Shelby Jacob Schafer, 99, of Micco, Florida, died in Indianapolis on February 10, 2020. Shelby was born in Huntingburg, Indiana on December 11, 1920 to the late Opha May (Ferguson) and Jacob Phillip Schafer.
He graduated from Huntingburg High School in 1939. In 1942, Shelby joined the United States Army. He served as an Army Ranger in World War II, spending much of his service time in the south Pacific. In February, 1945, he was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement. After 49 months, he returned to the States. He frequently commented that he became a man in those years. His parents didn’t recognize him when they saw him in the bus station in Indianapolis.
He married Betty Boehm and together they moved to South Bend, where Shelby attended the University Of Notre Dame. After graduation in 1949 he began selling farm equipment. He and Betty moved to Richmond, Virginia, where they adopted their daughter, Shelby. Later the family moved to Evansville, Indiana. Their daughter Catherine was adopted in Evansville Indiana.
Shelby married Marian Stoelker in 1975. Moving every few years they finally were able to settle in Micco Florida in 1992. When Marian’s health began to fail Shelby cared for her himself, eventually she was placed into a nursing home where he visited her almost every day until her death in 2014.
Shelby traveled extensively, especially with Marian. They visited every state, and every continent except Antarctica. They made life-long friends everywhere they went. Shelby leaves friends from throughout his life, including those from his final years in Micco Florida and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Shelby is survived by his daughters Shelby Peckinpaugh (Doug) of Micco, FL and Catherine Schutte (Steve) of Indianapolis, IN Step-daughter Barb Hassey (Jim) of Orlando, FL and step-son Rich Rowe of Micco, FL, Granddaughters Brandy Kirkman (Eric), Kate Luebbehusen (Adam), and Clare Schutte all of Indianapolis, IN
Grandson John McCully of Boonville IN. Great-Granddaughter; Emma Kirkman, Great-Grandsons Aaron McCully, John McCully and Asa McCully.
He was preceded in death by Grandsons Andrew Schutte and Kiel McCully.
Friends and family will gather in Lauck and Veldhof Funeral Home, 1458 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, on Friday, February 14, from 3:00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. Burial with Military Honors at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 313 N. Washington Street, Huntingburg, Indiana, on Saturday, February 15, at 11:00 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
To send flowers to Shelby's family, please visit our floral section.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105