Martha Foley Shaw, 83, of Auburn, passed away on September 24, 2019 at Auburn Nursing Home with her husband by her side. They exchanged " I Love Yous" and prayed together. She was the love of his life and a gift to all that knew and loved her.
Martha was born in Amityville, NY on August 26, 1936 to the late George and Helen McCarthy Foley. She grew up in Massapequa Park, NY and graduated from Seaton Hall High School in Patchogue NY. She received a degree in Science specializing in biology education from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Beyond her Bachelors degree she studied several additional courses including a summer semester at the University of Puerto Rico. Martha began her career at teaching biology in Hewlett NY. In 1967 she married her husband and moved upstate and taught science in Union Springs school until she retired in 1994. She was an inspiration to many young minds in the field of science and was loved and appreciated by her students, some writing her years later giving her credit for inspiring them to pursue careers in science.
Martha was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church. After her retirement Martha spent her time volunteering. Her love of knowledge and teaching led her to volunteer with the Ward O'Hara Agricultural Museum where she was the program director for many years. She especially enjoyed teaching the fourth graders of Cayuga County about life in the pioneer days.
Although she was not originally from the area, she was very active in the local history club.
Martha very generously donated to many charities and her happiness truly came from giving to others.
Martha is survived by her husband of 52 years, Vincent P. Shaw, her best friend of 76 years, Carolee Haverty, A very special friend Dawn Locastro, her sister in-law Kathryn Foley and brother in-law Robert F. Shaw, her nieces, Karen (Jeffrey) Blizard and their children Philip (Tamera) and great-great niece Kathryn Foley. Laura (David)Foley-Field, and their children Meghan, Sophia and Phin, her nephew, Kevin (Gerri) Foley and their children Jack and Matthew, along with several Shaw nieces and nephews, great and great- great nieces and nephews.
Along with her parents, Martha was predeceased by her brother, George T. Foley, her lifelong friend, Jane Zalmen, and her four brothers in-law. A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, September 28, 2019 in St. Mary’s Church, Auburn. A calling hour will be held in church, prior to mass, from 10-11 am. A private burial will be held for family following mass.
To honor Martha and her generous spirit, in lieu of flowers, please make donations in her memory to the Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum, the local SPCA or Matthew House. Arrangements are with the White Chapel Funeral Home Inc, Auburn.
To send flowers to Martha's family, please visit our floral section.