Glenna and Lawrence Shapiro

Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence J. Shapiro died Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, at their home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Active and vital throughout 51 years of marriage, Glenna and Lawrence raised three children in the Phoenix area. They shared a passion for helping others, each serving in numerous charitable and nonprofit organizations and giving generously of their time and resources to improve the quality of life for all in their community. 


Glenna (Jones) Shapiro was born June 25, 1933, in Chandler, Ariz. The eldest of five children, she graduated in 1951 from North High School in Phoenix and pursued a teaching career as a student at Brigham Young University and Arizona State University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in education. She taught in the Madison School District. Glenna met the love of her life on a blind date to an ASU vs. UA football game.


Lawrence Jay Shapiro, M.D., was born March 11, 1932, in New York City. The middle of three children, his family moved to Phoenix after the death of his older sister. He also graduated from North High School. Lawrence earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1953 at Stanford University, and graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He completed fellowships in pediatrics and gastroenterology with the Universities of Illinois, Colorado and California (Los Angeles).


Glenna was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving as a Sunday School instructor, teacher and leader. In addition to her service to her family and church, she volunteered with numerous organizations. She served on the Women’s Board of the Barrow Neurological Institute, the Maricopa County Medical Society Auxiliary and the Advisory Board for the American Red Cross. She co-founded the Women’s Board of the Arizona Kidney Foundation, worked with the Boy Scouts of America, the Kivel Nursing Home and Phoenix Social Services, and gave financial support to multiple charitable organizations that serve those in need. In recognition of her long-term contributions and commitment to her community, she was honored by the Phoenix Advertising Club as the Woman of the Year in 1983.


She served as executive director of the Arizona Kidney Foundation (now the National Kidney Foundation) from 1987 to 2006. During her tenure, she increased organ donor awareness and improved access to medicines, dialysis and transplantation for thousands of Arizonans suffering from kidney disease. 


Glenna’s volunteer and professional passion for helping those in need was paralleled by Lawrence’s career in medicine. He was beloved by his patients for his caring and attentive manner, knowledge and sense of humor. Lawrence was committed to improving the accessibility and quality of medical care. He distinguished himself within the Arizona medical community as a leader in Medicare quality improvement. He founded Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), a nonprofit organization devoted to improving medical-service delivery through expert peer review and was its chairman of the board.


Lawrence served on the boards of Blue Shield Arizona, the Arizona Medical Association, St. Joseph’s Hospital, the American Medical Peer Review Association, the American Health Quality Association, and the Leadership Task Force. He served as president of the Maricopa Foundation for Medical Care. In 1972 and 1978, Lawrence was awarded Distinguished Service medals for community service by the Maricopa County Medical Society. He received the 2004 Laureate Award from the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Physicians, which recognizes recipients who uphold “the high ideals and professional standards for which the college is known.”


His knowledge extended beyond medicine. Together with his father and brother, he assisted in the rebuilding of downtown Phoenix by developing the Hyatt Regency Hotel. He served for many years as a director of Thunderbird Bank (now M&I Bank).


Believing that fine and performing arts greatly enrich the community, the couple supported the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera and Phoenix Art Museum. Glenna served for many years on the Phoenix Symphony Guild and last season led the Opera Ball committee. Lawrence was a founding member and president of Physicians for the Phoenix Symphony. They were excited about a lead gift they recently gave to help fund the new opera home next year.


In 2010 they established the Glenna & Lawrence Shapiro Family Foundation, a nonprofit foundation supporting the health, welfare, environmental and cultural organizations they loved.


Glenna and Larry enjoyed cooking, eating, gardening, reading, playing tennis, traveling, hosting friends, celebrating birthdays and holidays, and spending time with family. At long last in their 70s they FINALLY became grandparents. Nana and Boppa received immense joy from their grandchildren with whom they shared their sense of fun and love of life.


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