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George Aron Shirn


George Aron Shirn, 90, of South Hamilton, beloved husband of Lula Belle (Everidge) Shirn, went home to God on November 20, 2011 following a brief illness.

He was born on June 30, 1921 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  His parents, the late Aaron Shirn (Sharbatjian) and Victoria (Garagosian) Shirn were survivors of the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century.  Dr. Shirn graduated from trade school in 1939.  He joined the US Navy in 1941 and served aboard the USS Texas in North Africa during WWII.  He qualified for the military V-12 education program and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in electrical engineering in 1946.   After working for General Electric Company in Schenectady, NY, he entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, graduating with a PhD in physics in 1954. He worked as a research physicist for Sprague Electric Co. in North Adams, where his research centered on capacitors and electronic components, some of which were sent into space in the early NASA launches.  At the time of his retirement in 1986 he held fourteen patents and was the author of thirty scientific papers.  He served as adjunct professor of physics at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.  Dr. and Mrs. Shirn lived in Williamstown, for 53 years before moving to South Hamilton to be near their family.  He was a man of many talents and interests, including gardening, photography, reading anything in print, computers, finding bargains, fixing anything broken, classical music, home maintenance, and humor.  For many years he collected jokes and edited a weekly email, “The Monday Morning Cheer”, which he sent to a long list of family and friends.  He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Essex. 

In addition to his wife of sixty-five years, he is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, C. Victoria and George R. Harvey of Essex, and Martha Barrett-Smith and Richard E. Smith of Pelham, NH.  He was immensely proud of his four grandchildren, Aaron Lee Harvey of Valley Village, CA, John E. Barrett, Esq. of Falls Church, VA, Dr. Mary M. Barrett of Albany, NY, and Kathleen V. Barrett of Boston.  He is also survived by his sister, Kathryn (Shirn) Peet, and brother-in-law, Dr. Thomas Peet of Victoria, BC as well as his niece, Karen Peet-Hawksworth and her husband, Ray Hawksworth, also of Victoria.  He was predeceased by a brother, John H. Shirn of San Antonio, TX. 

His memorial service will be held on Friday, December 23 at 11:00 a.m. in the First Congregational Church of Essex. Friends and family are welcome to a celebration of his extraordinary life.  Memorial contributions may be made to the First Congregational Church of Essex, 39 Main Street, Essex, MA 01929.

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