Robert Eugene Shaw was a Quad City local. He was born to Erlo and Bertha Shaw on June 13, 1924, in or around Lynn Center, Illinois. He had at least five siblings, William (Bill), Dallas, Donald (Don), Lois, and Mary Lou.1 He went to school near Geneseo. His first school was Howard School, where he attended until 1936. His second school was Green River School. Both of these schools, historically, were southeast of Colona, about halfway between Colona and Geneseo. He attended Geneseo High School. While in school, Robert Shaw was involved in many school plays, programs, and musicals, as revealed in some newspaper clippings from the 1930s.2 He was also involved in 4-H and participated in lamb showings.3 Robert Shaw graduated from high school in 1943.
Robert Eugene Shaw was drafted into the Marines in November of 1943, and trained at Camp Pendleton in California, a base that was established in 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.4 He was in the artillery unit of the 5th Marine Division. Shaw quickly rose to the rank of corporal and was sent to the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.5 On June 1, 1946, Shaw was given an honorable discharge from the Marines.6 He received many awards, including the Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific area ribbon with a battle star, the Japanese Occupation Ribbon, and the Victory Medal.
After the war, Robert Shaw began working as an operating engineer at Marlin Laity Excavation in Silvis, IL. In 1951, he married Pauline Neuleib in Geneseo. She was a nurse at JC Hammond Hospital in Geneseo at the time of their marriage.7 In his adult life, he attended and was active in church—first attending Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Moline, but later joined and was very active in St. John’s Lutheran Church in East Moline with Pauline. He was an active member of East Moline Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 2056 and American Legion Post 227: 5th Marine Division Association. He was also a member of Catfish Jazz Society.8 He and Pauline had four children, Deborah, Jim, Dave, and Jeff.9
Pauline died in September of 2012, and Robert soon joined her on December 20, 2012. He is buried at the Rock Island National Cemetery, Section 5, Site 336.10