Jason Shaw, a former finance and general sales manager at Portland Volvo in Scarborough and loving father of two sons, died Thursday after a long fight with stage IV stomach cancer. He was 44.
Shaw was remembered Monday as a kind, strong and hardworking man who had a passion for life.
A 1996 Biddeford High School graduate, Shaw received an associate degree in culinary arts from the former Southern Maine Technical College. He worked at various restaurants, including the former Anjon’s Italian Restaurant, Fazio’s Italian Restaurant in York and Hurricane Restaurant in Kennebunkport.
Shaw later had a successful career in sales and finance at automotive dealerships across southern Maine. He worked for Prime Toyota and Lee Auto Malls before joining Portland Volvo in Scarborough in 2010, where he worked in finance. He became general sales manager a few months before leaving the company in early 2020.
His wife, Joyce Shaw of Saco, said Tuesday that he loved helping customers.
“He was very good at his job,” his wife said. “He was a people person. He could read people. He liked being able to help people who may not be able to get into a vehicle.”
Shaw and his wife were married for 13 years. They lived in Saco and raised two sons: Elijah, 12, a seventh-grader at Thornton Academy Middle School, and Alexander “AJ,” Shaw, 6, a student at Governor John Fairfield School.
His wife sobbed as she shared stories of their life together. She said they met at Southern Maine Medical Center, where he worked as a cook. She worked in the kitchen preparing meals for patients.
She chuckled, saying he always wore baggy clothes and his two state championship football rings.
“We became instant friends,” she said, recalling the day he carved a watermelon to look like a boat. “He would always say, ‘I’m so glad you took my boat.’
“We had a good life together,” she said. “I miss him so much. He was my best friend. He loved us so much.”
Shaw was remembered for his energy and devotion to their two sons. His wife said he loved fishing and playing video games with his oldest son. She shared stories of family movie nights in their garage with boxed candy and popcorn. She said they loved miniature golfing, strawberry and apple picking and carving pumpkins. They took family trips to North Conway, New Hampshire, to visit Great Wolf Lodge and Kahuna Laguna indoor water parks. He loved taking his sons out for ice cream and to candy stores.
“He loved those boys,” his wife said.
Shaw’s health started to decline several years ago. His wife said he had issues with his stomach and saw various doctors, but never got a definitive cancer diagnosis until January 2020.
“He was a fighter. He loved us so much,” she said. “That’s why he fought so hard. Even complete strangers are telling me how much he talked about us. The nurses would tell me, ‘We know all about you. He’s been waiting to see you.’ ”
“I told a number of people the past couple days, I know I can do this on my own, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to,” she said. “He was my best friend. I’ve been in love with him since I was 17 years old. We had this bond. We understood each other. We were a team. … I’ll miss the way he would look at me and how safe I always felt with him. I’ll miss how much he loved us and how kind he was to people.”