Belfast Telegraph

Tyrone man Richard Stanley Shaw who lived to 106 'was kind to everyone all his life'

Richard Shaw died peacefully on Sunday
Richard Shaw died peacefully on Sunday
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Relatives have paid tribute to a Dungannon man who lived until he was 106.

Richard Stanley Shaw, known to his family as 'Uncle Dick', died peacefully at Hockley care home in Armagh on Sunday.

The "fine Christian's" funeral was held yesterday at the Lifeboat Fellowship in Dungannon, with interment afterwards at St Andrew's Parish Churchyard.

Mr Shaw was born on August 29, 1913, almost a year before the outbreak of the First World War, to parents Robert and Martha in the Tempenroe area of Killyman.

It would be another eight years before partition brought Northern Ireland into existence.

The 106-year-old was just two days older than the Irish boxer and opera singer Jack 'the gorgeous Gael' Doyle.

Mr Shaw, the third of seven children, spent around 40 years working at a linen mill in Moygashel before retiring to care for his brother, Joseph.

His nephew, Clarence Wallace (90), said he put his long life down to his strong faith and active lifestyle.

Mr Wallace added that his uncle, short in stature at little more than 5ft tall, went everywhere on his bike until he was 95, when a gust from a passing lorry swept him off the road and into a hedge.

He never married but was devoted to his church, where he organised a weekly mission for years.

Mr Shaw lived with his family until he was 103 and only moved into a care home after breaking his hip.

Last year he celebrated his 105th birthday with a telegram from the Queen and a visit from the former Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Julie Flaherty.

His nephew said: "My uncle Dick was a man of tremendous rectitude - there was no messing about with him.

"He was very kind to everybody and upright his entire life. That's what impressed me.

"He and I were very good friends. After he fell off the bicycle, I used to take him round in the car.

"He was an unusual wee man in nearly every way. He gave a lot of money away to missions all his life."

Pastor Bertie Johnston added: "He was a powerful man with words. I once asked him how we was doing at 95, and he said 'Agile, mobile, but not fragile'.

"That was the sort of wee things he came up. He was great with one-liners and a great blessing to the church.

"He actually came to me with his funeral plans 20 years ago. He was at death's door a number of times, but he always recovered. It's not many who see their 107th year."

Hockley care home administrator Kerry-Ann Russell also paid tribute to Mr Shaw.

"(He arrived as) a very fresh 103-year-old (with) a warm smile and easy conversation," she said.

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