Benjamin's Story

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BANGOR - Benjamin L. Shapero, MD, 102, passed away peacefully at his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, with his loving wife and children by his side. He was born in Bangor, Maine on July 5, 1912, to Max and Sarah (Zitaner) Shapero.

He attended the Bangor public schools and graduated from the University of Maine in 1935 and from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1939. He served as a major in the United States Air Force during World War II, stationed in England. After the war, he was fortunate to meet his future wife, Rosalie (Fleisher) Shapero on a blind date in Philadelphia and was able to convince her to return with him to Bangor. He began his practice of medicine in 1946. Initially denied admitting privileges at Bangor General Hospital (now EMMC) because of his religion, he proceeded to practice pediatrics for 59 years, serving the children and families of the greater Bangor area. After completing his day caring for patients in the office and hospital, he would routinely make house calls to those children too ill or contagious to come in to the office. Only then would he return home for the evening with his wife and family. He laughingly recalled one night when his car slid into a snow bank en route to a house call in Hermon;

the grateful family hitched their team of horses to the car in order to pull him out. He also saw many sick children in the evenings and on weekends, in the kitchen of his home. Sympathetic to the financial difficulties of local families, he not infrequently was paid for his services by bags of potatoes, or by simple home repairs such as the fixing of a doorknob. In addition, Dr. Ben, as he was fondly known, was proud to serve as the physician for the Brewer School system as well as for many Bangor sports teams.

Dr. Ben valued, above all, his Jewish faith, honesty, and integrity. He treated others as he wished to be treated and will be remembered as a kind, gentle, and simple man whose greatest joys in life were his religion, his work, his family, and time spent with friends on the tennis court and golf course. He remained an active competitor even after his 102nd birthday, ever capable with his gently dropped shots and wry grin as he would send much younger opponents scrambling across the court.

He is survived and greatly missed by his beloved wife, Rosalie, his daughter, Suzanne Kirschner and husband, Fred, son, Paul Shapero and wife, Jane, by five grandchildren, Jodi Steel, Lisa Kirschner, Alex, Kayle, and Mara Shapero; as well as by two great-grandchildren, Brooke and Jack Steel.

Contributions in his memory may be made to Beth Israel Synagogue, 144 York St., Bangor; Beth Abraham Synagogue, 145 York St., Bangor; Temple Emanuel, 190 N. County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480; or to Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33407-9926. Services will be held 3 p.m. Monday, October 13, at the Jewish Funeral Chapel, 118 Center St., Bangor. Friends are invited to visit with the family after the funeral at the home of Paul & Jane Shapero at 104 Poplar Street in Bangor. A service of Brookings-Smith, Bangor. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
Published on  October 13, 2014
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