Sumner Shapiro of Slingerlands, NY died Monday March 9th, 2020 at 4:18am at his home at Beverwyck where he had enjoyed the last 15 of his 96 years of life. He died of natural causes surrounded by loved ones.
Born in Lowell Massachusetts in 1923, he was 3+ years short of a century. Raised during the depression, he was the son of a police officer and homemaker.
After enlisting in the Army during World War II at age 18, he fought his way across the French countryside in Patton’s 3rd to the Battle of the Bulge.
Thanks to the GI Bill, he earned a BS in Mechanical and Textile Engineering at University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He later received an MS degree in Industrial Engineering at Columbia University in 1955.
He served as Executive Vice President and General Manager for Star Textile and Research which specialized in synthetic down fabrics found in jackets and sleeping bags.
Throughout his career, he served as an Arbitrator from 1970 to 2019 issuing hundreds of Awards in both public and private sector disputes between labor and management.
His passion for organized labor grew out of his time at the Textile Workers Union of America from 1951-1956 where he served as a Senior Engineer consultant. It was during that time that he met a bright young reporter for the CIO- named Mildred Bersh. They were married for 50 years before she passed.
He served as a board member at the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center and was a long time member of Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany. His philanthropy included enduring support for the “Capitol Region Sponsor a Scholar” organization. He served as a mentor and board member and endowed a scholarship program for students in his late wife’s name.
Shapiro taught industrial labor relations as an Adjunct Professor at Union College in Schenectady. During his years at Beverwyck he diligently convened a popular bi-monthly current events forum called “All Things Considered”. A voracious reader and lifelong learner, he reveled in beating opponents in Scrabble regardless of their age. He polished off the NYT’s crossword puzzle after reading it’s contents cover to cover every single day. He relished verbal jousting with his surprisingly wry sense of humor and quick wit. His perfectly timed punchlines will be sorely missed by his wide circle of cherished friends and loved ones.
He is survived by his daughter Marcia Shapiro (Scott Schneider); son Neal Shapiro (Juju Chang) and his 6 beloved grandsons Jared, Daniel, Harrison, Travis, Jacob and Mason— all of whom are deeply grateful to his friend and devoted caregiver Claudia Toffel.
Services were held at 1:00pm Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at Congregation Beth Emeth, 100 Academy Road in Albany, NY. The service is live streamed and archived at www.bethemethalbany.org.
Interment was in the Beth Emeth Cemetery, Loudonville.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to “The Mildred Shapiro Fund” at the Capitol Region Sponsor a Scholar, www.crsas.org/donate.
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Services will be held at 1:00pm Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at Congregation Beth Emeth, 100 Academy Road in Albany, NY. The service will be live streamed and archived at www.bethemethalbany.org.
Interment will follow the funeral service in Beth Emeth Cemetery, Loudonville.
The family will be observing Shiva at 27 Hickory Drive in Slingerlands from 3:30 to 5:30pm on Thursday, March 12, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Sumner's memory to “The Mildred Shapiro Fund” at the Capitol Region Sponsor a Scholar, www.crsas.org/donate.