Alice Mayo Shaw
Jan. 10, 1950 – March 21, 2015
Part-time Homer resident Alice Mayo Shaw died March 21, 2015, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Although based in Sarasota, Fla., the Shaws built a summer home in Homer in 2007, where Alice drew and her husband, Bruce, photographed wildlife.
Originally from Kentucky, Alice earned her associate of arts degree from the Fleming College and Institute for European Affairs in Lugano, Switzerland, and her bachelor of fine arts degree from the College of Design, Architecture and Art at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
As a wildlife photographer, she shot everything from Saudi Arabian desert dogs to Alaska brown bears. Since her retirement, Alice and Bruce have been traveling the world. In addition to their Homer summer home, in 2012, the couple purchased a 42- acre ranch in Skull Valley, Ariz., as a new destination.
She is survived by her husband, Bruce Bailey Shaw; their two children, Margaret Thatcher Shaw and John Preston Shaw; grandchildren Milo and Emma Shaw; sister, Nancy; brother, Andy, and puppy, Ginger.
“Alice will be remembered for her beauty, brilliance, humor, talent, kindness, quick wit, honesty, resilience, determination and charm. She always loved a challenge whether daily crosswords or reinventing herself as an award-winning artist,” wrote her family.
Her work has been presented in galleries from Alaska to Florida. In 2014, the Audubon Society commissioned a gallery show on St. Armand’s Key in Sarasota.
With a keen eye for proportion, function and style, Alice designed two houses, one in Homer, the other in Sarasota, and created interior environments that left an indelible impression of creativity and fantasy.
“Alice could transform anything from nothing special to utterly marvelous. From furniture to custom candles to window boxes, no job was too small or too big. Christmas was her favorite time, and every year, she created a spectacular winter-wonderland in her Sarasota home for her friends and family,” wrote her family.
She traveled extensively, starting at an early age with her mother, Mary McClure Mayo, and brother, John Mayo, and continuing with her husband, Bruce. Drawn to nature, and specifically to wildlife, she was an accomplished photographer, having spent 15 years as the photographer for Pelican Man’s Bird Sanctuary in Sarasota. Most recently, she preferred to work with pencil medium, illustrating on Mi-Teintes Canson paper the photographs taken by her husband.
Movies were an integral part of her life, and she passed her love of cinema to her children. Her son, John, is now a famous poster artist. She passed her love of animals to her daughter, Margaret, who she and Bruce supported in purchasing a 42-acre horse/guest ranch in Skull Valley, Arizona, where they care for animals and people.
She had a reputation for supporting the dreams and passions of all those she encountered, for accepting everyone for who they are, for her infectious humor and for delivering poignant remarks with impeccable timing and tact.
Alice fought a courageous battle with lung disease, pneumonia and a sudden stroke, ultimately choosing her quality of life over a futile campaign. Her husband, son and daughter were by her side when she said her final farewell.
“Alice is, and always will be, dearly missed. If you had the great fortune of knowing (her), please honor her final request: Celebrate life as you live it, cherish every moment, and never look back,” wrote her family.