Founder of Peninsula Day Care Center dies


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


1 person likes this
Posted by Jackie Edens
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Hi my name is Jackie and I went to both the child care center and the church when it was there, not sure if it is still there, but the church bus would pick my sister and me up from our low income townhome on Hackett Ave when I was 3 and my sis was 5 1/2 and we knew an Eddie Shaw, she was our teacher and we would go every Sunday and even got a lot of the neighborhood kids to go too. We have so many great memeories there, playing at the playground and having snacks and games and it really was so much fun. Growing up without our Daddy it sure did make a big difference. Then almost all grown up at in my twentys I had my son then 2 till 6 at Bethel Preschool in Campbell and I ran into her again and got to share with her what a differnce she made in my life being one of the best teachers who really was an influence in my life. So is she a relative of Mary Jo Shaw, her name is Eddie Shaw or is it her sister, mom? Anyway, I just felt so strongly to share this with you, it is a very good thing.

thanks for your time,
Jackie Edens

1 person likes this
Posted by Christina S.
a resident of another community
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:54 am

I attended the Peninsula Day Care Center in the 1970's. It was a wonderful experience. I feel very lucky to have known Mr. & Mrs. Shaw. My condolences to the Shaw family.

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Posted by Courtney
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:15 am

I am soo sad about Mrs.Shaw.. I went to Pennisula Day Care Center when I was a kid. I so remember that place.I still remember lining up to go play on the play ground and being picked up from school by Mr and Mrs Shaw... My thoughts and prayers are with the whole Shaw family and the staff at the day care. you will be forever loved and never forgotten.

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Posted by Steve Rasmussen
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:42 am

Both of our children attended Peninsula Day Care. Pastor and Mrs. Shaw were both devoted to the well being of the children, the smooth operations of the facility, and Mrs Shaw especially instilled in the children a sense of respect and attentiveness. I will miss her occasional stories and sense of humor. Steve Rasmussen

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Posted by 2bad
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Post removed due to disrespectful comment, personal attack.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Dear 2bad, You are a class act. Have you heard its not right to speak ill of the dead. I hope you get your money back from charm school. Does your son still talk to you?

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Posted by nwtsotd
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:08 pm

2bad you have no class!!! Go away
Sad to see you live in my neighbor

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Posted by Roberta M
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I am a friend of Eddie's and using her computer to send this message. She is Ms. Shaw's sister-in-law. I would like to tell 2bad that I will be praying for her. To hold a grudge and be so unforgiving after 20 years, only hurts herself. I am so pleased her son is doing well.

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Posted by in Reply to 2bad
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm


If you have nothing good to say, you should save your words when disrespecting the dead. I never met the lady and have never used the services of Peninsula Day Care, but I feel like I almost know you after reading your post. It is so low class what you just did. Get some help lady!

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Posted by Mel
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

I disagree with 2bad. I brought two of my children there as a single mother. If you look past all that, you would know that PDCC is amazing! They care about your children - bottom line. And they help fill in the gaps for us single mothers. After 30+ years they must be doing something right 2bad and if your son is an alumni of all the schools you say - you obviously did something right too.

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Posted by Albert Garcia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I am sadden to hear of the great loss of Sister Shaw as I new her. I started going to the church which used to be the Gospel Light House Church back in the 1960 and because of the Shaw's I came to know the Lord there. The Shaw's treated me like one of their own, I had dinner at their home, spent many summer with Warren and Myra and even their dog Boomer. I think of them often and what a great example they set for us even when we were not at our best. I will continue to lift them up as I have gone through close family passing in the last few years. May god bless and keep you.

Albert Garcia

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Posted by Chris O'Connor
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2010 at 1:16 am

I'm sad to hear of the passing of Mrs. Shaw. I attended PDCC from 1980-1988. As a son of a single mother, the Shaw family and PDCC provided all the positive support and fun a child could desire.
The facilities and caring staff were nothing less than superb.My grandmother Polly O'Connor even drove a school bus for many years for PDCC.
Many of my fondest memories are of my afternoons after school at PDCC playing on the the amazing play ground, bumper pool, board games, bingo, watching movies in the recreation room, and the great field trips I took during the summers.
Pastor Shaw is a greatly caring man and I will always cherish my happy memories of PDCC.
Thank you PDCC and the Shaw family for providing such a great, fun, and safe place for children.

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Posted by to whom it may concern
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 2, 2010 at 12:33 am

My Grandmother spent a good 23 1/2 hours a day on her bed the last 6 months of her life. For a great deal of these trying hours i was by her bedside. 2bad's post was removed before I could read it. If anyone remembers what she said or who she is I would love to talk to you. 650 752-4791. thank you

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Posted by Tiffany rose
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

I was super curious about my old school and all the wonderful people who helped mold me into who I am. Ran across this and it broke my heart. Mrs. Shaw was amazing!!! So was Mr. Shaw mrs. Myra ms. Suzi Mrs. Jean(Aka mrs. Sunshine) Mr. Scott.... I could go on and on! I know it's a little late, but my prayers and thoughts go out to the Shaw family!!! Wish my children could have experienced PDCC the wY my sister And I did:)

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Sylvan Park

on Sep 24, 2017 at 11:39 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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