CHESTERVILLE — Garry J. Shaffer, a lifelong resident of Chesterville, passed away Friday evening, June 21, 2013, surrounded by his loving family at the Riverside Methodist Hospital, following an unexplained month long illness. He was 58 years old.
On Oct. 28, 1954, Garry was born at Mercy Hospital in Mount Vernon, Ohio, the youngest of three children of the late Raymond and Dessie (Durbin) Shaffer. He graduated from Highland High School in the Class of 1973, where he enjoyed participating in FFA. During his senior year in high school, Garry began working at Burkey’s Butcher Shop in Mount Gilead. He butchered for over 15 years, also working at D.J.’s in Fredericktown and Hoffman’s in Marengo.
In the mid-1980s, Garry was given an opportunity to follow his dream of becoming a farmer by his neighbor, John Kelly. He helped to manage his local farm, until he was needed by his father and brother, joining them at their family farm. He was proud to carry on his family’s tradition of farming, and even more so when his own children decided to help him and follow in his passion of farming. Farming was his true life’s passion.
Always making sure his family was taken care of, in addition to farming, Garry drove school bus for Highland Local Schools for over 20 years until the present. He also served as a Chester Township Trustee for a term.
Getting a second chance at love, Garry met his wife-to-be, Nancy Dauchy, in February 1990. He made her laugh until her cheeks hurt, and they quickly knew they were meant for each other. They were married July 7, 1990, and their families blended together in a beautiful way. They cherished their nearly 23 years of marriage.
There was only one thing more important to Garry than farming — his family. He loved to be surrounded by his family and climbed on by his grandchildren, as if he was their jungle gym. They shared many special things together, one of their favorites was Friday night pizza night. They also enjoyed playing cards, watching OSU basketball, Jeopardy, and RFD TV together.
Although Garry was intimidating to people upon first meeting him, it didn’t take you very long to realize he wasn’t scary at all, rather he was a gentle giant, a teddy bear, with a huge heart. He was a kind, generous and compassionate man, who would do anything for anyone.
A very positive person, Garry always believed if you wanted something bad enough, you could achieve anything you set your mind to.
Garry will forever be missed by his beloved wife, Nancy Shaffer; four children, Anthony (Sarah) Shaffer, Jeff (Christina) Shaffer, Melissa (Paul) Levings, all of Chesterville, Meg (Tim) Ruch of Doylestown; seven grandchildren, Logan, Layton and Lincoln Shaffer, Lydia and Kasen Shaffer, Jacob Levings, Grace Ruch, and soon to be born, baby Nathanial Ruch; a sister, Mary Kay (Gary) Sharp of Chesterville; a sister-in-law, Sandy Shaffer of Mansfield; several nieces and nephews, as well as many lifelong friends.
Including his parents, Garry was preceded in death by his brother, Frank Shaffer.
The Shaffer family will greet friends Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life will also be held there Wednesday at 11 a.m., with Chaplain Eric Neimeyer officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery in Chesterville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Garry J. Shaffer Scholarship Fund, and they may be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Garry’s family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.