In Honor of T.R. (Skip) Shieh

Whose Life made the world a better place with love, laughter and dance…..

Skip will be missed.


Celebrating The Life of T.R. (Skipper) Shieh

(Photos below ages 10-90)

TR Shieh - Portrait by decades

January 14, 2022

TR and Agnes Shieh - Married November 29, 1958Skip, as his friends called him, enjoyed life and lived well.  Born in Taipei, Taiwan on November 13, 1931, he grew up under the Japanese occupation of Taiwan with three brothers and two sisters. He spoke Taiwanese, Japanese, Mandarin, and some English by the time he arrived in the United States.

After he graduated college with an undergraduate degree and served two years in the Taiwanese army, he migrated to the United States in 1957 to attend the Illinois Institute of Technology for a PhD in Bio-Chemistry.

TR Shieh in conversationDuring this time, he met Agnes, who was attending the University of Kansas for her masters degree and was vacationing in Chicago.

They fell in love, she quit school, and they married on November 29, 1958.  That was the beginning of a 63-year long, happy marriage.

Skip, who passed on January 4, 2022, is survived by Agnes and their three children and spouses respectively:  Eileen and Gene, Julie and Bobby, and Eric and Chie.  They have eight grand-children: Gabrielle (31), Jordan (29), Noel (26), Kendall (25), Joelle (23), Juston (23), McKenna (18), and Caleb (14).

TR, Agnes with Eileen, Julie and Eric

Left to right: Eileen, Agnes, Eric, Skip, Julie.  Picture taken circa 1994.

Grandpa Skip, Grandma Agnes and grandkids

Left to right, front row: Gabrielle, Skip, Caleb, Agnes, McKenna, Back row: Noel, Kendall, Jordan, Juston, Joelle.  Picture taken June 2014.

For most of his career, Skip was the head of research at Sandoz Pharmaceutical’s lab in Bakersfield then Palo Alto, Ca. With several PhD’s working under him, he was responsible for the development of biodegradable insecticides; he developed insecticides that would not harm the environment.  He also worked with the World Health Organization, which included traveling to Africa to help eliminate the flies that transmitted the bacteria that caused blindness.

It was always important to Skip to “help society” as he put it.

Skip loved to grow things. Even as an 11 year old, during World War II when food was scarce in Taiwan, he would grow potatoes on the roof of his home to feed the rest of the family.

The flowers, bushes and trees in his yards and gardens always thrived under his care.  Skip also loved to raise fish; he built his own ponds.  In the first pond he built, he raised catfish.  Once the catfish grew to two feet, he caught it, and bopped it on the head!  He and Agnes invited friends over to have a feast!  He stocked the second pond he built when they moved to the San Francisco area with Koi.  In his later years, he sat by his pond daily to enjoy the beauty and outdoors.

TR Shieh sitting next to the first fish pond he built.

Skip sitting next to the first fish pond he built for raising catfish.

Skip and Agnes Shieh enjoy their fish pond.

Skip and Agnes enjoying their second pond with koi fish.

Skip loved music and dancing.  In their younger years, Skip and Agnes would win ballroom dancing contests such as a first place ribbon in a Tango dancing contest they won, held in a hotel when they were on vacation.  Skip sang childhood songs and taught them to his children when they were little.  He could play the harmonica, which he taught himself.  “Old Black Joe” and “Swanee River” were two favorites of his.

Skip used to say that singing brought deep happiness to a person, so you should sing whenever you can.  And that was Skip, he felt things very deeply no matter what emotion: love, sadness, compassion, laughter, anger and forgiveness.  He lived life to the fullest.

At get-togethers with his friends, he was the life of the party.  He told stories and made people laugh.  That’s why he would want people to think of him with love and fondness, to not be sad because he lived well, bringing a smile to many people’s faces.

He will be missed, but remembered with love and affection by those who loved him.

His Photo Album

In 1985, Skip decided to put together photo albums to organize his photos.  Below is the photo album pages of the first one he put together, highlighting the most important moments of his life with comments.

 Tributes From Lifelong Friends


If you would like to submit a comment, special thought, or personal message to Skip’s family, please fill in the form below.  Notes of sympathy already provided will be posted shortly.

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About Skip

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