Born and raised in Baltimore to the late Alan and Bernice Schapiro, William grew up in the Sugarville neighborhood and attended the Park School, where he was a part of the championship basketball team of 1969. He attended Duke University for his undergraduate degree, then the University of Maryland Law School before joining the family’s textile recycling business, S. Schapiro & Sons, in 1976. William followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and uncle, learning the business from the ground up, often traveling to mills in the early part of his career, focusing on supply development.
In the early 1990s, Mr. Schapiro ventured out and with partner Leonard Whitehouse, created Whitehouse & Schapiro, LLC, carrying on the family’s longstanding tradition as one of the largest recycled clothing and textile companies in the industry. William worked hard to expand the business, and through his international travels developed relationships all over the world. He served as president of the industry’s trade association Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Association (SMART) and on the board of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) for the U.S. Department of Commerce. William was a strong advocate for the industry, and many suppliers and customers relied on him for his expert knowledge, support and leadership. William had a strong sense of integrity and an impeccable reputation. He treated clients like family, and graciously mentored and took care of others.
In 2008, a friend introduced William to Ivona Skirtun at Linwoods, and the two were married in 2017. William and Ivona enjoyed spectacular trips to Israel and going on their longstanding dates to Linwoods every Saturday evening, sitting at the same table every time. He enjoyed their quiet time together at home, reading the newspaper, exercising and eating healthy. During the winters, he and Ivona loved to visit their home in Tuscon, Arizona, walking and enjoying the scenery.
In his spare time, William enjoyed watching the Baltimore Ravens, was an avid tennis player for many years and liked to hit golf balls at the Woodholme Country Club where he was a member. He loved languages, speaking Spanish and French, and was always trying to hone his skills. He treasured spending time with family and kept rooms for both his niece and nephew to come home to when they were in town. William was a devoted and supportive son-in-law and brother, always making sure that Ivona’s mother and siblings were cared for. He was a major supporter of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Park School and Beth El Congregation, where he started the Schapiro Yerushalayim Program to assist learning disabled children to be bar and bat mitzvahed. He also served on the board of the Schapiro Training Employee Program (STEP) and People Helping People (PEP).
Mr. Schapiro will be remembered for his spectacular sense of humor, creativity and integrity. He was an inspiring leader and an amazing speaker who was full of ideas and loved to solve problems. He helped others without a second thought and always did the right thing. Mr. Schapiro will be missed greatly by his family, coworkers, clients and friends.
William is survived by his loving wife Ivona Schapiro; siblings Janet (Darryl) London and Robert Schapiro; nephew and niece Brian Schapiro (Cyprienne) London and Rachael Beth London; and great-nephew August London. He was predeceased by his parents Alan and Bernice Schapiro.
Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane, on Friday, August 16, at 12:30 p.m. Interment at Har Sinai Cemetery, Garrison Forest Road. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Schapiro Yerushalayim Program Fund, c/o Beth El Congregation, 8101 Park Heights Ave., Pikesville, MD 21208. In mourning at Woodholme Country Club, 300 Woodholme Ave., Baltimore, MD 21208, on Friday following interment until 5 p.m. The family will be attending evening services at Beth El Congregation at 6 p.m.