John Schafer

SKCM (Ret) John W. Schafer, Jr., took his last breath and ran into the arms of Jesus on Friday, April 12, surrounded by those he loved at the V.A. Medical Center – Lake Nona, Orlando, FL.

Jack was well known in Goose Creek, South Carolina for coaching softball and football at the Naval Weapons Station. He was actively involved with church and the youth group for his kids. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, and his annual lasagna dinners became famous in the tri-county area where the proceeds would benefit Operation HOPE. Jack and his wife, Sheila made their final home in Osteen, Florida, where they remained active in the community and continued the tradition of annual lasagna dinners.

Jack lived a life of love. He loved to dance and sing. He never met a craps table he didn’t like (unless he lost). He was happiest when he was feeding the masses, and surrounded by family and friends. He was so proud and supportive of his children and grandchildren, always ready with a hug, ice cream money, and a life plan for them. He was a loving and kind husband, who shared the household duties with his wife except for fixing things – he paid someone for that.

Born in Camden, New Jersey to John and Ruth (Hughes) Schafer, he was raised in Philadelphia, PA and Pennsauken, NJ.

After high school graduation in 1960, Jack enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served for the next 30 years. He was able to visit all seven continents, and he served with the Naval Construction Battalion (SeaBees) twice getting to take part in the development of Diego Garcia. He served as the COB (Chief of Boat) of the USS Von Steuben SSBN 632, served on the USS Holland, and retired as the Command Master Chief of the Atlantic Fleet Integrated Logistics Overhaul – Charleston.

It was during his time in the Navy that he met his beautiful bride, Sheila (Foley) in Rhode Island. They were married in June 1964. At that time, Sheila told him the contract would last 60 years, and they could renegotiate terms. Jack, concerned about the new terms, decided to breach the contract at 59 years and 10 months.

He leaves behind: wife, Sheila, son, John (Eva) Schafer, daughters, Mary (Jerry) Driskel, Deborah (Jerry) Hilbourn, and Kate (Nate) Barnes. Grandchildren: Jeff (Tarin) Driskel, Jason (Erin) Driskel, Ryan (Bryce) Gulledge, Jay (Tori) Hilbourn, Daniel Hilbourn, P.J. Barnes, and Maura Hilbourn. Great-grandchildren: Jensen, Jrue, and Jace Driskel. Brothers: Bob (Bonnie) Schafer and TeeDee (Denise) Schafer. Uncle: Darryl Hughes, Sister-in-Law; Mary Lou Bergeron, Brother-in-Law; Tom Foley. Nieces and nephews: (His J.A.C.K. girls) – Karen, Connie, Jean, Andrea, Tony, Mary, Rob, Tim, Lisa, Doug, Kristy, Sean, Kimberly, and Jeremy. 29 great-nieces and nephews; and 10 great-great-nieces and nephews. Many dear friends who were like family. He was predeceased by his parents, brother, Edward, mother-in-law, Josephine Foley and father-in-law, John Foley. Sisters-in-Law, Margaret Russell, Lonnie Foley, and Cindy Schafer and Brothers-in-Law, Lucien Bergeron and Norman Russell, and nephew, Gerry Bergeron.

Jack’s family asks in lieu of flowers or gifts to please make a donation to a charity of your own choosing. Thank you.

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