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Nelson Shaw - An Appreciation

Nelson Shaw. Photograph by Todd Groh.October 15 marks the beginning of Virginia’s Fall Fire Season. Foresters and technicians with the Virginia Department of Forestry will be working throughout the season at a heightened readiness level. In central Virginia, these employees will face the season without a long-time colleague and friend.

Nelson Shaw was one of the most dedicated and conscientious employees we have ever had or are likely to have in the future. Shaw dedicated his life to four things – his church, his family, the Boy Scouts, and the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Shaw was born with cerebral palsy and severe hearing loss, but he relentlessly drove himself to excel at everything he attempted. Throughout his life his focused commitment to excellence allowed him to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, graduate magna cum laude from West Virginia University in 1979, and begin a lengthy career with the department.

During his 33-year career with VDOF, Shaw received dozens of letters, certificates and awards, all testifying to his deep commitment to serving the forest landowners of the Commonwealth and furthering the goals of the department. Nelson also had a reputation for demanding the same level of dedication from those around him. VDOF employees of every stripe learned from him, laughed with him and were inspired by him.

Nelson will be long remembered and greatly missed by his family, friends and co-workers.

[Editor’s Note: Ed Zimmer is VDOF’s Central Regional Forester. Shaw passed away April 26, 2013.]