September 27, 1926 – January 21, 2019
Boundary County lost a fine citizen when Joseph G. Shaver died on January 21st.
Joe was born in Kobe, Japan to American missionary parents and spent his formative years in Japan and Korea, leaving for the U.S. just before the outbreak of war in the Pacific.
Living in southern Idaho, Joe attended The College of Idaho. He had an interesting hitch in the U.S. Marines at the end of the war that took him back to the Orient, to China. He enjoyed recalling his postwar years with the Forest Service in the backwoods of the Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers, outfitting pack trains.
Later, he lived in Boston where he was a hospital orderly and worked in the publishing industry. Joe was an inveterate reader, and died with as many books as memories– a remarkable statistic. He lived on a communal farm in the northeast, and was arrested for protesting the Viet Nam War. He always considered himself a political radical.
Joe relocated to North Carolina where he had family roots and learned to live independently in the backwoods, making a living at a sawmill. In 1999 his fond memories of Idaho drew him back, and he decided to move to Boundary County. He spent years living in the Katka community and on the west side of the valley, aspiring to a modest profile and to live lightly on the land. Late in life he lived in town on the South Hill, and could frequently be seen walking along the highway to and from downtown.
Joe was a sweet, intelligent soul who felt apart from the main of society, but rarely expressed anger or frustration. He enjoyed a laugh, and would drink half a beer when urged by friends.
Joe was preceded in death by his brother David Shaver in 2016, and sisters Phyllis Currie in 1999 and Eleanor Matthews in 1997. He is survived by many nieces and nephews in several states across the country, all of whom will cherish his memory.