John Edgar Shaul

Jun 27, 1921 - Sep 12, 2014



                  John Edgar Shaul   (June 27,1921 – September 12, 2014)

Born and raised in North Platte, Nebraska, the son of Clarence and Ruth Shaul, WWII called John away from home to service in the US Army. While initially stationed near Fresno he met and married his wife of 71 years, Ruth Rustigian. The Army quickly saw John’s potential and packed him off to college in Utah. Wartime needs intervened, the program was closed after a year and John was deployed to Europe. Entering Normandy through Le Havre in July, 1944, he was issued a carbine and a jeep, and served through the duration of the war in a headquarters company of Gen. Patton’s Third Army.

John devoted his working career to McClatchy Newspapers, where he had many friends. Beginning as a bookkeeper at the Fresno Bee, he relocated to the Sacramento Bee in 1958 as accounting operations became centralized and later computerized. He became a pioneer in computing, at first dealing with the room-size machines and whirring mag cards. John retired in January of 1983 after almost 40 years with the company.

Tireless in the support of their three daughters throughout his life, he was driver, advisor, tax preparer, craftsman, carpenter and electronics expert, even building for them the first television set in their neighborhood.

For many years John and Ruth were active members of the congregation at Pioneer Congregational Church, where both were long-time participants in the Church choir.  After retirement they also enjoyed traveling, outings with their couples golf group and spending time with grandchildren.

Freemasonry was an important part of John’s life for many years, serving with distinction as Grand Master of Tehama Lodge, and as a Shriner, actively participating in fundraising for the Shriners Children’s Hospitals. An affable companion, constantly helpful to those around him, he was an active member of social organizations including SIRS and the Exchange Club, as well as a valuable contributor at the Campus Commons Senior Residence.

John was proud of maintaining his physical strength, based on a lifetime of vigorous workouts, for many years at the Turn Verein. He remained active until his death due to complications from a fall while bowling at age 93. John loved to bear hug and lift his grandchildren, an increasingly notable feat as they grew into their fourth and fifth decades.

Surviving are his wife, Ruth Shaul, daughter Patricia Sax and son-in-law Paul Sax of Lafayette, daughters Virginia Charlon of Ridgecrest and Susan Hoffine of Sacramento, grandchildren Todd Sax, Shelby Perez, Timothy Sax, Peter Sax, Holly Hodgson, David Charlon, Brandi Hoffine, Stephen Hoffine and Amyleigh Hoffine, and eleven great-grandchildren.

A memorial service commemorating John’s life will be held at 3 p.m. on October 12, 2012 at Pioneer Congregational United Church of Christ, 2700 L. St., Sacramento.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95817.


  • Mrs Hampton says:

    I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to your family. I know the pain of losing a dear loved one also. I would like to please share a few scriptures with you that have brought me comfort during these times. Rev 21:4- “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” Also please remember to throw your burdens on Jehovah (Psalms 55:22) Because he is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4)  You will be in my prayers. If  you would like to learn more from the Bible about why we die or why a loving God allows so much suffering & injustice, please feel free to go to to find some very satisfying answer.

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