John Shafran of Beachwood died peacefully at home on Sept. 3, 2019, at age 94, with Gloria, his wife of almost 71 years, and children at his side.
He was born in Cherbourg, France, on Jan. 16, 1925, to Abraham and Dvora Shafran, joining two sisters as the family waited for immigration quotas to permit their entrance into the United States.
Having left Gomel, Russia (now Belarus), in 1923, it would be late in 1928 before they arrived to join family already in Cleveland. From then on, John was a lifelong resident of Cleveland.
He married Gloria (nee Lavin) in December 1948 and together they raised their children, living near their parents, siblings, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many lifelong friends.
Upon graduation from East Technical High School in 1943, and not yet a U.S. citizen, John enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in World War II as a sergeant. He attended Western Reserve College (now Case Western Reserve University) on the GI bill, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting, and later earned a Juris Doctor degree from Cleveland-Marshall Law School.
He was employed by the Internal Revenue Service for nearly 30 years and after retiring, worked for decades in both private accounting and law firms as a tax law expert. He and Gloria maintained friendships with colleagues from all phases of his professional career throughout his life.
John was a man of exceptional intelligence, integrity, honesty and kindness, and was admired and respected by so many.
He read widely, and held thoughtful and strong views on many subjects but he was uncommonly open to and respectful of those of others, keeping loved ones close.
John and Gloria’s marriage was one of a kind, an inspiration and wonder to all who were touched by their devotion to each other and as a couple, to others. Their collaborations were many, including growing and distributing the bounty of enormous gardens each summer, providing emotional and professional support to family and friends in need, and providing havens for beloved pets throughout the years. John was predeceased by his parents, and by sisters, Anne Antine and Zita Tesler.
He is survived by his wife, Gloria; children, Dr. Barbara (Dr. William) Wieder and Dr. Robert (Dr. Susan Knell) Shafran; grandchildren, Dr. Gene Gross, Rabbi Avrohom (Aviva) Gross, Rachel Shafran and Benjamin Shafran; great-grandchildren, Yosef, Sarah and Bassy Gross, and Dovid, Yisroel, Devora, Miri, Shalom, Luzzy, Akiva, Esti and Shimmy Gross. He was a beloved son-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle and great-uncle.
The family is profoundly grateful for the compassionate and expert care provided by Vinney Hospice of Montefiore and to the incredible giving of a team of private caregivers who made it possible for John to spend his last days at home in comfort and peace surrounded by his dearest ones.