Annita’s Biography and Goodbye

Annita Thinking About Grandson

Annita Shaw, born February 13, 1941, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, as Anetta Louise Crawford, was adopted a few days after her birth by Harold Kenneth and Velma “Sally” Loraine (Lippincott) Shaw. Kenny and Sally brought their precious baby daughter home to their farm north of Henry February 14, 1941.

Annita did all of the things children of her age did: prepare household meals out of raw materials found in the yard, laid out the dimensions of an imaginary home. She helped in the fields hoeing beets to thin out the plants, or helped her father irrigate the corn crop or any other row, on a row crop being grown. She rode horseback to get the milk cows to come in to be milked in the evening. Her dad milked them again in the morning prior to letting them go into the pasture to graze the grass.

She attended a country school where multiple grades were taught in the same room. She did projects for the 4-H programs. She went to junior high and senior high school in Morrill, Nebraska, graduating with the class of 1959. Annita attended college at Chadron, where she was part of the last group to receive “Normal Training” prior to graduation. She received her Bachelors degree after teaching in small-town school district elementary schools. She then taught in inner city schools in Omaha prior to heading off to the big city, New York, to attend NYU for her Masters.

As children, Max Leroy Shaw had been warned to keep his hands out of her crib. Little known to the rest of the family, Annita and Max would lock eyes at a his sister’s wedding and realize they were meant for one another, after having known each other as cousins their whole lives. They were wed on June 29, 1968 at her childhood church in Henry, Nebraska.

Annita went into education, getting her first position in Bridge Port, Nebraska. From there she went to two other districts teaching 2nd and third elementary level students. She was discovered by the Omaha School District, hired, and taught in the projects of Omaha, Nebraska, but then moving to Connecticut and California with Max, before finally settling down in Silverdale, Washington, where their son Justin Owen Shaw was born. She taught in the Central Kitsap School District for 29 years. Although she started as a substitute, she became the art teacher at Fairview Junior High, also occasionally teaching Language Arts, and becoming the long-time yearbook advisor.

She was nominated for and awarded the Art Educator of the Year for the National Art Education Association (NAEA), and she was acting president of the Washington Art Education Association (WAEA) for many years. She was the recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award, and many other accolades for her art program and curriculum. She participated in the Commission on Student learning.

Additionally, She kept extraordinarily busy in her retirement from teaching by assuming her new role of Owner of the family farm, managing the farm as well as rental properties.

In 2007, she founded a nonprofit foundation to educate people about the dangers of neuropathy which leads to Charcot, a bone deteriorating disease that attacks load-bearing joints of persons who have peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy produces a lack of sensation in the lower legs or arms. Charcot is fairly common in Type II diabetics. An almost rare occurrence in the rest of the population.

If Charcot has medical intervention, amputation can often be avoided. As in Annita’s case medical intervention helped save her feet from becoming casualties of Charcot. In Madigan Medical Center the surgeon performed the delicate work necessary to repair already-damaged bones in her right foot and lower leg. The healing time was almost two years. During that time she was off her feet, using a wheel chair to move around. There was damage to her left foot but not to the extent as in the right. After her first surgery had healed, she underwent a similar procedure to repair the damage to her left foot.

During an appointment with our lawyer, he strongly urged Annita to start an educational foundation to help the public about the dangers of Charcot. The major problem in getting the message out to those who need it is the firmly held belief by Podiatrists that it is a rare problem and they not realizing that those who are having amputations are almost without exception, Type 2 Diabetics. During the time of this 501c3 we have been in an uphill battle with and among disbelievers. And with that I leave you now.