WINDHAM – He received the Bronze Star for his service to his country during World War II, expanded a one-room camp on Big Sebago Lake into a retreat for his wife and nine children, and became a lifelong supporter of the Portland Boys Club.

Carl F. Shaw did a lot of different things during his lifetime, but always lived by one standard.

“It was a simple rule,” said one of his daughters, Susan Hight of Portland. “Just do the right thing. That’s how he lived. He was an honest, fair man.”

Mr. Shaw, a resident of Windham, died Friday. He was 86 years old.

Born in Portland, Mr. Shaw attended city schools and graduated from Portland High School in 1941.

During high school, he developed a passion for basketball. He played for the Boys Club Comets team.

He continued to play basketball throughout his life, even playing against his four sons well into his 70s, his daughter said.

In 1943, Mr. Shaw joined the military, where he served in the Army Medical Corps during World War II. His company landed on Omaha Beach during the Allied invasion of Europe.

“He was very proud of his service, but when he got out that was it,” Hight said. “He never wanted to talk about the war.”

After the war ended, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

In 1947, he married Jane Bragdon. They settled in the North Deering neighborhood of Portland, where they lived for 35 years.

The couple purchased a one-room camp on Big Sebago Lake in Casco, which they named Reven Enola — meaning Never Alone.

Over the years, Mr. Shaw expanded the kitchen and sunroom and added three second-floor bedrooms. He even installed the plumbing.

After school ended in June each year, the couple would gather their children and head to the lake for the summer.

“We would not see the city of Portland again for the rest of the summer. We just stayed up at our camp,” Hight said.

Hight remembers the magical nights that her parents would spend on the lake with their children.

Her parents would sing songs as they paddled their children around Big Sebago at midnight.

“I think they invented the party boat cruises,” Hight said.

The family sold the camp in 1991. “It was heartbreaking, but we had to do it,” she said.

The Shaws could not stay away from water. They built a home on Sabbathday Lake in Gray, where they lived for a number of years.

About seven years ago, the Shaws moved into a house in Windham that was next to the home of their son Thomas.

Of course, the house was on a lake — Big Sebago.

Over the years, Mr. Shaw became a dedicated member of the Portland Boys Club Alumni Association. He served as the club’s past president. The club established a scholarship fund in his name.

One of his favorite pastimes was planning family Christmas parties and family gatherings. He tried to make the gatherings interesting by buying trophies that he gave out for the winners of various competitions such as horseshoes, basketball or volleyball that were staged during the events.

“The trophies and ribbons were very specific. Everyone who participated got one. I think that was his primary goal, was to bring his family together,” Hight said.

He is survived by 21 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]


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