Cover photo for James Scott Shaw's Obituary
James Scott Shaw Profile Photo
1942 Scott 2024

James Scott Shaw

October 13, 1942 — June 24, 2024


James Scott Shaw passed away on June 24, 2024, after a valiant two-year battle with multiple myeloma. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Earl and Mildred Hart Shaw, and his son, David Scott Shaw. He is survived by his wife, Beth Bowen Shaw, his daughter Christine Shaw (Michael Weingartner), his daughter-in-law Jami Shaw, grandson Kellan James Shaw, granddaughter Mildred Katherine Shaw-Weingartner, and numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews. 

Scott was born on October 13, 1942, in Grand Junction, Colorado where he was valedictorian of his high school, an Eagle Scout, and a state champion orator. He attended Yale University (BA, honors, astronomy 1964) and the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, 1970). While at Yale he participated in many internships, which engendered a lifelong passion for mentoring younger scientists, beginning when he joined the University of Georgia as a professor in 1970. For two decades, he served as director of a National Science Foundation Summer Science Training program and helped found NASA’s UGA JOVE program, the predecessor of UGA’s CURO program, and a summer science training program for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was also a founding board member of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy, which provided research opportunities for faculty and students using an observatory at Kitt Peak, Arizona. Scott loved his 50 years of research and teaching astronomy at the University of Georgia where he was a Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. 

Outside of the classroom, Scott took on many roles over the years at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, among them usher, vestry member, Stephen Minister, and Education for Ministry. He was particularly fond of his work later in life at the Thrift Store, following in his father-in-law’s footsteps. 

Most of all, however, he loved family life. This included coaching his son’s and daughter's soccer teams, timing their swimming meets, and vacations on Jekyll Island. Most of all he loved being with his wife Beth, whom he had the great fortune of meeting at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church singles group. Their lives together were a true blessing.

Family and friends are invited to The Celebration of Life for Scott Shaw on Monday, July 1, at 12 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 498 Prince Ave, Athens, GA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to your local library or Emmanuel Episcopal Church. 

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, Watkinsville, GA, is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Scott Shaw, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, July 1, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Emmanuel Episcopal Church

498 Prince Avenue, Athens, GA 30601

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1180

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree