Welcome to the memorial page for

James Edward Shew Jr.

November 22, 1939 ~ February 19, 2018 (age 78)

James Edward Shew

Captain James Edward Shew Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired), passed away peacefully on February 19, 2018 at the age of 78.  With him were his wife Daniela Patterson Wyatt-Shew, brother John Charles, sons Robert and William, and daughter-in-law Cecilia.

Born in Washington, D.C. on 22 November 1939 to Captain James E. Shew and Lorena Bland Shew, Jim was the oldest of three.  He attended schools in the U.S.A. and Japan, graduating from high school in Virginia Beach.  He then attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in 1961 as a member of 8th company.  Shortly after graduation he and Virginia Lee Anderson married.  During their first 20 years of marriage, they moved 19 times before settling in Alexandria, Virginia. 

After his commissioning in the Navy, Jim was trained as a nuclear engineer and sub-mariner and then assigned to the ballistic missile submarine USS Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601), which was based in New London, Connecticut and then Mare Island, California.  After his four-year tour on the Lee, Jim returned to the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa, New York, this time as an instructor. 

He next served as the Navigator on the fast attack submarine USS Pargo (SSN-650) in New London, and then taught navigation at the Academy.  Jim returned to the submarine fleet as the Executive Officer of the USS Tullibee (SSN-597), and later as the Commanding Officer of the USS Stonewall Jackson (SSBN-634).  While there, he oversaw a multi-year overhaul in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and three strategic deterrent patrols. 

As the descendant of a prominent southern family, Jim was amused by his assignments to both the Robert E. Lee and the Stonewall Jackson.  As his grandmother remarked, “Daddy liked Lee, but he loved Jackson!”  Jim felt similarly about the two submarines.

 Jim spent the final nine years of his Navy career at the Pentagon as a staff member of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  One of Jim’s interns was Condoleezza Rice in her first job with the government.  Jim retired from the Navy in 1991 in a ceremony at the Naval Academy alongside more than 30 classmates.

Although he had spent 17 years in a Navy family and 34 in the Navy himself, Jim adapted to civilian life, supporting Ginny in her career at the Bureau of National Affairs, where she was managing editor and assistant executive editor for federal services.  Most importantly, Jim dedicated himself to Ginny while she battled cancer until her death in June, 2009.

Jim had the great fortune of meeting Daniela Patterson Wyatt in 2010.  They married in 2011 and began splitting their time between Richmond and Alexandria.  He loved living in The Fan District in Richmond. The two shared a love of learning, history, family and friends, dogs, and travel, and became active members of several historical preservation organizations.  Jim introduced Daniela to the submarine world and they attended many Naval Academy reunions, including the 50th.  They also enjoyed multiple crew reunions of the Tullibee and Stonewall Jackson, and monthly luncheons with local fellow Academy classmates. 

Jim had tremendous intellectual curiosity, with interests as varied as military history, college basketball, movies and science fiction.  He always had at least two or three books that he was reading, and rarely left the house without a book, even if only to the grocery store.  Jim was generous to those around him, to many larger causes, and to numerous local Museums, Historical Societies. He was great fun at parties and was always interested in people.

Survivors include his wife, Daniela Patterson Wyatt-Shew, sons Robert and William, daughters-in-law Cecilia Ortega-Shew and Virginia Reilly Shew, grandchildren Reilly, Anderson, Isabel, and Gabriella, brother, John Shew, and close cousins Richard Lee Bland and Bill and Tom Bland.

Relatives and friends may call at Everly Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 West Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302 from 3 to 7 pm Saturday, April 7th. The family will receive visitors at 3 pm.  A ceremony will be held at 4 pm, followed by a reception with light refreshments.

A funeral service will be held at Ft. Myer Old Post Chapel on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 1 pm, with interment immediately following at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation, www.dolphinscholarship.org4966 Euclid Rd #109, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Dolphin Scholarship Foundation
4966 Euclid Road, Suite #109, Virginia Beach VA 23462
Tel: 1-757-671-3200

 Service Information

April 7, 2018

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Everly Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22302

Celebration of Life Sharing Time
April 7, 2018

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22302

April 7, 2018

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22302

Funeral Service
August 8, 2018

1:00 PM
Fort Myer Old Post Chapel
204 Lee Ave
Fort Myer, VA 22211


Arlington National Cemetery
1 Memorial Ave
Fort Myer, VA 22211

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