On January 28, 2023, Gerald Stephen Schaefer passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 86 years old. A native of Iowa, Gerald was born on the family farm December 27, 1936, in Lacona, Iowa and was the youngest of seven siblings.
Gerald was a graduate of Lacona High School class of 1954 where was a star athlete, soon after he voluntarily and faithfully went to serve his country in the American Armed Forces, Army Division. He was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and a Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar before being Honorably Discharged after his service time. He decided to enter College on the GI Bill when he was 38 years old all the while working full time on the evening shift at Armstrong Tire and Rubber before graduating at 42 years old and being on the Dean’s List for his good grades. An immensely proud moment for us all. He did this because he wanted to know he could, and he did! This showed the work ethic he had to all his family and friends. He was very well read and loved his New York Time crossword (which he did in pen), his word finds (later years) and the tv show jeopardy in which he usually answered the correct response to the tv before the contestants did. He was an avid sports fan who enjoyed watching the Chicago Bears and KC Royals.
Gerald spent nearly 59 years married to Jane M. Schaefer who preceded him in death in 2021. He was an active and well-loved member of St. Augustine Parish in Des Moines, Iowa. In 2009, Gerald and Jane made a second home in Lee’s Summit, Missouri where they joined St. Mark’s Catholic Church. He was the father of 4 children, 12 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandson.
Gerald enjoyed his family and his bride whom he nicknamed “Sunshine.” He and Jane worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for their kids. He always made time for everyone and especially his children and family. He was more than happy to offer advice or give a helping hand to others. Gerald was a quiet and loving man who was always there for his family. He was a great husband and father, had a strong work ethic, loyal to friends and family, and was a very honest individual, once returning to the grocery store to give back some over paid “change” to the register person so they wouldn’t have a short drawer at work. Through him, we know what a quiet and very strong role model looks like.
Gerald was preceded in death by his wife, Jane M. Schaefer; parents, Stephen F. and Bertha A. Schaefer; brothers, Edward, Ferman, Vincent, Donald, David; sister, Bernice Rowson; and Grandson Andrew Martinez.
Gerald is survived by his 4 children, Lisa Frasier (Jim), Gerald “Jerry” Schaefer Jr (Janice), Lynn Manson (Brian Hunter), and Leslie Martinez (Mike); 11 grandchildren,Andrea, Ashley, Amanda, Angela, Jeremy, Jacob, Cole, Laura, Christina, David, Derek, and 8 great-grandchildren,Lydia, Emma, Filip, Spencer, Cooper, Keegan, Carter, Sophia, and 1 great-great grandson Miles, along with many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A private family service and burial will take place in late Spring where he will be together again with his Sunshine, Jane at Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery 34024 Veterans Memorial Drive, Adel, Iowa 50003. Arrangements have been entrusted to Meyers Funeral Chapel in Blue Springs. Memories of Gerald and words of comfort for his family may be shared at meyersfuneralchapel.com