“A warrior, A champion, and A hero:” Sapulpa’s Jessie Shaw, Sr. celebrates his 100th birthday

Jessie Shaw, Sr. is the latest to join the Oklahoma Centenarian group as he celebrated his birthday on Sunday, February 24th.

Jessie Shaw, Sr. turned 100 years old on Sunday, February 24th, 2019. His friends, family, church members, and other well-wishers gathered at King Solomon Baptist Church to pay homage to Mr. Shaw, who was present along with his wife, Ola Mae.

The commemoration opened with a prayer by Mr. Shaw’s son, the Rev. Jessie Shaw, Jr. Derrick Shaw welcomed the celebrants and spoke about his father, paying tribute to his life.

Both the Rev. Jessie Shaw, Jr. and his brother, Derrick, extolled their father’s faith, hard work, and virtuousness.

There were exuberant musical numbers performed by the choir celebrating this momentous occasion. Virtually everyone in the church was joyfully clapping and singing.

Irene Shaw Johnson, presented a Proclamation from the State of Oklahoma, recognizing Mr. Shaw’s milestone of reaching the century mark. Luella Shaw Burrell, along with her friend Othella Martin, spoke about Mr. Shaw. Mrs. Burrell showed a family birthday book and discussed its contents and meaning on this auspicious occasion.

Othella Martin called the elder Shaw, “a warrior, a champion, and a hero.” Othella Martin went on to state that Mr. Shaw “had a work ethic that was so amazing.” She continued by pointing out events that took place in 1919.

The Rev. Huey P. Roberson, Mr. Shaw’s brother-in-law, spoke to Jessie Shaw’s Godliness, admonishing the celebrants to be Godly people lest they suffer the torments of Hell. The Rev. Melvin Johnson gave a heart-rending tribute to the character of Mr. Shaw.

What was life like in 1919?

The year that Jessie Shaw, Sr. was born…

  • The Treaty of Versaille is signed, ending World War I.
  • Congress ratifies the 18th Amendment, establishing prohibition.
  • Congress passes the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
  • Bentley Motors is founded in England.
  • Benito Mussolini founds his fascist political movement.
  • 185,440 people die in the Flu Pandemic.
  • Dial telephones are introduced by American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
  • A pound of apples costs 11 cents, two pounds of roast beef costs 38 cents, three pounds of steak costs 60 cents, three pounds of chicken costs 19 cents.
  • The average man made $25.61 a week, while women made $13.55 at week.
Dorothy Griffin

Dorothy Griffin, a volunteer for Centenarians of Oklahoma, presented Mr. Shaw with a Certificate of Induction. Centenarians of Oklahoma is a non-profit group which honors Oklahomans that reach 100 years of age or older.

At the end of the event, Eric Shaw, Derrick’s twin brother, thanked everyone for participating in his father’s birthday celebration.

Jessie and Ola Mae Shaw

Mr. Shaw, and his wife Ola Mae, have been married for 76 years. He was a Deacon in his church for 57 years. They have 26 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

About the Author

Long-time Sapulpa resident, Charles Betzler, followed his father, Charlie, into the radio and TV repair business. At age 9, he fixed his first broken radio and his first love is vintage audio equipment. In his 50 + years of technical work, graduation from OSUIT, and years of Continuing Education, Charles, in his capacity as Emergency Management Director of nearby city, designed the Emergency Operations Center, and the radio-activation system for the sirens. In his long career, he has repaired every type of consumer electronics from black-and-white TVs to the latest lap-top.