Kathleen Ada Shaw died Dec. 20 of endometrial cancer. She was 62.
She was the daughter of Ada Pye Shaw and Eddie T. Shaw. She was born and lived most of her life in the Chicago area. She is survived by her wife, Martha Keenan Anderson; in-laws and their children and grandchildren; and numerous foster siblings.
Kathleen was a graduate of Chicago's Immaculata High School; Clarke College and University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa; and Teachers College in Columbia University, in New York City, where she obtained an MA in education and curriculum design in 1982. For 25 great years of her career, she taught physical education at Martin Luther King Jr., Laboratory School (King Lab), in Evanston, from which she retired in 2012.
Kathleen and Martha, her partner and wife for more than 20 years, moved to Carbondale, Illinois, in July 2014, for Martha to pursue a graduate degree in counseling.
Kathleen loved singing, sports and woodworking. She received classical voice training at the famed Julliard School in New York City. She loved solo and ensemble work and was a founding member of Chicago's UNISON Lesbian and Gay Chorus and Aria, which are affiliated with Windy City Performing Arts. In sports she was good at any game that featured a ball. She competed in the Pan Am Games in volleyball (ca. 1975), and in the Olympics in basketball (1976). She was a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan. Woodworking was a relatively recent love and she started her company, Shawdust, to create small decorative wooden boxes and urns.
In 1977-78, she went to India as a soloist with the Clarke-Loras Singers. She returned and taught for a year at India's American university New Delhi and, at the same time, she lived with and worked for Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. Her primary job for the sisters was to make gruel at 4 every morning.
Kathleen also performed on the Outlines (now Windy City Times) newspaper's late-1990s CD High Risk, a collection of lesbian musicians performing to benefit the Lesbian Community Cancer (now Care) Project.
Kathleen will be missed by Martha, her family, and the thousands of friends she made from all walks of life; but in the sure and certain hope of life everlasting, she is being greeted now by the friends and family members who preceded her. Thanks be to God.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 North Parrish Lane, Carbondale. Visitation will be Saturday from 1 p.m. to the start of service. A second service will be held in Evanston, Illinois at a future date. For those who prefer, please consider a memorial to the Strong Survivors Fund/SIU Foundation, Colyer Hall, 1235 Douglas Dr., Carbondale, IL 62901.
For more information, visit www.walkerfuneralhomesandcrematory.com .