Mary Jo Shaw, co-founder and longtime owner of the Peninsula Day Care Center on San Antonio Road in Palo Alto, died March 3 of natural causes. She was 89.
Born Mary Jo Barnett in Decatur, Texas, on June 20, 1920, she showed a gift for music at an early age, playing piano and other instruments at church. She married the Rev. Max Martindale and, moving to California, the couple built three homes together in Los Altos, living in the city for many years. In the early 1950s they pioneered a church in Palo Alto, which later moved to San Antonio Road on the border between Palo Alto and Mountain View.
Widowed early in her first marriage, Shaw later married the Rev. Herman Shaw. Together, with their daughter Myra, they started the Peninsula Day Care Center at the church on San Antonio.
When it began 35 years ago, the center served only eight children; today, according to Shaw's family, it is one of the largest child care centers in Northern California, serving children in preschool through sixth grade from Mountain View, Los Altos and Palo Alto. Shaw remained active at the center until her death.
In addition to her work with Peninsula Day Care Center and with church leadership, Shaw enjoyed traveling. She visited more than 60 countries and every state in her lifetime, and collected hundreds of dolls from around the world. She and her husband also supported numerous missionary projects worldwide.
Family members praised Shaw for her faith, humor, integrity, generosity and toughness.
Shaw is survived by her husband, Herman; son Victor Martindale and his wife Ellie; son Warren Shaw and his wife Sherril; daughter Myra Gishi and her husband Alan; and nine grandchildren: Beau and Melissa Martindale; Bryan, Kristen, Cara, Michael, and Christopher Shaw; and Max and Ally Gishi.
For more on the Peninsula Day Care Center, visit www.peninsuladaycare.com.