Obituary of Howard Shapiro
Howard Andrew Shapiro, 56, known as Howie to family and friends, a longtime resident of Lake Hopatcong and Lakewood, New Jersey, suddenly passed away at his residence on February 5, 2024. He is survived by his loving wife Jenna, daughter Claire, brother Adam and his wife MaryAnn Shapiro, brother-in-law Ray and his wife Celina Thorsland, nieces and nephews Rebecca Shapiro, Gabrielle and husband James Nicholson, Steven Shapiro, Ryan and Peter Thorsland, great-niece and nephew Ava and Jack Nicholson, and in-laws Ron and Gail Thorsland as well as many other family members and friends, including his beloved cats Noah and Gracie. He was predeceased by his mother Berta, father Walter and favorite aunt Dr. Susana Wrabel. Howard was a 1985 graduate of Lakewood High School in Lakewood, NJ and a 2000 graduate of Cittone Institute.
Howard dedicated much of his life to his work and had an interesting career as an EMT, an engineer/director working in the security industry designing, engineering and supporting small and large-scale AV, IT, and security-related implementations/integrations, a chief technology officer, a security engineer and a director of engineering. Unless you worked with him, you really had no idea exactly what he did Even his family and friends had difficulty explaining exactly what he did and most of them didn't fully understand it even if they could explain it. Over the years, he had many ultra-high net worth clients which included well known and famous people and he always rose to the challenge of meeting their very specific needs. He even worked at Home Depot for a short period of time keeping busy and helping customers find exactly what they needed. A few times he went to customers' homes after work to help them with their projects because he didn't want them to get hurt trying to install electrical fixtures or complete their DIY projects. His excellent customer service and product knowledge resulted in many accolades on Home Depot surveys where customers mentioned him by name and sang his praises, much to his delight. As a licensed electrician and HVAC-R contractor, he had his own business, Overlook Consulting Group, and did electrical, heating and air conditioning work, but there was really nothing he couldn't do as he was a jack of all trades (and master of all).
Howard loved fine food and wine and loved dining with family and friends at some of the world's best restaurants where he would devour a nice steak, sushi or try something new. He was adventurous with food. On the contrary, he was also passionate about McDonald's McRibs. He would stalk the internet for news about McRib sightings and when McDonald's put it on their menu nationwide for short periods over the years, he would eat them for weeks. He was obsessed with them. Throughout his lifetime, Howard traveled all over the world, visiting Argentina many times as a child to see his mother's family, Costa Rica, Croatia, Europe and Hong Kong for both work and pleasure. Traveling for pleasure with friends and family helped him relax and de-stress as did going on cruises. Howard was a lifelong Mets fan to the core and never wavered even during some of their worst seasons.
Three things Howard will most be remembered for are his sense of humor, his intelligence and his generosity. He joked around all of the time while keeping a straight face which led to a lot of great stories about him. Did you ever hear the story about Dr. Shapiro? Howard always made people laugh with his keen sense of wit and quick comebacks. Howard was absolutely brilliant and most likely the smartest person any of us will ever know. He literally knew everything or was able to research it, find it out and remember it – if you ever asked him to recite all of the license plates his parents had on their cars since the time when he was a child, he would have recited each and every one perfectly! Howard would do anything to help his family and friends, often not charging them when he did work for them or buying them something he thought they needed or should have. Giving gifts made him happy. He truly had the biggest heart. If you ever enjoyed a meal with him you probably unsuccessfully fought him for the check as he usually insisted on paying. That was Howard.
Graveside services will be held on Friday February 9, at 1:00PM at
Beth Israel Cemetery, 19 Ridgedale Ave, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927***
***Note: This is NOT the Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, NJ
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Claire's college fund via Jenna, the New Hope Food Pantry in Oak Ridge, NJ or Benny's Bodega in Newton, NJ, or simply go out for a great meal, order a nice glass of wine and toast him!
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