David G. Shappirio
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Prof. David Gordon Shappirio died on Sunday, July 27, 2014, passing away peacefully after fighting several health issues over the last few years. David was born on June 18, 1930 in Washington, DC to Rebecca and Solomon Shappirio and was the older brother to Joel. Growing up he showed an interest in the natural world, in particular insects, an interest which led him into the sciences. He went to the University of Michigan, graduating in 1951 with a B.S. in Chemistry. It is also where he met Elvera Bamber, whom he married on July 8, 1953. After receiving his Ph.D. in Biology in 1955 from Harvard University, David accepted two post-doctoral positions in Europe, in 1955 at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, and in 1956 at The University of Leuven in Belgium. David then returned to the States and the University of Michigan, where in 1957, he began a long and distinguished career in biological sciences which spanned over 40 years. During this time he taught, carried out research using metamorphosing insects as experimental models for studying cellular and molecular events in insect development. From 1976-83, Professor Shappirio served as associate chair for instruction and curriculum in the Division of Biological Sciences, and from 1983-91, he served as director of the Honors Program in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He assisted several graduate students in receiving their degrees and mentored more than two dozen undergraduates' research projects. He was a popular teacher and mentor and would often have former students greet him while traveling. His exceptional teaching skills were recognized by his appointment as an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 1989, which was extended in 1992. He has also received an award from the AMOCO Foundation for distinguished undergraduate teaching and another from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts for excellence in education. After retiring in 1999, he remained active in several scholarship and grant programs until ill health forced him to stop. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Joel. He is survived by his wife, Elvera; daughter, Susan; son-in-law, Danny; son, Mark; daughter-in-law, Jennifer and four grandchildren, Nicole, Megan, Erin and Adam. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions may be made to The Legacy Land Conservancy, 1100 N .Main St. #203, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104 or The Alzheimer's Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter, 564 S. Main St., Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104. A celebration of David's life will be held on August 31, 2014 at 3 PM at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor, 4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Rev. Mark Evens will officiate. Note: Ann Arbor-Saline Road may be closed for repairs at the I-94 Bridge. Please visit David's tribute page at www.niefuneralhomes.com

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Published in Ann Arbor News from Aug. 13 to Aug. 19, 2014.
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2 entries
August 18, 2014
Oh, Ellie, Susan and Mark, and children, your family is part of so many of our sweet Ann Arbor and U of M memories. Billy did not become close to many people, but David was one of his most cherished friends. Of course, early on there was their shared love of splendid music, their wonderful piano duets at our house or yours. Their quirky sense of humor. Their dedication to their students and the fields of work they loved so much. And remember our wonderful family expedition to the quarry in Milan where we collected buckets full of fossils?

The years passed too quickly, but our memories are filled with love for all of you and with an abiding sense of privilege that Billy was blessed with David as a treasured colleague, and that you were our very dear and special friend, Ellie.

Too often our later lives are times of struggle, but they do not erase the many years of sweetness and joy and shared accomplishments we have known in our times together. And may looking back at those times fill your hearts with gratitude as they do ours.
Elisa Frye
August 14, 2014
David's commitment to academic excellence and his dedication to teaching and mentoring have provided inspiration to several generations of scholars. His leadership of the LSA Honors Program, nationally competitive scholarship competitions, and the University of Michigan chapter of Phi Beta Kappa have left behind a firm foundation for the continued success of those programs. Personally, I will miss his quirky sense of humor, his enjoyment of the most obscure aspects of the natural world, his friendship, and his kindness.
Ellie, I'm sorry for your loss and wish you the comfort that many years of happy memories can bring.
Elleanor Crown
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