Franklin P. Shaw
Colonel, United States Army
Franklin "Frank" Shaw - a Santa Fe, New Mexico, resident, community activist and retired Army officer with a long and honorable military career - will be buried Tuesday in Arlington National Cemetery with full honors.
"It was his wish to be buried there," said Bill Shaw, one of Frank Shaw's sons. "His grandparents are buried there. In fact, quite a few generations of the family are buried there."
Despite his military career, Frank Shaw hated war and was an opponent of the possible conflict with Iraq.
"He had seen the horrors and atrocities of war, and he thought there were very few reasons to justify doing it," Bill Shaw said.
Shaw, who died of cancer February 11, 2003, at the age of 82, lived with his wife, Martha, in the La Mariposa subdivision, where he at one time served as president of the homeowners' association.
Shaw moved to Santa Fe in 1990 and was instrumental in developing the Northwest Sector Plan. He also was the La Mariposa representative on the Santa Fe Northwest Advisory Council board and later became the third president of the council.
"From that position he took over leadership of a project I had started - a master plan for several subdivisions in our area," said Mike Maule, a neighbor and friend of Shaw's. "Although many people worked on the plan, it was the military-like organizing, perseverance and leadership by Frank that finally brought it to fruition."
Shaw also "strongly influenced the development and revision of Santa Fe-area roads as they exist and are planned today," Maule said.
"He just felt he wanted to contribute," said Julian Wagenet, another friend and neighbor of Shaw's. "He chose to be active in the community and contribute whatever capacity he had to civic duties."
Bob Shephard, who also worked with Shaw at the advisory council, said, "I was impressed with his managerial capability. He had enthusiasm and a keen mind. He cut right to the chase, which was a real asset in keeping our group focused."
Frank Shaw was born in Kentucky into a military family. When Shaw was 12, his father was posted to China, serving in Tianjin and Beijing as a U.S. Army judge advocate.
Shaw later attended West Point. He graduated in 1943 and was shipped overseas. The following spring, he took part in the Normandy invasion, landing on Utah Beach.
"He was wounded on Day Two of the invasion and transferred back to England," said Bill Shaw. "Later he went back over and became part of the general staff. He worked with Army intelligence."
Shaw was present at the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany, in 1944. "He was in the famous photo by Margaret Bourke-White of the German citizens with the bodies" of the inmates, Bill Shaw said. "The guy with his helmet cocked back and the blond hair is my dad. He pulled the Germans aside and interviewed them."
After the war, Shaw remained in the Army and attended Yale University, where he earned a graduate degree in foreign affairs. He later was stationed in Japan, again working in military intelligence.
In the 1960s, Shaw worked in the Defense Department under Robert McNamara. By then, he had developed a specialty in Sino-Soviet relations.
"I remember one day an Army staff car came to our house and asked for a week's worth of clothing and uniforms for my dad," Bill Shaw said. "That was the Cuban missile crisis" in October 1962.
Shaw later retired from the Army but remained as a civilian in the Defense Department, becoming deputy assistant secretary of defense.
Shaw chose to retire in Santa Fe because he had a painting in his office in the Pentagon of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and wanted to live in a place where he could see them from his back door.
"Santa Fe is the exact place he wanted to retire," Bill Shaw said.
In his spare time, Shaw worked on a book about his life and times, tentatively titled Passage Through a Dark Century. "The premise was that the 20th century was a grim time, and we needed to learn not to let it happen again," Bill Shaw said. "He adamantly opposed what is going on now" with the buildup to possible war with Iraq.
In addition to his wife, Martha, and son Bill, Frank Shaw is survived by two other sons, Franklin Shaw III and James Shaw; a daughter, Sandra Valek; and a brother, Harry Shaw.
Posted: 21 March 2003 Updated: 8 July 2007