Skip to content

Loyd Levin Shaw, 80

Loyd Levin Shaw was born on November 1, 1943, to the late Charles Slaton and Doris Pafford Shaw. He married Margaret Anne Swindle on June 12, 1964, and they were married for 58 years. Loyd loved God, his family, his church, and his country. He believed in living by the two greatest commandments “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.”  Loyd was always there to help a neighbor or friend.  He had a big heart and a giving spirit.  Also. he reminded others to forgive.  “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive:” (Colossians 3:12-13) This verse describes Loyd and his belief in not holding a grudge. He raised his family not to hold grudges and to always be considerate of others.

Loyd began his Christian journey as a child attending Unity Methodist Church where he and his family were devoted members. After marrying Margaret Anne, he became a member of the Lakeland Methodist Church where he has been an active member of the choir and served on many committees. He instilled in his family the importance of going to church and serving the Lord and made it known that you stand by your church no matter what.  Many years ago, he and Reverend John B Carroll were instrumental in starting the annual Methodist Camp Meeting at Camp Tygart where he led the singing for 25 years. His passion for singing hymns began at home where each child had to speak or sing every Sunday night on the fireplace that served as their stage. The love people had for his voice was evident in the countless number of funerals and weddings where he sang.

Professionally, Loyd, who was highly motivated, set lofty goals for himself and excelled in the insurance business. In 1982 he invited a select group of friends to invest in a new company Life of the South.  By 1984 Life of the South Agency became the largest general agency within Georgia International Life winning multiple awards and recognitions. The book Life of the South 10 Years and Growing details the hands-on efforts of Butch Houston, Loyd and the team they assembled which included his partner in crime, Paul Holmes.

Loyd was instrumental in the development of Live Oak Plantation in Adel which was Life of the South’s primary marketing site for entertaining until Life of the South Plantation (Shadow Oak) opened in Nashville.  The company continued to grow through the 1980s increasing its modest $300,000 initial capitalization to multiple millions of dollars. Life of the South Insurance Company became the largest writer of payment protection Insurance in the state of Georgia. The company searched for new opportunities outside of Georgia. In the early 1990s a series of calculated acquisitions were executed that included Bankers Life of Louisiana, a division of Independent Life in Florida, and a division of Integon Life in Winston Salem, NC and others. The company grew rapidly.  In 1995, the company relocated its operating headquarters to Jacksonville, Florida. Life of the South retained its office in Nashville, Georgia throughout the reorganization process.

During the period 1995 through 2007 the company became one of the industry’s most successful Third-Party Administrators performing administrative work for such notable companies as Prudential, Aetna, AIG, Protective Life and many others. The number of Life and Property Insurance companies owned increased during that time. The company moved seamlessly from a single state domicile to regional and national prominence.

Loyd and his wife, Margaret Anne, were approached in the 1970s by John and Helen Strickland to partner with them and another couple, Bob and Eleanor Ragsdale from Tifton to begin hosting the Flatlander’s Arts and Craft Show to be held annually on Labor Day weekend. This show brought recognition to Lakeland for over 40 years.

Loyd’s family was a source of pride and he never hesitated bragging on his grandchildrens’ accomplishments.  After years of being a Lanier County Bulldog fan, he became a devoted Cook High Hornet, a Gordon College Highlander, a Southern Polytechnic State University Hornet, and  a Valwood Valiant. He attended their baseball, softball, basketball games, and tennis tournaments.  He was known as “Papa” to their teammates and often treated the team to a meal.

Loyd was proceeded in death by his wife, parents and son, Len Boy.  Additionally, Emory Swindle and John and Margaret Swindle Darsey, his brothers Charles and Jay Shaw, brother-in-law Fred Anderson; and his granddaughter, Ramana Ray Thomas.

He is survived by his children Allison (Raymond) Ray, Kevin (Gayla) Shaw, and bonus son, Jimmy (Lisa) Plair; grandchildren, Justin and Mary Gray Ray, Sara and Ty Sumner, Smith, Swin, Bella and Campbell Shaw, Travis Thomas, Lamar and Keri Ray, and Scott and Melanie Ray. Great-grandchildren include Scarlett Anne and Morrison Ray; Noa, Thompson and Truett Sumner, Lee and Lauren Plair, Nichole Harrison, Chris Harris, Savannah and Josh Kenbeck, and Maggie Ray. He was also great, great grandfather to Zoey, Mason and Raylee. Additionally, he is survived by his sister Emily Anderson; sisters-in-laws Zellna Shaw, and Libby Shaw, Lynn Roberts and brother-in-law Dice Roberts. Nieces and nephews: Leland, Jill, Ashton, Emory and Evan Roberts, Ashley Roberts, Jeff, Mixson, Stacey, Justin, John, Emily, Jackson Anderson, Vickie, Marcus, Brittany, Lynleigh Hughes, Pam Shaw, Joey, Amber, Daniel, Melinda, and Alyssa Fowler, Sheri Shaw, Jason, Katy, Ann Harvey, and Slaton Shaw, Sam, Christa, Jenna and Brady Shaw. Nephews and nieces, Ben (Janet) Pafford, Tim (Teresa) Pafford, Karin Pafford Hartman and Janet Shaw.  Along with special friends Pat Miller, Kelly Hughes, his housekeeper for over 40 years, Betty Kimbrough, and his caregivers, Rose Williams and Rachael Visconti, who gave loving care and entertainment.

On March 14, 2024, Loyd was called home to have a reunion with his family and friends.  A celebration of life was at 3 pm on Sunday, March 17, at Lakeland Methodist Church, 80 West Main Street, Lakeland, GA.  The family received friends in the Sanctuary from 1 pm to 3 pm prior to the service.  Interment will be at a later date in the family plot at Unity Methodist Church cemetery.

Flowers are welcomed or a memorial gift may be made to the Jay Shaw Memorial Scholarship c/o South Georgia Medical Center Foundation, 2501 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31602; Margaret Anne Shaw Scholarship for seniors at Lanier County High School established in her honor that is given by the Youth Impact Center, 85 W Church Street, Lakeland, GA 31635; Lakeland Methodist Church, 80 West Main Street, Lakeland, Georgia 31635, or to a charity or church of your choice.

Messages of sympathy may be expressed online at www.musicfuneralservices.com. The compassionate and caring staff of Music Funeral Services of Lakeland is caring for Loyd’s family.

The celebration of life can be viewed on https://www.youtube.com/@LakelandMethodist/streams or https://www.facebook.com/LakelandMC.

Leave a Comment