Cover photo for Ira David Shull's Obituary
Ira David Shull Profile Photo
1964 Ira 2016

Ira David Shull

January 7, 1964 — June 5, 2016


Ira David Shull, 52, of Shirley, MA, passed away Sunday, June 5 from a glioblastoma brain tumor. He died at home and spent his last days with family and friends.

Ira was known for his open, friendly personality; his irrepresible sense of humor;  and his gentle, considerate nature.  He was earnest and genuine in his dealings with others, and he made friends easily.

A skilled writer and storyteller, Ira worked as a writer, editor, and teacher.  He did freelance writing and editing for a variety of clients, including several educational publishing companies. He also guided other writers  working on their own manuscripts and taught writing classes and workshops in a variety of venues. He published several short stories and a book: “For the Love of Teaching: And Other Reasons Teachers Do What They Do.”

Ira was born in Arlington, VA and grew up in Lawrenceville, NJ. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, both degrees in creative writing.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Parker Shull of Shirley, MA; his parents: Janice and Bernard Shull of Lawrenceville, NJ; and a sister, Abby Shull Sernoff of Doylstown, PA.

Ira didn’t think of himself as “fighting” Cancer. He preferred to live his life in spite of it, which he did with grace and courage for almost two years. He appreciated his life and continued enjoying  his favorite activities, which included spending time with family and friends, listening to live music, and watching (and discussing) good movies. When he was still healthy enough to do so, he loved exercising, whether outdoors  in nature or indoor with his friends at the gym.  He never stopped entertaining friends and family with his humorous commentary on life.


Ira was buried in a a private ceremony on June 9. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, July 9, at 11 am, at the First Parish (Unitarian) Church of Groton, MA. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital . If you wish, you can specify that your donation go directly to glioblastoma research.

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