Bernard L. Shapiro
October 10, 2011
Barry Shapiro was born June 16, 1932, in Montreal, Canada, to Eddie and Leah Shapiro. At McGill University in Montreal, he earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry and then received his doctorate in organic chemistry from Harvard University. In 1958 he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a fellowship at Carnegie-Mellon Institute, and there he met and married Lee Williams in 1960. They had two daughters, Miriam and Catherine. The family moved to Chicago in 1963 where Barry was an associate professor at Illinois Institute of Technology. After a year at Stanford University, he accepted a tenured position at Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas in 1968. He taught sophomore organic chemistry for 19 years, and was known as a hard but good teacher. Barry also founded the NMR Newsletter, a specialty journal for organic chemists, which he began while working at Carnegie-Mellon Institute. He continued to edit and publish the Newsletter until 2001. Works in that journal have been the basis for the technology behind MRI imaging scans.
After his retirement, Barry and Lee fulfilled a dream to return to the Bay area, and they lived in Palo Alto until 2003, when they moved to Bellingham to be near family. Barry had many interests -- classical music was a passion from his early years and he especially enjoyed his time at Harvard for the many opportunities to see the Boston Symphony. In his middle age years, he was an avid stamp and philatelic cover collector. Later in life, he helped a friend, Leonard Ratner, edit and publish a scholarly work on the Beethoven Quartets. Most recently, his abiding interest was in learning Italian. He adored his cats, both past and present. But his biggest joy in life was his family, and most especially his grandchildren -- on his gloomiest days, they never failed to bring a smile to his face. He had the most devoted of partners in his wife Lee, to whom he was married for 51 years.
In addition to Lee, Barry is survived by his daughter Catherine Shapiro, PhD and grandson Robert of Cambridge, Massachusetts. His daughter Miriam Shapiro MD, husband Greg Schwartz and granddaughters Julia and Samantha live in Bellingham.
Published by Bellingham Herald from Oct. 12 to Oct. 16, 2011.