Age 96, died peacefully on August 5, 2020. Don was an exceptional man. Born in Lowell, MA, and raised mostly in Brookline, MA, as the oldest of two brothers (Kenny and Jerry) and a sister (Barbara). He excelled in scholastics and sports, he, however, opted to forgo sports and instead worked before, and after school in his father’s fruit store to help with family finances. His mother Florence died at a young age and he often told of his special relationship with his grandmother. He prides himself on the fact that he never once said “no” to his mother or grandmother. After WW2, Donald attended Harvard University on the GI bill. At a Harvard Mixer, he saw the prettiest girl in the room and asked her for a dance. While dancing, he told her he was a Jew and she replied, “Well what do you want me to do about it?” The beginning of an unorthodox union between a blonde, blue eyed, German Catholic and a handsome Russian Jew began. Elopement and subsequent marriage in a Catholic Church to prevent excommunication followed. The love he had for his wife was so incredibly deep and faithful. She was his everything and honored her in every thought and action. It was then time to start a business that, as he always said, went broke the first five times he tried. Then, finally, with a loan from his mother-in-law and wife’s aunt, and many prayers, he began a business that he built into one of the most successful produce wholesalers in New England. Of course, when asked his occupation he always referred to himself as a “fruit peddler.” In later life Don’s spirituality went to new heights. He had a huge impact on the lives he touched, particularly family. His children were blessed to have such a positive role model and mentor in their lives. He constantly reminded us all of what is most important in life - kindness, goodness, and love.
Don’s dedication and unwavering love for his wife, Patricia Ann, and five wonderful children; Jill Shapiro Kornack, the late Jan Shapiro Rumsey, Susan Shapiro Boston and her husband Stephen, David Shapiro and his wife Lee, and Allison Shapiro Smith and her husband Blake was something to behold. He adored his 13 grandchildren; Scott Domineau (wife Amy), Seth Domineau (wife Katie), Heather Kornack, Matt Kornack (husband Tim), David Kornack (wife Katrina), Ana Rumsey, Tatianna Rumsey, Patsy Boston-Poulson (husband Ben), Blake Boston, David Shapiro, Alix Shapiro, Jake Smith, and Mekenzie Smith. He is also survived by 13 adorable great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He will live on in spirit and we will honor his with his greatest wish for humanity, goodness.
Due to the current public gathering restrictions, services for Don will remain private.