Joel Ira Shulman

Joel Ira Shulman

Joel Ira Shulman was born on September 27, 1943 to Irv and Sylvia Shulman, and passed away Saturday, March 27 in Boynton Beach, Florida. He is remembered as an amazing and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, a caring friend, and a brilliant chemist.

Joel was born and raised in Washington D.C. and graduated as valedictorian from The George Washington University, where he met the love of his life, Ann Young Shulman. They moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he studied organic chemistry at Harvard University. They were married on July 4, 1966, and they had their first child, Elaine, in 1970. 

They remained in Cambridge until Joel earned a Ph.D., at which point they moved to Cincinnati, where he began working in research and development for Proctor & Gamble, and which they would consider their home for many years. They had their second child, Jeff, in 1972. 

Joel was passionate about a few things: his family, chemistry, and the Reds. He spent his entire first career at P&G, where he managed research throughout P&G, including being in charge of the technical aspects of the company’s decaffeinated instant coffee when it was first rolled out nationally, and leading teams that invented the first tartar control toothpaste and the first 2-in-1 shampoo.  He later became Director of External Affairs, where he was responsible for doctoral recruiting, university relations, interactions with government laboratories and technology acquisition.  

Upon his retirement from P&G in 2001, Joel knew he wasn’t done with chemistry, so he became an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati. Joel loved teaching his favorite science, and developed a class called “Life After Graduate School” that he taught at colleges around the country.  He was passionate about mentoring and incredibly committed to helping his students succeed.  In 2013, he received the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty award at UC. He was also an active participant in and named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.

Maybe the only topic that inspired more passion from Joel than chemistry was his beloved Reds. He actually grew up in Washington D.C. as a Reds fan, listening to their games on WLW. He could talk for hours about their lineup, pitching staff, and prospects, and he watched or listened to every game (even with the dreary results of the last decade).

Joel’s first love was his family; he was as committed as a husband, father, grandfather, and friend could be – known by everyone around him as an incredibly patient, caring, and all around kind human being. He was selfless with his time – coaching his kids’ teams, helping with homework, playing catch, shooting hoops, late night talks - always making himself available to family and friends. 

Joel is survived by his wife, Ann, his brother, Marc, his daughter Elaine Bucher (Andy), his son Jeff (Jodi), and his four grandchildren, Josh, Brooke, Justin, and Abby. 

Donations may be made in Joel’s memory to the American Heart Association or the charity of your choice.