Maria Antonie Paulig Shaw
Maria Antonie Shaw (known by all as "Toni") was born on June 11, 1937 in Dresden, Germany. Toni was one of six children born to Frieda Alma Koetteritzsch and Hans Walter Paulig. Her five siblings and parents all preceded her in death.
Toni grew up in Dresden, and after WWII, fled from East Germany to Duesseldorf, in West Germany. She then met her future husband in Wiesbaden, Germany, and it was there, in 1961, that she married her husband of 62 years, James ("Jim") Shaw. (The lucky girl even honeymooned in Italy!)
A military wife (USAF), Toni first set foot in the United States with Jim in Charleston, South Carolina in 1963. Her entry into the US was followed quickly by the birth of her daughter, Diana Maria Shaw Knight (Robert). After a return to Germany - to Ramstein - they moved to South Ruislip, England (west London) where the family in 1967 welcomed their new son and brother Kenneth Frank Shaw (Heather). From England, they went back to Germany (Wiesbaden) and finally landed back in the States in 1970. Many states and homes later, in 2009 Toni and Jim settled in Hoover, Alabama.
It was in their home in Hoover that this beautiful, brilliant, dedicated, determined, faithful and very feisty lady decided early Wednesday morning, March 1, 2023, that she was DONE with Alzheimer's. IT was not going to hijack her and her life any longer. In typical Toni fashion, she waited until no one was looking and quietly, without drama, let herself be set free. Toni finally allowed herself to go to sleep and to not fight to awaken...
Toni's family, including her husband, daughter, son and grandchildren (Alexander and Sophia Knight, Whitney Shaw Griffin (Trevor), Mackenzie and Kennedy Shaw) have been revisiting memories of their many years of family adventures. Toni traveled to Okinawa, Japan, to Birmingham, to Texas and more to be there for the births of her grandchildren. There was absolutely nothing that could keep her from where she thought she was needed!
An avid gardener, golfer, player of tennis and more - Toni was always ready for the next game or adventure. In more recent years, she especially enjoyed any kind of event with the Aldridge Gardens 'family'.
The journey this past decade - dealing with this disease - has been painful (and at times quite unexpectedly funny!!). Toni fought it off far longer than anyone expected, and through it all her Jim set the standard for "husband/ caregiver". Most would have given up at some point. He didn't. He took care of her throughout the entire journey, and he did it with the love and passion he had for his Toni.
Services will be very quiet and private - Toni didn't like any "hoopla" (especially related to her) unless it was in the backyard or at a festival and never about her. She lived with and for her family.
NO flowers please- And if anyone wants to send any sort of memorial for her - a gift to Aldridge Gardens would be a way to make her love last for all of us.
Toni's family would also like to mention Shannon and her team at Send Me An Angel Sitters - who were truly angels and helped us through the latter part of this long journey with love, laughs and incredible care. And, in the past few months, Oasis Hospice stepped in as well to make those last months of her life as comfortable and calm as they could be. The compassion, care and love shared by both of those teams of incredible people make her family's hearts full.