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Obituary: Charles Baird Shakespeare

Charles Baird Shakespeare was born in Philadelphia on September 15, 1930. He was the first baby born at Pennsylvania Hospital, where his father Edward Oram Shakespeare was one of the architects. He died on Saturday, January 21 at Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice in Mount Holly of Multiple Myeloma.

Shakespeare attended elementary schools at Episcopal Academy and Penn Wynn, and attended Lower Merion High School graduating in 1949. He used all of his after school earnings to take flight lessons. He attended Lehigh University and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1953. He was in the AFROTC at Lehigh University and joined the U.S. Air Force upon graduation. Shakespeare was a pilot and was stationed in Munich, Germany for two years. He flew the A-26 and was in a tow target squadron.

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After his military service, he accepted a position with the Boeing Co., where he grew to a senior engineering management position. Shakespeare later consulted with geometric data, a division of Smith-Kline. During his time at Smith-Kline he became the director of engineering, where he participated in the design of automated differential blood cell analyzers. After leaving Smith-Kline, Shakespeare was the founder of Segis Medical Systems in Mount Laurel, which pioneered the development of Halter Monitoring Systems.

From 1987 to 1993 Charles consulted with the Interspec Corporation, where he participated in the design of medical ultrasound imaging devices. From April 1994 to December 2009, Charles was the director of engineering at Spectrasonics Imaging in Wayne, Pa., where he was involved in the development, design and manufacturing of diagnostic and therapeutic medical ultrasound systems. Although he never completely retired, this was his last full time position.

His biggest passion was soaring at Beltzville, Pa., as he was an avid soaring pilot since his Air Force days. He also played the tuba and was a member of the Moorestown Community Band, “Bob’s Bandits.” He especially enjoyed playing in the Tuba Christmas Concert at the Kimmel Center.

Additionally, Shakespeare was a skilled craftsman and made beautiful pieces of furniture for his home. He was always an avid advocate for social justice and participated actively throughout his life in many events. He was an enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Moorestown Democratic Committee for many years until his illness nine months ago.

Shakespeare was married to his first wife Jane who preceded him in death. Charles married Kathleen in 1981, celebrating 37 years on Monday, January 2. His beloved wife Kathleen, his daughter Hannah and sons, Joseph (Ashley) and Matthew survive him. His grandchildren Sebastian and Nataly, and his brother-in-law, Richard Montgomery also survive him. His brother, Edward and his sister, Elizabeth Montgomery, preceded him in death.

Family and friends are invited to attend his visitation on Saturday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Mount Laurel Home for Funerals, located at 212 Ark Road in Mount Laurel. A memorial celebration of Shakespeare’s life will start at 11 a.m.

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