Catholic 08

Donald John Schafer

May 30, 1926 ~ December 13, 2020 (age 94)


On Dec.13, 2020, Donald John Schafer, age 94, of Westphalia, crossed that threshold that divides time from eternity.  A plaque in Dad's living room tells what he meant to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It reads, "To the world you're a dad, to your children you're the world". Dad was born on May 30, 1926 in St. Johns, the son of Adam and Pauline (Martin) Schafer. On June 22, 1948, Dad married the love of his life, Geraldine (Cook) Schafer. Mom and Dad shared 70 beautiful years of marriage together until Mom passed away in 2019. 

Dad's Catholic faith always played an important roll in shaping his life. In the year 1982, Dad came to the realization that religion wasn't what made his life right with God. It was that year that he made a personal decision to surrender his life to Jesus Christ. From that time on he had a continual testimony to everyone he met as to what Christ had done in his life. Dad lived out his faith in word and deed. One of the deeds that resulted from Dad's new life in Christ was joining the Keryx prison ministry in Carson City. Dad's testimony of a new life in Christ had a positive influence on a good number of individuals serving time in the Carson City prison.  

Dad loved the village of Westphalia, especially the people. Dad and our Uncle Steve bought the establishment of Schafer's Restaurant from their father, our grandfather Adam Schafer. Dad's activity in the village included  being co-proprietor of Schafer's Restaurant, being a loyal active member of St. Mary's, an active member of the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Knights of Columbus, the fire department for 23 years, and city clerk for a number of years. Dad's social personality enabled him  at one time, to know everybody in Westphalia and many people in its surrounding towns. Dad was a proud veteran of the US Army, but always regretted that his service was cut short because of a visual impairment, while many of his friends were called overseas to action.

His family was his pride and joy, he enjoyed every moment he spent with them.

He loved to sing and play cards with his family! When time permitted he enjoyed his flower and vegetable gardening. Dad was always a big sports fan. Schafer's restaurant sponsored many softball teams, bowling teams, little league teams and others. Drawing to the end, his desire grew in anticipation of being with his heavenly father and hearing from Jesus those treasured words, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into your rest." We certainly will miss him. 

Preceding Donald in death are his parents; beloved wife, Geraldine Schafer; infant twin sons, Timothy and Thomas Schafer; daughter-in-law, Janet Schafer; infant granddaughter, Suzanne Schafer; brother, Stanley "Steve" Schafer; in-laws, Robert Pohl, Bernita (Leonard) Koenigsknecht, Elda (Leo) George, Rita (Joe) George, Norm Cook, and Rose (Joe) Schanski. Donald is survived by his 11 children, John Schafer, Roger (Rosanne) Schafer, Brenda (Larry) Hagedon, Randy (Kathy) Schafer, Karen Schafer, Duane (Kate) Schafer, Mike (Tammy) Schafer, Doug (Marilyn) Schafer, Marcia (Phil) Stump, Kevin Schafer, and Michelle (Anthony) Graziano; 49 grandchildren; 67 great-grandchildren; sisters, Marie Pohl, and Sr. Gladys De Paul Schafer; in-laws, Kate (Bill) Bushong and Joanne Cook; nieces Cheryl (Randy) Thelen, Sandy (John) Winans, Lynne (Kevin) Wieber; nephew, Dean (Ann) Pohl; and many other nieces and nephews through marriage.

A heartfelt thank you is given to Donald and Geraldine's wonderful neighbors, Scott and Sue Thelen for the care and friendship they have shown over the years.

Due to COVID-19 and for the safety and consideration of others, the family has chosen to keep the traditional burial service for Donald private. Arrangements are entrusted to Lehman Funeral Homes. Online condolences may be made at

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