Rev. Dr. Fred Howard Shapiro, 63, of Willimantic, Conn. passed away Wed., October 22, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston after a battle with cancer.
He was born in Malden Nov. 29, 1950, son of the late David and Sara (Barson) Shapiro. Shapiro was educated in the Haverhill public school system and graduated from Haverhill High School. His undergraduate studies were undertaken at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif., and the University of New Hampshire. He earned his Master’s Degree from Bangor Seminary in Bangor, Maine, and earned his doctoral degree from Eastern University in St. Davids, Penn. He was employed as an American Baptist Minister and was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Willimantic for almost 12 years. Previously he served as Pastor of the First Baptist Churches of: Bristol, N.H., Montpelier, Vt. where he co-founded the Montpelier Community Gospel Choir, and Milton. As a pre-ordained minister, he served in Kenduskeag, Maine. He was also active in the Messianic Jewish movement and was involved in various other ministries throughout the country including the “Church of the Open Door” in California. He proudly served on the American Baptist Church’s national board of evangelism.
Prior to this, Pastor Fred co-owned, along with Wendy Farewell, a Christian Bookstore in Haverhill. “God’s Provision” held various community outreaches and received a Community Service Award from the city of Haverhill. He had a passion for the Lord, had a calling for community service and loved music. Pastor Fred sang, played various instruments and composed his own music solo and also enjoyed playing and recording music with his band Traveler. The band Traveler had been invited to play at Fred Eaglesmith’s Charity Picnic in Ontario, Canada.
Shapiro loved spending time with his family, including his faithful dog Tavish, traveling to new places and trying new things. He also hosted two local radio shows in Willimantic, Conn. and guided, with the support of others, the FBC of Willimantic community meal outreach from one meal a week to now serving five meals a week. Shapiro was passionate and so honored to be able to spread his message across different churches and events throughout the country. He had recently authored an autobiography entitled “For Your Tomorrows, I Give You My Today”.
Rev. Dr. Shapiro is survived by his wife, Carol (Craven-Golden) Shapiro of Willimantic, Conn., a son, Joseph Shapiro and his wife Renee of Pelham, N.H., a stepson William Golden Jr. and his wife Christin of North Charleston, S.C., two stepdaughters, Amanda and her late husband Scott MacDonald of Somerset, and Jessica and her husband Gary Linehan of East Sandwich, four step grandchildren: Erin and Owen Linehan and Angelina and Andrew Golden.
A private graveside service will take place in Haverhill, Tuesday, Oct. 28. Calling hours are 9:30 to 11:00 a.m, Nov. 8, at the First Baptist Church of Willimantic, 667 Main Street, Willimantic, CT 06226 followed by A Celebration of Life Memorial Service at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the First Baptist Church of Willimantic – (notation: Community Meals), PO Box 415, Willimantic, CT 06226. A scholarship will be set up in his name with details to be forthcoming.