George Bernard Shaw was an unmistakable figure at local sporting events.
He drove a sky-blue 1973 Fort Mustang convertible with a license plate frame that said, “Tennis is my racket.”
But more than that, he was a fan and hero to the people he mentored.
“What I loved about my grandfather was that he took care of business,” said his granddaughter Stacy Shaw Miller. “If there was anyone my family depended on, it was my grandfather.
“He had an easy manner about him. If someone wanted to learn about tennis, he would take them over to the recreation center and encourage them to sign up. As soon as any one of us was old enough to hold a racket and not cry, he would teach us to play.”
Mr. Shaw, a retired mechanical engineer from Conoco-Phillips and Boeing and champion of countless tennis tournaments, died last week. He was 83.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Jackson Mortuary, 1125 E. 13th St.
Mr. Shaw was born on July 6, 1929 in Wichita. He grew up on Mosley Street and learned early to be a swimmer. He attended L’Ouverture Elementary, Horace Mann Middle School and North High School before going on to Wichita State University and Friends University. He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
One of Mr. Shaw’s passions was high school sports, especially following Wichita Heights athletics. He was an invaluable friend and supporter of Charles “Goose” Doughty, retired Wichita Heights basketball and tennis coach. Mr. Shaw was a tennis instructor and often videotaped the school’s basketball games.
“It won’t be the same without George,” Doughty said. “He was energetic. Nobody knew how old he was. He played like a boy.
“He did a lot of the work people didn’t see, like putting up banners and such. He was the first one at the tennis courts every day.”