Ronald Joseph “Joe” Schafer, 46, 7885 County Rd 426 M.5 Road, Gladstone, MI, passed away on Monday, April 13, 2015 at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
He was born on December 12, 1968 at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, son of Ronald M. and Sharon L. (Ollila) Schafer. Joe was raised in Gladstone and graduated from Gladstone High School in 1988. He furthered his education at Bay de Noc Community College and worked as a welder and electrician for Marinette Marine. He was a proud member of the Boilermaker’s Union.
On May 27, 1995, Joe married Marjorie Zuidema at All Saints Church in Gladstone, MI. This began his journey as a husband and father. He loved deer hunting in “God’s Country” and especially enjoyed sharing his experience with his daughters. He also loved fishing at his secret spot with his oldest daughter, Robin, sharing history facts and classic movies with Jesse, playing catch with Josie, and playing with dolls and painting nails with his baby, Gracie. His wife, Margie, was his best friend. They enjoyed the simple things in life like movie nights and bonfires. He loved traveling with his family to places like Disney World, Yellowstone National Park, Porcupine Mountains, Mackinac Island and Copper Harbor. He had an infectious laugh and a silly personality that kept his daughters giggling and asking for more. His smile was as big as Texas, as was his heart. He loved his family fully and unconditionally.
He was preceded in death by his father, Ronald Schafer and is survived by his wife, Marjorie; four daughters, Robin, Jesse, Josie and Gracelynn of Gladstone; mother, Sharon Schafer of Escanaba; brother, Tim Schafer of Escanaba; sisters, Patricia (Jim) Hankins of Sedalia, MO, Teresa (Bryan) Parks of Knob Noster, MO, Gail (David) Koehler of Knob Noster, MO, Susie (Marcus Massey) Palomo of Independence, MO, Sherry Schafer-Findley of Escanaba, Deborah (Larry) Schaub of Belle Fourche, SD; mother in law, Judy Zuidema of Escanaba; father in law, Mike (Denna) Zuidema of Escanaba; brothers and sisters in law, Andy (Jill) Zuidema of Campobello, SC, Jody (Paul) Meyers of Traverse City, MI, Jim Zuidema of Appleton, WI, Kile (Mary) Zuidema of Escanaba, Kelly (Rob) LaMarche of Escanaba and Mike Zuidema of Newberry, MI and was blessed with many nieces and nephews and a large extended family.
Visitation will be on Friday, April 17th from 2:30 from 6:30 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home in Escanaba. The funeral service will follow at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home with Deacon Terry Saunders officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family and a fund to assist with his daughter’s education will be established.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Schafer family.