Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Richard D. Shapiro, Colonel, USAF (Retired)January 10, 1944 – July 29,2017
Col. Richard D. Shapiro, age 73, of Beavercreek, OH, passed away on July 29,2017. Richard was a graduate of Miami University and went on to get his Master’s Degree at Purdue University. He was a born leader who met every challenge head on. Richard flew search and rescue missions during the Vietnam War. He served in the Air Force for 28 years before retiring, and then went on to teach Jr. ROTC at Springboro High School. He volunteered every year, doing taxes for military retirees.
Richard was a member of the X2 Motorcycle Club and The River Rats. He was a devoted family man who loved to travel, read, bicycle, ride his motorcycle, and spend time with his grandsons who loved him to the moon and back. Richard was preceded in death by his parents and brother. He is survived by his wife, Karen (Derr); his children, Brian and Marci (Douglas Finley); his grandsons, Dez and Lucca; and his sister, Cheryl.
Richard’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of love and support they’ve received – it has been such a blessing.
Family will greet friends from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Friday, August 4, 2017 at Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church, 7505 Taylorsville Road, Dayton, Ohio 45424, with a celebration of life service immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Springboro City Schools (please designate ROTC Scholarship in the memo section), Treasurer’s Office, 1685 S. Main St., Springboro, Ohio 45066.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
August 4, 2017Col. Shapiro exemplified the character of leadership through service. He challenged and encouraged the best from his cadets. He recognized the potential in me and inspired me to develop those traits by recommending me for a unique opportunity. I celebrate his life for the lessons he imparted to me and the influence he had on so many other students. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and former cadets. AFJROTC ’97.~David Batton
August 4, 2017He flew from the valley,He fought above the valley,And now he rests in the valley,Where he too, is a giant.
I flew with Rick in the 40th ARRS at NKP, Thailand.He was a great stick and got us out of a tough situation in NVN one mission.We have kept in touch throughout the years, emails, lunches and occasional dinners.
He was my friend, my brother and he will be missed.
Rick, Karen and the rest of the family are in our prayers.Chuck & Carm Rouhier, Jolly Green Flight Engineer~Charles Rouhier
August 3, 2017Karen, Marci and Brian, My heart aches for you and yours. I often think of the many times we spent together in Air Force and I’m so glad we had the privilege of calling him friend. He gave me my first (and last) motorcycle ride on the ice and snow in North Dakota. As you grieve, know that Quen, Kerri and I are remembering him and I know he and Mac are telling some stories and smiling down on us. Ya’ll are in our thoughts and prayers and we will always cherish the memories and fun times spent with all of you. Blessings, Kathy Rish~Kathy Rish
August 3, 2017Rick was a good friend. We shared many miles together. My deepest condolences to Karen and family. He will be missed.~Neal Neto
August 2, 2017Colonel Shapiro was a natural leader and motivator. As a student of his between 1998-2002 he saw the potential in me and pushed me farther to reach my goals. He was a great man and an exceptional mentor. I cannot begin to describe how much he impacted my life. I can say that I think of him often and he will always hold a special place in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Sir, you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. Until we meet again.~Chris Miller
August 2, 2017ROTC was my favorite part of high school. I learned a lot from Colonel Shapiro and I am thankful for his help and guidance. He will be missed.~Jake Roberts
August 2, 2017Rick was a very good friend. I had the honor of serving with him in North Dakota and Viet-Nam. He was true patriot. I will miss the emails that we exchanged with each for many years. My prayers are that God’s Holy Spirit will minister to Karen and the family during this very difficult period.~Doug Strahl
August 2, 2017I worked with Colonel Shapiro at Springboro HS and he was an awesome mentor to faculty, parents, and students alike. Sympathy to family as he makes his celestial transfer.~Phyllis Harover
August 2, 2017Went to school with Richard. Always a nice and friendly guy.~Sharon Richardson Dudley
August 2, 2017I want to offer my deepest condolences to your family. I didn’t personally know Rick, but he was a dear friend to my parents, Ralph & Janet Williams, and he will be missed.~Tracy Epstein
August 2, 2017I was in Rick’s graduating class, FHS ’62. He was fun loving and a joy to be with in school. He was always smiling. I feel privileged to talk to him at our class 55 reunion. He will be missed. Much sympathy to his family. Thoughts are of Rick and his family.~Pam Linzie
August 2, 2017Rick meant so much too so many. We will always remember and treasure his friendship.~Ralph & Jan Williams
August 2, 2017Rick was a great friend for many, many years. I will always remember riding motorcycles and playing cards together. He will be remembered for his love of family and many friends.~Jim Villella
August 2, 2017I shared the same office with Colonel Shapiro at Springboro’s JROTC program. He was always professional and a positive role model for the cadets, always having their best interests at heart. I’m proud to say he was my colleague, but more to say he was my friend. You will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.~Chief Pawlowski
August 1, 2017I had the privilege of working with Colonel Shapiro for several years at Springboro High School. He was a wonderful instructor who cared deeply for the young men and women he taught. He was a positive role model for all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.~Ron Malone
August 1, 2017I remember the year that Col. Shapiro left for retirement. I was devastated. I was equally shocked when that very next year I rounded the corner and there he was smiling at me as my substitute! He was motivating, inspiring, compassionate, and above all humble. He could walk into the room and without even trying and have the attention, respect, and awe of everyone. ROTC was not the same for me after he left. He brought something special that could not be replaced. I am starting my first year of teaching in just 2 weeks. I cannot recall a greater role model. If I can even touch one life in the way that he touched mine, I will consider myself successful. He will be dearly missed.~Elizabeth Sanchez
August 1, 2017He was my second Dad in high school. I was always so blessed to be welcomed into their home. I am So sorry for your family’s loss.~Aubrey Lane
August 1, 2017Colonel Shapiro was JROTC Advisor to my son, Ryan, at Springboro High School. Ryan positively worshiped him, and Ryan’s mother and I well understand why. You will never meet a more sincere, more honest, more genuine person as Colonel Shapiro. We wish his family the very best and hope they know that the Colonel has a very special place in our memories and in our hearts.~David Berry
August 1, 2017I was one of Col. Shapiro’s students 1996-2000. He was very instrumental in me being the person I am today. I’m grateful I stayed in contact with him over the years. I will miss him very much. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family.~Jessica Carolus Heeran
August 1, 2017I enjoyed many wonderful Motorcycle back roads with Rick and he will be thought of and missed.~Dale Cummins