Joseph T. Shaw Jr., 93, of Brewster, Massachusetts, an advertising executive who helped to create some of television’s most memorable commercials, died peacefully in his sleep on March 28. He was a former resident of Scarsdale.
Mr. Shaw was born in New York City in 1926, the son of a prominent writer and editor of the crime fiction genre. He was educated in Scarsdale, graduating from Scarsdale High School in 1943. He served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. He continued his education at Williams College and graduated from Yale University in 1947.
Mr. Shaw began work as a cameraman with ABC during the golden era of live television in the 1950s. He joined Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (DFS), a top tier Madison Avenue advertising agency, in 1953. He was a television commercial producer and later senior vice president of Television Commercial Production Services.
DFS produced such iconic commercials as the Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” campaign, and Bounty Paper Towel ads with Rosie’s catchphrase, “The quicker picker upper.”
While living in Scarsdale and raising four boys, he became active in volunteer work and community service. He was involved in scouting, the United Fund, United Way and the Scarsdale Town Club. He coached many football and baseball teams in the town’s youth leagues. He was a founding member of the Maroon and White booster club for Scarsdale High School athletics.
Above all, his passion was for ice hockey. He started the Scarsdale Hawks hockey club for the high school in 1963. He was its guiding force, administrator and head coach for decades. Aside from the many championships his teams won, his greatest accomplishment was seeing the team officially recognized as a school varsity sport and take on the Scarsdale Raiders name. He stepped down in 1988 after 25 years.
In recognition of his outstanding service, he was selected by the Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce as its Citizen of the Year in 1981.
As a child, Mr. Shaw spent summer vacations on Indian Neck in Wellfleet, Massachusetts in a hilltop cottage his father built in the late 1930s. Upon his retirement in 1988, Mr. Shaw and his wife, Helen, built their own dream home in Brewster, overlooking Sheep Pond.
With time on his hands, he returned to two things he loved — golf, and more volunteer service. He rarely broke 100 but was happy to keep trying. He was an avid reader, typically reading three books at one time. He also enjoyed tracing the family genealogy and had it mapped back to the 1600s.
Since retiring to Cape Cod, he was a member of the First Congregational Church of Harwich. Previously, he was a longtime member of the Scarsdale Congregational Church.
Mr. Shaw was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Helen, in 2009. He was predeceased by a son, Peter, of Wellfleet, in 1980, and a son, Richard, of Wellfleet, in 2011. He is survived by Robin (Bauer) Shaw of Harwich; Chris and Mary Shaw of Rowayton, Connecticut; David and Susan Shaw of Wayne, Pennsylvania; and four grandchildren, Tom, Pete, Luke and Sarah.
A private burial was held April 3 in Wellfleet.