HARTLAND FOUR CORNERS — A memorial service for Sylvia “Adair” (Shaw) Maker, 89, who died June 24, at her daughter’s home in Florida, will be held Saturday, Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury, Mass. A Remembrance service will take place in the fall at the Maker home in Harltand. The date to be announced.
She was born in West Springfield, Mass. daughter of Richard Shaw DVM and Elsie Howard Shaw.
The family of three daughters moved to Maine and back to Massachusetts finally settling in Shrewsbury, Mass. As youngsters, Adair and her sister, Beverly (Billie) worked hard to support their beloved ponies. Pony rides were not enough so they developed a trick-riding act. The act flourished and soon every child wanted to ride the special ponies. Adair and Billie’s partnership of resourcefulness and competitiveness paved the way to a successful career as rodeo trick riders. They went on tour with rodeo greats Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.
In 1949, Adair married Dr. Wilber Maker (Bill), her father’s veterinary partner, and they began their wonderful 57-year marriage. Adair oversaw the expansion of the original 20×30 foot Shrewsbury Animal Hospital to a state of the art facility. She designed a new house tailored to the needs of their five children; Gerald Wayne, Thomas Kevin, Jeffrey Lynn, Richard Cushing and Sylvia Rae.
Adair and Bill raised and showed Morgan horses winning many top show and trail ride ribbons under the “Bildair Farm” name. The entire family participated in the horse adventure.
Adair served as President of the Massachusetts Veterinary Association Women’s Auxiliary in the early 70’s. Later in life Adair added woodcarving to her boundless activities list. She became a master, winning more awards and blessed many people with a created treasure of her passion.
In 1972, Adair and Bill bought 93 acres of land in Hartland Four Corners. Adair designed a home and together they planned their dream property. She took great pride in the landscape especially her large lily garden.
Adair loved her family foremost and her numerous friends, home, animals, and Vermont. She immersed herself in many projects always adding her creativity, enthusiasm and sense of design and color. She knew what she wanted and “she went for it!” Adair will always be remembered for her kind and infectious enthusiasm. She was truly a “strong woman.”
She leaves her sons: Gerry and wife, Linda, and Tom and Nancy; her daughter, Sylvia and husband, Claude; in-laws, Janice and Carol; five grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and her beloved sister, Beverly Shaw and her extended family.
She was predeceased by her husband Bill Maker DVM, a sister, Alberta Shaw and two sons, Jeff and Richard.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in the name of Sylvia Adair Maker can be made to the Veterinary Trust Scholarship of New England, PO Box 3221, North Attleboro, MA 02761.
Remembrances may be shared at the Florida funeral home of Davis Seawinds http://davisseawinds.com/
This obituary first appeared in the August 8, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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