I.V. Shaw was born to Wesley Shaw, Jr., and Margaret Riggs-Shaw on March 17, 1927, in Lake Village, Arkansas. He was the second born son of their four children, Earnest, Mae and Narsis. The family resided in Winchester, Arkansas and were rural farm sharecroppers until the family moved to Detroit, Michigan in the 1940s. The family initially settled in the Black Bottom neighborhood on Antietam Street, a historic Black community. I.V. was a handsome, gentle, thoughtful, and plain-spoken man. A devoted son, his older brother Earnest was his best friend, and he was an adored brother to his sisters, Mae, and Narsis.
A veteran, I.V. was drafted in the U.S. Army and served in the post-World War II occupation of Europe. He was posted in France and Germany and never forgot the experience of being on a battleship traveling to Europe, and specifically a near death experience building a bridge in Paris, among many other wartime assignments. When drafted, the 1940s military clerks decided that I.V.'s given name was not an appropriate government name and stated that his government name would be Areree Shaw. This was an insulting action, but there was nothing I.V. could do, so he only used the name for government or official use. When I.V. returned from his military service, he introduced himself, to friends, as Shaw. No one in the Shaw family ever called him Areree.
I.V. met and courted the love of his life, Doris Delphine Alexander in the late 1940s and they sealed their love in Holy Matrimony on March 12, 1950, at St. Stephens AME Church in Detroit, Michigan. Together, they had four daughters, Eileen, Marguerite (Crystal), Sylvia and Heather. The quiet, patient husband and father was surrounded by energetic women who loved and challenged him, and he and Doris laid a foundation of love, compassion, and the importance of family in the household. The proud parents raised amazing educated, devoted, strong, thoughtful, determined, and successful children.
His career included 25 years at Sherman Williams (formally Acme Quality Paint Company) and working at the V-Neat Barbershop. He was later employed at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Shortly thereafter, he joined his brother, Earnest, and opened the Blue Dot Barbershop. I.V. operated the barbershop for 30 years, closing only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020, at the ripe age of 93 years old.
Shaw enjoyed bowling, playing cards, and socializing with family and friends. He enjoyed his VW cars (Fastback, Karmann Ghia and Rabbit), and traveling the US. One of his treasured memories was working with dear friend, Henry Lambert, at the popular Henry's Cocktail Lounge, where he met legendary entertainers who were the top Black stars of the 60s and 70s. He lived his best life and lived his life by example. Never one to let things wait, if something needed to be done, he did it—now.
Shaw was blessed to celebrate his 90th birthday with his family and friends, where they shared how important he was to them, how they learned from him, and how much they loved him.
I.V.'s main purpose, in his senior years, was his loving care of his beloved wife Doris. Shaw was Doris' primary caregiver, and he took his responsibility sincerely and unconditionally. His tender care was so touching. His dedication and care made a huge impact on the family and served as a model for dependability and faithfulness.
On Tuesday, October 11, 2022, I.V. Shaw passed away quietly in his home. He was 95 years old, married for 72 years, and LOVED.
I.V. Shaw is survived by wife Doris Alexander-Shaw; children, Eileen Shaw, Marguerite Shaw-Pickett, Sylvia Shaw-Keels (Terrel Keels), Heather Shaw; grandchildren, LaDon Williams (Eric Williams, Sr), Tamika Smith-Crawford, Tasha Smith-Guinn (James Guinn), Tiaira Smith, LaBrount Smith, Kenneth Pickett, Tracee Keels-Adams (Bilal Adams), Taylor Keels; great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; sisters, Mae Shaw-Lewis, Narsis Shaw-Parker; sisters-in-law, Eula Alexander-George, Bertha Alexander; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, Wesley Shaw, Jr. and Margaret Riggs-Shaw; siblings, Christella Ruffin, Percy Shaw, Earnest Shaw; children, Synthia Smith-Beamer, Eliot Smith and Lucretia Smith.
On this day we celebrate the life of I.V. * Shaw * Daddy * Pop-Pop * Granddaddy. The man, the legend, and our BELOVED ROCK.