LOGAN – On Sunday, the community will come together to say a final good-bye to one of Logan’s most honorable ladies – Lucy Bowen Shaw, who passed away on Thursday.
At 104 years old, she will be remembered by most for helping generations of Logan High School graduates fulfill their academic dreams, her involvement in The Bowen House, and her love of the community.
Throughout the years, Shaw remained active in the community as much as possible, attended the Presbyterian Church, was very involved with her family, and was a huge supporter of Honduras Hope, a not-for-profit organization working with rural poor and politically marginalized communities in Honduras, founded by her son-in-law, the Rev. William Briggs.
She lived and celebrated life, while giving and sharing with the community she loved so much.
Because of her love for children and the community, she and her late husband, George, started helping students with financial need and encouraged others in the community to do the same. Together, they helped create Brighten Your Future, an organization that awards annual scholarships to graduates of Logan High School to further their education.
Brighten Your Future was founded in 1988 and has since helped many local graduates. “Today is a sad day for Brighten Your Future with the announcement of the death of our founder, Lucy Shaw,” said Nan Swinehart, BYF Executive Director.
“She was a wonderful lady and a gift to the Logan community and all who knew her,” she added. “She will be missed.”
Lucy also counseled students at the high school about their future, their goals and aspirations. She knew that many had the ability, talent and desire, but lacked the funding, encouragement or family support to pursue their higher education.
Lucy and George also donated to Logan-Hocking Middle School to support student achievement; and with their friends, Max and Loris Davidson, donated the riverfront land on which Logan High School now sits.
Together, Lucy and George reached out to help students beyond Hocking County. They were lifelong supporters of Berea College in Kentucky, and of Ohio Wesleyan University as well.
However, it was always the youth of Hocking County who had her focus and attention. Lucy and George were always there to encourage and help young people in the community realize their aspirations.
She came from a family with a long history of valuing learning, reading, music and the arts. Her sensitivity to and empathy with other people was apparent to her own children from an early age.
From the time her children were young, she taught them about the injustices of poverty, about evils of prejudice, the oppression of African American people in our society and about the persecution of the Jews in Germany and other European countries during the war, and here at home.
As her children grew older and attended college, she began to think about how she and her husband could help more people in the community reach their potential, particularly in terms of furthering their education.
The Bowen House on North Market Street was the family home for more than 100 years and another focus of Lucy’s life. Her aunt Mary Louise Bowen, who owned and lived in the home, wanted to bequeath it to the First Presbyterian Church of Logan to be used by all the people of Logan and Hocking County as a center for art, music, poetry and literature.
Lucy and George along with other family members worked together and supported Mary Louise in her endeavor and the community now uses the house as a non-denominational cultural arts center that offers a variety of programs throughout the year.
From high school sweethearts to stewards of the community – Lucy and George Shaw will always be remembered for their generosity, love and commitment to the community, especially for the young people who want to further their education.