Alphonse (Al) Theodore Shopes' time on earth changed lives, near and far. He entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014, at the age of 97. He was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Joseph; and his first wife, June. He is survived by his wife, Muriel; and his three daughters. Al was born on December 17, 1916, in Rochester, NY, of Lithuanian parents: Elizabeth and Joseph Shopes. They had four children: Alphonse, Alda, Louis and Joseph. He attended Benjamin Franklin High School in Rochester, NY. During high school and right after, he had a newspaper route and worked at Wegmans. His greatest pleasure in the winter was ice skating on the Erie Canal when he did have some free time. Al married June Ann Niver in 1941 and they had three daughters: Gail (James) Grove of Clarence, NY and their children Sheri and Brian; Kay (Jack) Howland of Syracuse, NY and their children Stacey and Tricia; and Janet (Lee) Swigert of N. Ft. Myers, FL and their children Valerie, Laura and Mark. Their daughters gave them 7 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. June died on July 30th, 1968 at the age of 51 from cancer. Al served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1944 as an Aviation Ordinance Man, 3rd class Petty Officer during World War II. Al worked a total of 32 years at the Elmira Star Gazette. He started working there in 1946 as a Stereotyper and worked at that trade for 28 years. The last four years of employment, he worked in the Pressroom. Al married Muriel J. Reid of Erin in January of 1970. Together they have 5 children, 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Al and Muriel traveled a lot in the Northeast and Southern states. They were traveling to and visiting their family and acquaintances in Old Forge and Lake Placid when they were into their 90's. Al lived in Horseheads and, most of his life, in the house that he built in 1946. He played softball for the Star Gazette teams for 12 years. He was a member of Horseheads Masonic Lodge #364 since 1956. He was patron of the Eastern Star for two years. Al was a member of the Horseheads Presbyterian Church and very active since 1946 serving various positions of leadership in the church. He volunteered for 15 years at the Clemens Center and for 8 years at the Horseheads Food Pantry. The last few years he lived at Bethany Village and enjoyed all the activities and the residents there. Al loved his family and they always came first. He was a bright ray of sunshine to all who met, had a conversation with or interacted with him. Our thanks to all the personnel at The Courtyards and The Manor who tirelessly helped Dad and took care of him. Family and friends are invited to call at the Barber Funeral Home, Inc. on Sunday, August 3, 2014, from 4-7 p.m.. The funeral service will be held in the First Presbyterian Church, 2943 Westinghouse Road, Horseheads on Monday, August 4, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. with interment to follow in Maple Grove Cemetery, Horseheads. Contributions will be gratefully accepted by the Falck Cancer Center, c/o Arnot Ogden Medical Center, 600 Roe Ave., Elmira, NY 14905. www.barberfuneralhome.com
NOTICE: Officers and members of Old Oak Lodge #364 F. & A. M. are invited to gather at the Barber Funeral Home on Sunday at 6:45 p.m. to conduct a memorial service for their departed brother.
Published in Star-Gazette from July 31 to Aug. 3, 2014