Shirish K. Shah, chemistry professor

Shirish K. Shah, a retired chemistry professor and former Homeland resident, died Sunday of complications from dementia in Winter Springs, Fla. He was 75.

He was born and raised in Ahmedabad, India, and educated in Jesuit schools before moving to Ithaca, N.Y., in 1960, when he entered Cornell University. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1964 from Cornell in physics.


He then studied at the University of Delaware where he earned his Ph.D. in chemistry, and began his teaching career at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills.

It was during this time that Dr. Shah met and fell in love with Kathleen Long, who had been a nun. He converted to Catholicism, and they were married in 1972.


He became a U.S. citizen in 1974, family members said.

In 1979, the couple moved to Baltimore and later to a home on Purlington Way in Homeland.

During the next 34 years until retiring in 2013, Dr. Shah taught chemistry at Baltimore City Community College, Coppin State University and Notre Dame of Maryland University.

In addition to college students, he also taught nursing school students, law enforcement officers and firefighters. Additionally, he taught auto mechanics, drafting design and computer skills to prison inmates.

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At the time of his retirement, he was on the faculty of Morgan State University. He was a longtime active member of the Maryland Chapter of the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Shah, who moved to Orlando, Fla., in 2014, was a cricket fan and enjoyed watching Bollywood films.

Dr. Lawrence Shah of Winter Park, Fla., said his father sported typical professorial attire and favored ill-fitting pants, a corduroy blazer with elbow patches, and a "pocket protector full of unusable pens."

His wife died in 2007.


Dr. Shah donated his body to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and at his request, no services will be held.

His only survivor is his son.