Sept. 20, 1931 - Oct. 16, 2011
LAFAYETTE, Indiana -- John Charles Shafer, 80, of Kentland, died at 7:27 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, at Franciscan St. Elizabeth East in Lafayette, Indiana.
He was born Sept. 20, 1931 in Edison, Nebraska to the late George A. and Eva (Lewis) Shafer. John attended the New Era and Farmers Elementary Schools, near Edison. He graduated from Edison High School with the class of 1949. He then went one year to Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney, Nebraska (now Kearney State College) where he took pre-engineering courses.
While attending that school, he received a principle appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He entered that institution of higher learning on July 5, 1950 and graduated on June 8, 1954.
Following graduation from West Point, John began a career with the United States Army that spanned over 22 ½ years. His duty stations included Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Still, Oklahoma; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Korea; Fort Hood, Texas; The Pentagon; Vietnam and Turkey.
He received additional schooling, during this period, at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles (where he received a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1963) and the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia. While in California, John also taught mathematics and physics at the Electronic Technical Institute in Inglewood, California.
While at Fort Still, John met and married Bethel Marie Bell at Sayre, Oklahoma on June 16, 1957. John and Beth are the parents of one son, John Charles Shafer Jr. (born in 1966) and the legal guardians of Nickolaus Lee MacManus (born in 1979.)
Following retirement from the Army on Dec. 31, 1976, John worked for Litton Industries, in Washington D.C. area, as an Operational Research Analyst; for Consolidated Aluminum, at New Johnsonville, Tennessee, as a Plant Engineer; and for Capitol Products Corporation, in Kentland, Indiana as a Plant Engineer. He continued to live in Kentland after leaving Capitol Products on Aug. 31, 1986. While in Kentland, he was an active member of the Kentland Rotary Club. He was a lifetime member of the West Point Alumni Association, the Retired Officers Association and the American Legion of Hayes Center, Nebraska. He was the Veterans Service Officer in Newton County for 20 years.
John was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Kentland; Monument Lodge No. 293 in Arapahoe, Nebraska; the Scottish Rite Consistory in Nashville, Tennessee; El Menah Shrine Temple of Nashville; and Disabled American Veterans. John was awarded the Legion of Merit Award.
Surviving with his wife is a son, John Charles Shafer Jr. of Rensselaer and Nickolaus Lee MacManus, of Colorado, whom they became the legal guardians of. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Chelsea of Lafayette, Paige, Hollison, Dalton and Jack all of Rensselaer, a niece Rita (husband: Allen) Erickson of Hayes Center, Nebraska and a nephew, Gerry Lee Shafer of Denver, Colorado. He was preceded in death by six brothers, Leland, Bobby, Kenneth, Gerald, Jim and Keith.
Friends may call from 3 p.m. until the time of memorial service at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 at Stitz-Clapper Funeral Home of Kentland, Indiana. Memorial donations may be made in his name to Jefferson Township Community Fund.
Visitation will be Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, from 3 - 5 p.m. at Stitz-Clapper Funeral Home in Kentland.
Memorial service will be Thursday at 5 p.m. at Stitz-Clapper Funeral Home in Kentland.