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Don Shaw

July 18, 1940 January 7, 2022
Don Shaw
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Obituary for Don Shaw
Born July 18, 1940 in Clearfield he was the son of John “Jack” and Cora (Kitchen) Shaw. He was a 1958 Clearfield Area High School graduate. He served his country with the United States Coast Guard where he retired after 23years of service as Chief Aviation Survival Man (a.k.a. Rescue Swimmers with secret certification). In 1963 He enrolled in Navy Parachute Rigger School in Lakehurst NJ as a student. In 1974 transferred to Navy School at Lakehurst as a Senior Coast Guard Representative, in additions to being an Instructor. While in Lakehurst he rewrote the Navy Class A sewing machine phase of rigger school course. And while in the Navy he was appointed to be career/family counselor. While with the Coast Guard he was awarded Coast Guard Commendation and the Coast Guard Unit Commendation, both with a Silver O and numerous other unit commendations, where in 1967 1st flight saved 1 life, 2nd Flight saved 7 lives, and 3rd flight saved 3 lives. Armed Forced Expeditionary Medal, 7 Good Conduct Awards and also Expert Rifle and Pistol Ribbons, He was New Orleans Coast Guard of the Month. He was also employed with the Clearfield Borough Police Department and Deputy to the Clearfield County Sheriff from 1969-1972, PA State Police Academy 1969, Criminal Investigation Course, and Co-Owner in Alabama of Opelika Landscape/Lawncare for 13 years. Was 1 of 3 Awarded Parachute jump wings while serving as Jump Survival Instructor in Navy Coast Guard Lakehurst, NJ Parachute / Survival School. There was only 3 of these jump wings awarded to Coast Guard Instructors. Awarded 5 Sikorski Helo Rescue Pins for Missions. He was also employed at Tafco as a handbreak operator. And while in Alabama was shift supervisor with Pinkerton’s Agency.

Mr. Shaw was a former Boy Scout Master in St. Pete FL, served on the North Highlands Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in California, was President of Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association in St. Pete FL, and Sacramento California initiated and chartered the association. Served on the Steering Committee for the River Walk in Clearfield Borough, Chairman of the first ever Advisory Committee for Clearfield County Veterans Affairs. Treasurer 9 years and Vice Chairman 2 years of the Clearfield County Solid Waste Authority, member of the Lawrence Township Airport Board Authority, Lawrence Township Planning Committee, former member of the B.P.O.E Lodge 540 where he was on the House Committee, and received the Grand National Exalted Rulers Certificate for Outstanding Performance, Clearfield VFW Lifetime Legacy member & Lifetime Clearfield American Legion John Lewis Shade Post 6 Life time Member where he was on the executive board and initiated converting the club into a handicap accessible club. Lifetime member of Clearfield Vietnam Veterans Association. Speaker for P.S.P. for “Camp Cadet” at Clarion University for 14-18 year old (Boys & Girls) 2017 to present.

Appointed by Superintendent Giriarusso to New Orleans police force as Honorary Captain. This appointment was after his commanding officer in the USCG sent him to the New Orleans Police Academy in 1973 to conduct swamp/water survival and training for the New Orleans P.D. Helicopter Officers at the inception of their HELO Division. Civil Court Mediator in Alabama. Life member in 1969 of the Bald Eagle Lodge F.O.P. #51 where he served at Vice President and served on Executive Committee. A lifetime member of the Disabled Veterans. Lifetime member of the Vietnam Veterans #0974. Member Clearfield ground observer Corp from 1954-1957. Member of the former Clearfield Jaycees. 2004 Clearfield Bicentennial King of ceremonies. He served as a Tip Staff for the Clearfield County court system where he was appointed by Judge Ammerman. Served as a forest fire warden for the Moshannon district. Plank Owner of new and only U.S. Coast Guard Museum in New London, Connecticut, and a Life Member of Mosquito Creek Sportsmen Club, Vice President of Clearfield County Crime Stoppers, 2004- present, Lock Haven Steering Committee for nature track program. Steering committee for development of River Walk in Clearfield, Raced in county fair ostrich race in 1970 representing the Clearfield Boro Police Dept. Appointed to 1st uniform construction code appeals board in 2014, was the chairman. Board consisted of Lawrence township Clfd Boro, and Curwensville Boro. Life Member of Clearfield County Historical Society. Appointed chairman of 1st ever Clearfield County Veteran’s Advisory Board (13 members) for Clearfield County Commissioners. Life Member of Clearfield High School Alumni Assoc. 2014-2018 when Alumni disbanded in May of 2018. Member of the Curwensville Rescue Hose and Ladder Company 8.

Mr. Shaw was very generous with his time and resources while serving and donating to various charities and organizations: He was considered a small philanthropist. Children’s Aide Society, Clearfield EMS, Clearfield County Crime Stoppers, Trinity U.M.C. food pantry, West Side U.M.C., F.O.P #51, Clearfield Historical Society, Clearfield Area Agency on Aging, and Shaw Public Library. Also he started a victims/witness account to assist with victims/witness of crimes which is not covered by the county. Was a judge while a police officer for the soap box derby races which was sponsored by the Clearfield Jaycees. Charter Member of the Clearfield County Sheriff’s Posse in 2016, Trinity United Methodist Food Bank, Clearfield American Legion, Skate Board Park, Clearfield VFW, Clearfield Vietnam Assoc, Lawrence Township Police to purchase 1st vehicle camera in March 2018, Clearfield EMS, Lock Haven Univ. (Helen Hummel Fund), Pittsburgh Pirates Charities, Mens Shelter, WPSU Television Fund Raisers, Clearfield’s New Daisy (5&6 yr. old) Girl Scouts Troop #46715. Clearfield Goodwill.

He is survived by 2 children Tracy Krochmalny and her husband Timothy of Oregon, Bryan Shaw and his wife Lt. Col Robin of Vienna, VA. 3 granddaughters and 2 great granddaughters. 3 sisters Shelia Parker of CO, Glenda Rose and her husband Thomas of Florida, and Jackie Coleman and her husband Michael of WA.

He was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Cora ( Kitchen) Shaw, his wife Karen Sager in 1967,
and a sister Connie Shaw who preceded him in death in 1943.

A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family at Mt. Joy Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded at the cemetery by members of the Clearfield American Legion Vietnam Veterans Association and Clearfield VFW Honor Guard.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

The Chester C. Chidboy Funeral Home, Inc. of Clearfield is in charge of the arrangements.
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Event Information

Services are private.

Cemetery Details


Mt. Joy Cemetery Final Resting Place

1601-1619 Mt. Joy Road
Clearfield, PA 16830

1601-1619 Mt. Joy Road Clearfield 16830 PA
United States

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