Napoleon Township’s Mary Shaw hits the century mark


Above, Mary Shaw was “100 & Fabulous” this past Saturday.

By John Hummer

Napoleon Township’s Mary Shaw is living a long and happy life. You can see it in her smile and how much energy she still exudes. She turned 100 years old this past Saturday, August 8, and had a big party in her honor, complete with a celebratory boat parade on Ackerson Lake where Mary has lived since the 1940s.

“I can’t believe it – I don’t feel a hundred,” Mary said. “I feel wonderful. I have my family and friends – this is what I live on. I like this. We have fun! They spoiled me rotten!”

Many friends and family of Mary Shaw drove their boats past her house Saturday in a boat parade to honor her during her 100th birthday party. Some people decked out in costumes and others added signs to their boats to make the occasion extra special for Mary

When asked what her secret was to living 100 years, Mary said, “Being happy with my family and friends. Old friends mean a lot to me. I love people. I like to help people and do things – just be yourself. That’s life – I’m just happy to have life yet.”

Mary grew up in Jackson and moved out to Ackerson Lake in the early 1940s. In 1942, she married her husband, Red Shaw. They first rented a place on Ackerson Lake called the “honeymoon cottage”, then shortly thereafter bought a house on the lake and moved into Mary’s current house in the late 1940s. In her younger working years, Mary worked in a tool shop in Jackson polishing car parts.

This vintage photo depicts Mary, circa the 1940s.

“We’re blessed to have her,” said her younger daughter, Debbie Ashley. Her older daughter is Diane O’Leary. “She’s a treat – she’s a lot of fun. She never complains.”

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