Sheldon L. Shubert, school psychologist, dies

Sheldon L. Shubert, a retired Baltimore County public school psychologist and avid bay sailor, died Oct. 5 of Alzheimer's disease at Gilchrist Hospice Care.

The longtime Cockeysville resident was 81.

Mr. Shubert was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. He yearned for adventure and was 17 when he dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Air Force in 1946.

While serving in the Air Force, he earned his General Educational Development certificate. During the time he was stationed at Carswell Air Force Base in Texas, Mr. Shubert met his future wife, Barbara "Bobbie" Stewart, a roller skating rink. The couple married in 1949.

While working with patients who suffered from emotional and psychological problems at a veterans hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, Mr. Shubert found his life's work.

He earned a bachelor's degree in 1958 in psychology from Texas Christian University, and a year later, a master's degree in psychology, also from TCU.

Mr. Shubert began working in 1958 as a psychologist for the Dallas County Juvenile Department, and three years later moved to Baltimore, where he began studying at the Johns Hopkins University for his Ph.D.

In 1961, he began working as a school psychologist for Baltimore County.

"I hired Sheldon by telephone. It was the only time I ever did that," said Charles J. Leiman, retired supervisor of psychologists for Baltimore County public schools, who lives in Towson.

"I had a recommendation from a fellow student at the University of Kentucky, where I had studied for my Ph.D. He called to say that he knew I was looking for someone and recommended Sheldon," said Dr. Leiman, who retired in 1978.

"He was a very good psychologist who worked very well with children, parents and teachers. He was a very diligent person and I thought a great deal of him as a psychologist," he said. "He was also well-regarded by his colleagues."

Patricia R. Turner, a longtime colleague and fellow sailor, retired from Baltimore County public schools in 1997.

"He was one of those who worked well with teenagers and high school kids. He had a lot of compassion for them," said Mrs. Turner, a Churchville resident. "He was funny and always telling jokes. He was very verbal."

"He loved his work and was passionate about helping students find their way emotionally and scholastically," said a daughter, Terry Lake of Rehoboth Beach, Del.

"He felt rewarded and delighted when he bumped into or heard from former students about their successful progression into their adult years," Mrs. Lake said. "He loved working with them and if I ran into them, they'd always say they were 'envious' because I had such a 'cool dad.' "

He had been an active member of the American Psychological Association.

Mr. Shubert had enjoyed sailing the Chesapeake Bay aboard the Four Winds, his 27-foot Catalina.

"He loved the thrill of the sport and the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay, whether it was on a short casual trip or on a longer cruise to one of his favorite destinations," Mrs. Lake said.

"We were sailing companions, and he was a very good sailor. He always got to where he was going, so I assume he was pretty good," she said, with a laugh.

Mrs. Turner recalled one day going hard aground on a shoal as a result of an outdated chart.

"He was right there with his halyard trying to pull us off," Mrs. Turner said.

Mr. Shubert also had a reputation as a "Mr. Fix-it."

"My dad could fix anything," said another daughter, Gloria Pease of Perry Hall. "He could fix and build just about anything. From carpentry to plumbing, from clocks to cars, he did it all."

Mrs. Shubert said if her husband didn't know how to fix something, "he'd get a book and teach himself how to."

Mr. Shubert enjoyed reading and traveling, and liked dining in fine restaurants. He also liked vacationing at a second home he owned in Rehoboth Beach and listening to jazz.

Services were private.

In addition to his wife of 61 years and two daughters, Mr. Shubert is survived by a brother, David Shubert of Allegany, N.Y.; a sister, Janice Derek of Palm Coast, Fla.; and three grandchildren.