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WATKINS GLEN—Over 800 people from the community gathered to honor and remember the life of Devon Shaw Friday, July 12, at the Watkins Glen Central School District Fieldhouse.
Shaw, a 2013 Watkins graduate, passed away Tuesday, July 9, after fighting a battle against cancer since his freshman year. Speakers at Shaw's memorial included his friends, family, and former teachers. Following the service, green balloons were released outside into the sky. Many of the people present wore green "Defense for Devon" shirts, which were created when the community rallied to help Shaw after he was diagnosed. Devon is survived by his mother and step-father, Diana and Jim Crane; father and step-mother, Scott and Debbie Shaw; and sisters and brother, Alicia (Bryant) Myers, Kendra Shaw, Billy Shaw, and Darci Watkins. During the service, Kendra Shaw read a piece her brother had written. She read, "I've learned just how precious life is (...) I will go out of my way to make (people) smile or laugh. Whether it takes a simple smile from me or I have to be goofy, I just like environments where people are smiling." Brian Myers, Shaw's brother-in-law, described how Shaw was always energetic. He told how he had first "met Devon and how that young, spunky kid changed my life forever." Myers shared getting to know Shaw saying, "I would do anything to have those years back." "Devon was a real life hero," said T.J. Love, Shaw's former youth soccer coach. "Devon was a teacher and an inspiration (...) He had a huge heart. It's up to us to keep his memory alive." Love added, "Devon would not be who he was was if not for his family." Several Watkins staff also shared their memories of Shaw. Teacher Kelly Muir said, "his spirit and energy filled my classroom and this community. It fills the Fieldhouse right now." She added the color green he chose for his fight against cancer is also an exciting and energetic color. "He was loved every single moment of his life," added Teacher Marie Fitzsimmons. She said, "we learned not to turn away from the pain, but to touch, to hug, to dance, and to embrace."