In memory of

James D. “Jim” Shaw, age 68 of Helena

December 11, 1950 – October 6, 2019

On Sunday October 6th, 2019, James “Jim” Denton Shaw age 68, loving husband, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones.

Jim’s story began December 11th 1950, the eldest of two sons born to Denton and Mardi Shaw. He graduated from Helena High School in 1969 then off to college in Bozeman and Missoula.

He was raised at Canyon Ferry Lake. As a teenager his step father, Van Sheriff, hired him to work at the boat docks at Yacht Basin and I believe that’s where he fell in love with lake life. Jim loved to landscape his property by building gardens and ponds. His passions were boating in the summer, skiing in the winter and reading.

On March 4th 1989 Jim and Debra “Deb” Senecal were married, beginning their life together at the lake.

Jim worked for Asarco for 28 years and after Asarco closed he worked another 13 years at the Secretary of State’s office. Which he called his “retirement job”.

He is survived by his wife Debra Senecal, his brother Barry (Saundra) Shaw, his sister-in-law Vickie (Jerry Oftedahl) Handford, his brother-in-law’s Sam (

Angie McDonald) Senecal and Jim Senecal, niece Mandi (Aaron) Gibbs, nephew Michael Hanford and nieces Kelli and Leigh Shaw and Jordan Senecal.

Jim was a wonderful man that was loved, is missed, and will forever be cherished. Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Jim’s life on Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 1-3 p.m. at 6963 Viscaya road, Canyon Ferry Lake; Jim and Deb’s home.

In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Humane Society or charity of your choice.


Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Terry and Ed Senecal says

    Deb – Ed and I send our Love and hugs to you and family – Let us know if there is anything we can do for you. Jim will be missed.

  2. Saundra and Barr Shaw says

    We are deeply saddened at the loss of Jim, he was a huge part of Barry’s life as his big Brother and as a brother in law and Uncle to our daughters, he will be remembered with loving memories of ski trips, boating time and the raised eyebrows about their shenanigans! We will miss him dearly. Love, prayers and hugs to you, Deb! You were his rock!

  3. J.R. Feucht says

    Jim and I were 2 of 4 roommates in what we called the “swamp house” back in the day. We had a blast. Jim was crazy intelligent and a deep thinker with a rapier wit. Jim identified as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war (he was always a lover not a fighter) which was not a real popular option in this state. Jim did 2 years at Boulder River school and I never once heard him complain or moan. He was a man of convictions and the world needs men like him now, He will be missed! Deb, Barry et. al please accept my sincerest condolences.

  4. Joe DeFilippis says

    I worked with Jim for many years at the SOS office. He was one of those characters who I could count on to make me laugh, give me sound advice, and was an outstanding worker who helped numerous state and local government agencies. He will be missed.

  5. George and Deb Lane says

    So sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  6. Brenda Davidson says

    Deb, Ron & I are so sorry for you loss! We are thinking of you and praying for you! Brenda

  7. Rhonda (Strainer) Robertson says

    Deb and family,
    We are saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. You have our most sincere and deepest sympathy.
    I haven’t seen either one of you in quite some time but my Dad would run into Jim at the Mini Basket often and was so impressed that Jim remembered him after all these years and would offer him a friendly gesture. My Mom passed on May 31st of this year and we received a notice of your most generous donation to a local animal refuge which touched our hearts. We pray that all the wonderful memories you hold close within your hearts helps sustain you in the days ahead. Praying for God to wrap his loving arms around you and give you comfort and peace during this most very difficult time. God gives us comfort in the form of family and friends. May His peace be with you, His love never ends.
    Robert Strainer, Tony Strainer and Rhonda (Strainer) Robertson

  8. Karyn Herron says

    My deepest sympathy to you Deb and your family. Jim was a wonderful, kind, compassionate, and giving co-worker especially when I lost my vision. He always made my job easier and workable. I always remember the photos he showed me of his beautiful gardens. He was so proud.
    My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. God bless you!

  9. Jim was a man of few words. He always seemed to be bothered by my presence when I would show up with Barry. But the day came when I knew I had been accepted. If Jim wanted to acknowledge you quite often instead of speaking he would just nod his head a little to the right and wit his first two fingers on his right hand he would just point at you with those two fingers and that was his salutation. It looked especially good from his car because he didn’t fully remove his hand from the wheel, jut those two fingers. So as you head off to the heavens Jim, I’m giving you a nod and a little two finger wave.
    Jim White

  10. Steve Schaeffer says


    I am so very sorry for your loss. All the love thoughts and prayers for you.

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