BANGOR and WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Dr. Benjamin L. Shapero, a well-known and beloved pediatrician who was born, raised and practiced for many years in Bangor until his retirement in 1985, will celebrate his 100th birthday on Saturday, July 7. He was born on July 5 in 1912. His children, daughter and physical therapist Suzie Kierschner of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and son Dr. Paul Shapero of Bangor, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild, will travel to his home in West Palm Beach, Fla., to celebrate the occasion.
Shapero’s wife of 66 years, Rosalie, described her husband as an old-fashioned doctor who treated every child in his care as if it were his own.
Commenting on longevity, Shapero said, “The first thing you want to do is select parents who have good genes. Another thing is not to do anybody any harm, so you have no regrets, have a good conscience, so you can relax and feel that you have done someone some good.” He also credits physical activity as an important aspect of aging well. He plays tennis and golf at least three days each week. “It’s very important to have a good wife, too.”
“When I started my practice,” he said of his career, “there was only one pediatrician in Bangor — Dr. Albert Fellowes. I thought there was room for one more. And he encouraged me. I enjoyed what I did.”
Shapero graduated from the University of Maine and received a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1939. He met Rosalie on a blind date in Philadelphia when he was a major in the U.S. Air Force.
In 1991, at the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Bangor General Hospital, now Eastern Maine Medical Center, Dr. Shapero was honored, along with 36 other physicians, as part of the hospital Emeritus Staff. They were recognized for philanthropic support, leadership and service.
“We had a wonderful life in Bangor,” Rosalie Shapero said. “He took care of everyone in Bangor. He was much loved.”