitive dissonance when confronted with her looks and her years. We attribute this anomaly to the lifetime use of Adorn hair spray and Pond's Cold Cream. It is rumored she once left the house without make-up or her hair done, but there is no photographic or eyewitness evidence of this occurrence.
She remained sharp as a tack to the very end, and we are so very grateful her later years were blessed with an inquisitive and thoughtful mind. However, we remain perplexed by her insistence in her final hours that we take care of the new baby. None of us are aware of a recent birth, and so we are committed to exploring this further just to be sure.
Florence was a rare individual who asked little, gave much, and made life better for everyone she encountered along the way. Not everything was sunshine and roses, however. She remained angry at her husband and son-in-law for failing to point out Alan Alda at a chance encounter in Vermont. And she was almost brought up on charges for threatening her son after he ruined her new linoleum floor with shoe polish when he was eleven years old.
Our hearts are broken and she will be missed dearly. We are so very thankful for having the good fortune of her presence in our lives. Indeed, Florence's was a life well lived, and without question a life well loved.
Florence is survived by her three children, Gayle (Shaw) Akumianakis of Newington, Timothy Shaw and his partner Jennifer Gerace of Wallingford, and Jacqueline (Shaw) Rioux and her husband Rob Rioux of Newington. Florence is also survived by three grandchildren, Melissa Shaw of Danbury, Kelly Shaw of Meriden, and Kristen (Shaw) Gildersleeve, and her husband Thomas of Meriden, and five great-grandchildren, Olivia, Iszaiah, Jayden, Mason, and Ethan. She is also survived by her nephews Richard Drost, and wife Maritza, of Virginia and Robert Drost, and wife Linda, of Meriden as well as great nephew Ian Drost and his wife Cassie of Middletown.
Florence was predeceased by her brother Joseph Drost of Wallingford, her sister-in-law Nadine Drost of Wallingford, and her son-in-law Haralambos "Bobby" Akumianakis of Agawam.
The family would like to thank the caregivers and medical professionals at the Hospital of Central Connecticut Emergency Department, 5th Floor Neurology Center, and the Critical Care Center for their compassionate and attentive care during Florence's final weeks.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, January 18, 2024, at 11am at St. Casimir Polish National Church, 240 Quinnipiac St. Wallingford, CT 06492. The family will receive visitors prior to Mass from 10am to 11am at the church. Interment will follow at St. Casimir Cemetery, Wallingford. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation in Florence's memory be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by going to: www.stjude.org. The B.C. Bailey Funeral Home of Wallingford, Connecticut has been entrusted with arrangements. To leave a message of remembrance, please visit: www.BaileyCares.com
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis TN 38105