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J.S. Burkholder Funeral Home
1601 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18102
610-433-5161

William Sharkan

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William Sharkan Obituary
Dr. William W. Sharkan
Dr. William W. Sharkan, 85, of Allentown died October 13, 2013 in Cedarbrook Nursing Home, Allentown. He was the husband of Phyllis J. (Totenbier) Sharkan. They celebrated their 61st anniversary in August. He had a lifelong love of learning. Along with his wife he traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad in countries in four continents. Born in Bethlehem, he was a son of the late William and Theresa (Kardos) Sharkan. He graduated in 1952 from Lehigh University, received his masters from Columbia University in 1954 and received his Doctorate in Education from Penn State in 1963. He received fellowships from the U.S. National Foundation for graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley, Temple University, Penn State and the University of Colorado. He was the superintendent of Northern Lehigh School District for six years, retiring in 1984. Under his leadership the new senior high school was built and the old high school renovated into a new junior high school. Previously he was director of personnel, planning and research in the Bethlehem School District from 1968 to 1978, assistant principal at William Allen High School from 1964 to 1968 and a science teacher and department chairman at Raub Junior High School from 1955 to 1964. Over the years he has been a visiting instructor and lecturer at Penn State Allentown Campus, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21, Temple University Muhlenberg Campus, Cedar Crest College, Muhlenberg College and the Allentown School Districts Evening Institute. Over the years, he had many articles published in various educational magazines and journals. After retirement he became director of the Volunteers of America Childrens Center, Allentown from 1984 to 1993. During this time he became an ordained minister of the Volunteers of American Christian Church and officiated at many baptisms, weddings, and funerals. When he retired from the Volunteers of America on February 23, 1993, Mayor Joseph Daddona declared it Rev. Dr. William W. Sharkan Day in Allentown. He was a member of St. Timothys Evangelical Lutheran Church, Allentown. He was a past president and member of the church choir and had served as superintendent of the Sunday school. He was a Marine Corps veteran of World War II. A graduate of the Naval School of Music, he was in the Marine Corps Band. He was a member of the following educational fraternities: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu. He was a National Science Fellow in 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, and 1961. He was the recipient of the National Science Teacher Recognition Award, Leader of American Secondary Education Award, Outstanding Educator in America Award, Boy Scouts of America Recognition Award, and a Danforth Fellowship. In 1957 he received an NDEA Fellow. In 1965 he received the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Associations Outstanding Science Teacher Award and in 1969 an American Educational Research Association Research Fellow. He was a member of the American Educational Research Association, American Association of School Administrators, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of School Personnel Administrators, Schoolmens Club of Bethlehem, the Asa Packer Society at Lehigh University and a life member of the National Education Association. He was a past member of the Allentown Music Festivals, past executive of the board of the United Way, past member of the board of directors of the Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank, and past chairperson of the Veterans Memorial Committee at Cedar Hill Memorial Park. In 1996 he was the recipient of the Kiwanis Club of Allentown Presidents Citation for outstanding service to the community. If you met William on the street and asked him how he was, he would smile and say Everyday is a gift. Survivors: Wife; son, Dr. Keith L. Sharkan and his wife, Frances, of Malvern; daughter, Lygia J. Bellis, wife of Donald, of Norfolk, VA; four grandsons; three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph Sharkan; and a sister, Leona Huesz. Services: A memorial service will be held on Saturday, at 11 a.m. in St. Timothys Lutheran Church, 140 S. Ott St., Allentown. Call 10 to 11 a.m., Saturday, in the church. After the memorial service, if you wish to remember William do it with a kind deed to some friend or acquaintance who needs you. His life had been so richly blessed by all his loved ones, great faithful friends and the rich opportunities to serve young students in many great communities. For this, he will live forever. Arrangements by the J. S. Burkholder Funeral Home, Allentown. www.jsburkholder.com. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the church, 18104.
Published in Morning Call on Oct. 15, 2013
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