Brigadier General (Dr.) Stephen Richard Shapiro of El Paso, Texas passed away on March 20, 2013 after a living full life as a loving husband and father, a devoted grandfather, a voracious learner, a proven leader and as a dedicated physician. Born on December 30, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York to George and Bertha Shapiro, Stephen graduated from Samuel Tilden High School before attending Brooklyn College where he graduated in 1956. While in college Stephen earned the designation of being a distinguished graduate of the college's Air Force Reserve Officer Training program and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
In 1960 two of the most important events occurred for Stephen. First he married his true love, Myrna and then Stephen completed his medical training by earning his MD after graduating Magna Cum Laude from the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York. Upon graduation from medical school Stephen and Myrna moved to Washington D.C. where he entered active duty as an Air Force officer and was assigned to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for five years were he undertook his one-year rotating internship, a three-year residency in internal medicine and another one-year residency in allergy-immunology.
In 1965 Stephen moved to San Antonio, Texas and served at the Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland AFB where he served as the Assistant Chief of the Allergy and Immunology practice until 1973. During this time period Stephen attended the Air Force's primary course in Aerospace Medicine and graduated as a Flight Surgeon. In addition he became board certified as a specialist in the fields of internal medicine and allergy-immunology. Stephen also served as served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio from 1970-1973. During this time period he also presented scientific papers and published scholarly articles in medical journals. Stephen also became a diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Allergy-Immunology.
Stephen then spent the next seven years (1973-1980) living and working in West Germany and England while serving in various leadership roles for the Air Force, including providing medical care to air crews as a flight surgeon and being assigned as the Hospital Commander for 20th Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Upper Heyford outside of Oxford, England. While in England Stephen served as the president of the joint Anglo-American Medical Society. Also in 1979 Stephen completed the Air War College.
During these years in Europe Stephen continued with his lifelong desire of acquiring knowledge by demonstrating a true passion to learn about Europe's history, culture, places and people. He was especially excited about sharing these diverse travel experiences in Europe with Myrna and their three children, David, Robert and Marc. In fact Stephen's subtle sense of humor was often displayed while living and working in Europe.
In 1980 Stephen and his family moved back to Washington D.C. where served as the Deputy Command Surgeon and as the Director of Professional Services for the Air Systems Command at Andrews AFB, Maryland. In 1982 he became the Command Surgeon for the Air Force Reserve Command at Robin AFB, Georgia before heading back to Andrews AFB in 1984 to be the Deputy Chief of Staff for Medical and Life Sciences at Air Force Systems Command.
From 1987 to 1989 Stephen was assigned as the Commander of Malcolm Grown Medical Center at Andrews AFB after being promoted to the rank of Brigadier General on July 1, 1987. From 1989 to 1992 Stephen served as the Command Surgeon for the Air Force's Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio before retiring after 32 years of active duty service. During Stephen's military career he was awarded a variety of awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters.
From 1992 until 2007 Stephen served as the Chief of Staff for the VA Medical Center in El Paso, Texas where his ongoing and lifelong commitment to exceptional patient care continued until his retirement.
Stephen is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Myrna, their three boys, David, Robert and Marc, daughter-in-law Holly, and their four special grandchildren, Logan, Erika, Zachary and Rachel, and sister, Myrna Finkelstein. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 9:30 AM at Martin Funeral Home West. Inurnment will be held at Fort Bliss National Cemetery at 11:00 AM. Services entrusted to Martin Funeral Home West, 128 N. Resler Dr., El Paso, TX 79912. www.MartinFuneralHomeWest.com