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Longboat Key Thursday, May 7, 2009 11 years ago

Ed Shapiro made the time to help those around him

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Slowing down wasn’t Ed Shapiro’s style.

Technically, he retired from his career with Isotoner, a women’s glove company, in 1980. But Shapiro kept plugging. A founding member of Temple Beth Israel, he devoted much of his time to the temple and served as its president from 1988 to 1989 and, later, on the board. He drove fellow members to the temple when they couldn’t drive themselves. He wrote the community newsletter for his homes at the Islander Club and, later, Plymouth Harbor, along with the Sarasota-Manatee chapter of the United Nations Association’s newsletter. In between it all, he pursued his love of golf.

Adolph “Ed” Shapiro, of Plymouth Harbor and formerly of Longboat Key, died Tuesday, April 28. He was 93.

Born May 10, 1915, he grew up in Baltimore and worked while also attending the University of Maryland during the Great Depression — he lived at home with his parents to save money. Shapiro served in World War II and earned the Bronze Star.

He met his wife, Freida, over the Fourth of July weekend of 1941 and married her just five-and-a-half months later.

Shapiro got a job in sales after college and went on to pursue a career in marketing with Isotoner. In the 1960s, he convinced the company to take on a risky marketing plan to advertise the gloves on “The Today Show” and “The Tonight Show” two months before Christmas. The gloves sold out at department stores across the country. In 2007, Shapiro told The Longboat Observer that the day the gloves sold out was one of the best days of his life.

At the temple, Shapiro is remembered as a jokester who always wore a smile.

“He was a happy-go-lucky person,” said longtime temple member Florence Katz. “That’s why everybody loved him.”

Shapiro is survived by his wife of 67 years, Freida; daughters, Nancy Fraser and Cindy Farlino; two granddaughters; and one step-granddaughter.

A celebration of life service was held Friday, May 1, at the temple. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key, Fla. 34228; or the United Nations
Association, Sarasota-Manatee Chapter, P.O. Box 2427, Sarasota, Fla. 34230.

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