PARKLAND, FL – Dr. William Shapiro, 90, died peacefully on June 1, 2020, after a long battle with lewy body dementia.   After serving our country in the United States Army during the Korean War, Shapiro taught history at Lincoln Junior High School, Mountain High School and West Orange High School for forty-two years and was faculty advisor to the student government for many of those years.

Born in Irvington on March 23, 1930, to Irving Shapiro and Molly Blinder, and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Shapiro graduated from Rutgers-Newark and earned two Master’s degrees and a Doctorate from Columbia University.  While residing in Livingston, New Jersey, for nearly two decades, Shapiro helped lead the effort to keep Harrison Elementary School from closing in the 1980’s and ran a grassroots campaign for the New Jersey State Assembly in 1997.

Shapiro and Gail, his wife of forty-four years, moved to Jackson, New Jersey upon retirement, where they lived for nearly 15 years before moving to Parkland, Florida in 2017 after his diagnosis.  While living in a senior living facility and despite his advancing condition, Shapiro maintained a positive attitude and routinely greeted strangers and neighbors alike with a heartfelt hello. 

Sign Up for West Orange Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Shapiro enjoyed classical music, playing the mandolin and guitar, reading, talking about politics, and writing.  He also loved to take a dip in the ocean at the Jersey Shore, particularly in Long Branch and Wildwood Crest.  He will be most remembered for his kindness, positivity, and his infectious hearty laugh.

Shapiro leaves behind his wife, Gail, his son, Michael Shapiro, daughter, Jan Johannsen, daughter-in-law Lauryn Shapiro, son-in-law Randy Johannsen, and grandchildren Shayne, Layla, Benny and Melanie.

A memorial service is tentatively scheduled for June 2021, post-COVID-19.

For those who wish to do so, the Shapiro family suggests donations be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association in William’s memory: