Longtime SHEAR member William G. Shade passed away peacefully on June 17, 2018. He was the husband of Mary Lou Shade and the son of the late William S. Shade and Elaine (McMahon) Shade. Bill was born in Detroit and grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned his BA from Brown University in 1961 and a Master of Arts in teaching, also at Brown, the following year. After completing his Ph.D. from Wayne State University, Bill began his teaching career at Temple University and then joined the Lehigh University history department in 1966. There he served as Director of American Studies for a quarter century and helped establish Lehigh’s African American studies and Women’s history programs. Bill also taught at Lafayette College; the University of Virginia; the University of Ireland in Galway; University College Limerick, Ireland; the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; and the Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. A prolific author, editor, and Ph.D advisor, Bill’s works included Banks or No Banks, The Money Issue in Western Politics, 1832-1865 (1972); Our American Sisters: Women in American Life and Thought (1973); Seven on Black: Reflections on the Negro Experience in America (1969); and Before the Molly Maguires: The Emergence of the Ethno-Religious Factor in the Politics of the Lower Anthracite Region, 1844-1872 (1976). Bill’s best-known work, Democratizing the Old Dominion: Virginia and the Second Party System, 1824-1861 (1996), won the Organization of American Historian’s Avery Craven Prize. Bill served on SHEAR’s Advisory Council from 1999-2001. He was also an avid jazz fan and world traveler who was very proud of the achievements of his children and grandchildren. He will be remembered with love by his wife of 56 years Mary Lou, his daughter Alexandra Shade Newell and son-in-law Robert Newell of Saucon Valley, Pennsylvania, his son Christopher Shade, Ph.D. and daughter-in-law Nadine Shade of Erie, Colorado, and his grandsons Aidan Newell, Jackson Newell, Thomas Shade and Pierre Shade.
Bill’s oral history, conducted by Michael Birkner in 2014, offers revealing insights into the historical profession and may be found here.
Bill’s obituary may be found here.