HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – Charles Whitcomb Shaw, 84, best known as Whit Shaw, formerly of Falmouth Foreside and Cousins Island, passed away March 22, 2012, in Hillsborough, N.C., from Alzheimer’s disease. Throughout the entangled cognitive web of this cruel disease, Mr. Shaw amazingly managed to retain his positive social attitude and beautiful smile. Mr. Shaw was born Jan. 30, 1928, in Caribou, the son of Sterling E. Shaw and Marjorie Whitcomb Shaw.
He graduated from Caribou High School in 1945. Mr. Shaw graduated from the University of Maine, Orono, in 1949 and received his Master of Business Administration degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. Later in life Mr. Shaw received a fellowship from Oxford University in the U.K. Mr. Shaw also served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953. Whit Shaw was always proud in saying that he had been an entrepreneur all his life and that "the Shaws have never worked for anyone," beginning with his great-grandfather Shaw and on through to his brother, John and his nephew, Johnny Shaw, of Portland. Mr. Shaw’s entrepreneurial ventures began as owner and president of the Ford-Mercury Dealership in Caribou, which was the oldest family owned and operated Ford dealership in the U.S. Mr. Shaw’s grandfather, Elibe Shaw, traveled to Detroit by train in 1912 to personally meet with Henry Ford and returned to Caribou with four cars thus beginning the enterprise which was ultimately handed to his son, Sterling E. Shaw, who in turn passed it on to Whit Shaw, who ran it for 10 years, from 1963 to 1972. After selling the Ford dealership, Mr. Shaw relocated to Cape Elizabeth with his family, where he spent time writing his book, "Mind Your Own Business." He then reinvented himself and founded Whit Shaw Associates, Inc., a national consulting firm for business start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, which he operated until 1990, when he thought he wanted to retire. His retirement was short lived and in 1993, he founded International Corporate Consultants, Ltd., an international business start-up consulting firm, which he operated until 2005. During his lifetime, Mr. Shaw was president of Maine Automobile Dealers Association in 1970; co-founder of WDHP Radio, Inc., Caribou, and president of European Ski Charters Unlimited. Mr. Shaw was a longtime avid tennis player and skier.
Mr. Shaw is survived by his wife of 28 years, Connie Casavant Shaw of Hillsborough, N.C.; his brother, John R. Shaw and his wife, Norma, of Caribou; and three daughters, Tammy A. Shaw of Sarasota, Fla., Lisa A. Walker of Farmington and Karen Shaw, of Rockwell City, Iowa. Whit Shaw’s two lifelong mottoes that he passionately lived by were: "Find a way or make a way" and "Carpe diem" … and indeed he did!
A private memorial was held in Hillsborough, N.C. You can remember Whit Shaw and only that he is gone or you can do what Whit Shaw would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.