Cass Ledyard (Ruxton)'s Story
Cass Ledyard Shaw (neé Ruxton) died on October 15, 2017, at the home in North Andover she shared with her husband of 65 years, Robert G. Shaw, and surrounded by her four children, Alexander (Sandy), Robert, Cass (Bitsey) and Christopher.
Born to Ruth Emery Ledyard and William Vernon Chickering Ruxton in January of 1933, Dorothy and Cass – fraternal twins – soon became known as “Penny” and “Tuppence.” The girls lived with their parents in the village of Melplash, Dorset, England, until 1940 when they steamed back to New York to avoid the deepening war. Cass and Robert met at the debutante party of Caroline Lee Bouvier, sister to Jacqueline Bouvier, the future Jackie Kennedy. They were married in Syosset, Long Island, in July 1952, and moved to Tuxedo Park, N.Y., where they raised their four children. Cass dedicated her life, first, to being a mother. In the 1960s, she engaged the whole family in training English Springer Spaniels for performance field trials. Cass fulfilled her mission to prove that a gun dog, loved as a family pet and sleeping on kids’ beds, could also train to become a finely tuned, field-retriever champion in competition. Highlands’ Bethsaida Gale, a chocolate-and-white female Springer, realized that dream. Despite never having attended college, Cass entered the work force early. By her mid-30s, she worked at Reeves Communications, a pioneer in digital telecommunications; sold new and used cars for General Motors’ Pontiac division; served as a realtor; marketed pre-fabricated “Tech-Built” houses; and founded her own company, “Cass Creations,” for the manufacture and marketing of interior furnishings. To celebrate her 40th birthday, Cass purchased herself a Harley-Davidson and a tasseled leather jacket. She became quickly recognizable around town as the “Motorcycle Mama” who (still) wore white gloves to church. During the 1980s and 1990s, Cass studied to become a genealogist for The Mayflower Society, and wrote many verified genealogies for her clients. She authored and published in 1993, "The Ledyard Family in America," tracing her own ancestors back prior to the immigration of Elder William Brewster, a native of England who, in 1620, sailed on the Mayflower to become a leader of the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts.
Cass leaves her twin sister, Dorothy Vernon Wight Mitchell of Maitland, Fla.; her husband, Robert Gould Shaw; four children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her sheer love of living has left its mark on at least four generations.
In lieu of flowers, her family welcomes contributions in Cass’ memory to the Talking Library, 2 Salem Square, Worcester MA 01608.
Published on  October 17, 2017