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Will Shulman

William N. Shulman was born in Manhattan, New York, on February 20, 1917, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants Fannie Selsky and Louis Shulman, proprietor of a barber shop. He died on November 17, 1991 in Livingston, New Jersey. Will married Sophia Ann “Gerry” Neiwirth in 1943; she was born March 4, 1910, and died July 29, 2008 (age 98) in West Orange, New Jersey.

In 1940, while Will was attending Arizona State Teachers College (now Arizona State University in Tempe) he became engaged to Caroline Sudfelds -- listed on his draft registration under “next of kin” as “fiance.” This relationship must have ended when he received his BA Degree and left to attend Columbia University. In 1940-1942, Gerry was living with Leo Neiwirth, a lawyer listed as her “partner,” both unmarried, in Newark where she was working as a public school “recreation” teacher. Leo was probably a younger brother with whom she shared the rent. Leo enlisted in the Army in 1942, as did Will, who around that time had met Gerry, and they were married in 1943. Will served two and a half years in the 97th Infantry, as a Medic.

After his discharge Will and Gerry settled in Newark, New Jersey, where he taught High School English and she taught physical education; she had obtained her B.S. degree from Rutgers and a Master's Degree from New York University. They were a duo, always going places together, always dressing alike in outfits that Gerry herself fashioned. In addition to their vast micromount collection, they were also big collectors of fluorescent minerals. The fireplace in their collection room had large split rocks that were matched precisely on each side; Will delighted in showing people the fireplace in natural light, then flip on the overhead ultraviolet lights to hear the “Wows.”

Micromounters Hall of Fame notes:

William ("Will") Shulman was educated through Junior College in New Jersey and received his BA degree from Arizona State College. In 1943 he left his post-graduate studies at Columbia University to enter the US Army, serving two and a half years. Then he began a career as a senior high school English teacher. During this time he became increasingly interested in nature, including minerals. He and his wife Gerry began a camping and canoeing odyssey which ultimately covered every state in the United States and all of the provinces of Canada. They met and visited with many persons who were also interested in minerals and/or nature. In so doing they crossed North America twenty-six times! He corresponded and exchanged minerals with collectors and institutions world-wide. Many foreign visitors were welcomed to his home, where he and Gerry had established and maintained a small wildlife sanctuary in their yard, and a mineral museum in their home which included 6,000 micromounts. A past president (1985) of the New York Mineralogical Club and a fixture at the Baltimore Micromount Symposia, Will was an active member of several mineral organizations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He authored many articles on minerals for publications including Rocks & Mineralsand the Mineralogical Record. A prolific mineral exhibitor and lecturer, he was much sought after by colleges, museums, mineral shows and clubs. He and Gerry established a micromounting group called "the Peregrine's Nest" which met weekly at their home until his death. He was proud of the fact that all of his minerals were acquired through self-collecting or trading; none had been purchased. Will was well known for sharing has knowledge and uncounted numbers of his duplicate mineral specimens, especially for helping new-comers to the hobby. He was inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame in 1994.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Will Shulman
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