Dr. John K. Schaefer, D.D.S., 99, of Sandusky, passed away early Tuesday morning, June 8, 2021, at Firelands Regional Medical Center, Main Campus, Sandusky.
Born on March 14, 1922, in Sandusky, OH the son of William Anthony and Axelene (White) Schafer, Sr.. He attended St. Mary's Grade School and went on to graduate from Sandusky High School in 1940. Dr. Schaefer graduated from Toledo University with his Pre-Med Degree and went on to Loyola University of Chicago, where he received his D.D.S. Degree (Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree) in 1951.
Prior to that, Dr. Schaefer had served honorably in the U.S. Army Air Corp. (enlisted 1942-1945) with the 919th Signal Company 9th Air Force (in France 1944-1945 and had seen ground combat action in the Rhineland) he had received the EAME Theatre Ribbon with 2 Bronze Stars. He had also received certification as a Sub-Machine Gunner Expert, and was a recipient of the AAF Tech Badge with Teletype Bar, American Theatre Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Having served as a radio repeaterman (wire and radio communications) while in the service, he had attended schooling at the Military Signal Corp., AT & T Long Lines Division (and various schools for two years), the AT & T Repeator School, in Dayton, OH, the signal Corp. Camp Crowder, the Missouri Military, and also schools in Sioux City, Iowa, Boise, Idaho, New York, New York and Fresno, California. He took the Queen Mary ship to England after training and while stationed in England he saw many buzz bombs hit London and one almost hit a water tower just 50 feet from him but passed and hit a building just one block from him, he said, he will never forget seeing that and how he also saw 1,000 bombers at a time fly everyday to Germany and back, an unforgettable sight. He remembered they blocked out the sun while passing overhead. He often said he will never forget the sound of buzz bombs which were nothing like he had ever heard before in all of his travels. Later he was sent to France, where he fought at the Battle of the Bulge, but also got to visit Paris, Brussels, Cambrai, Reims and Belgium. He always felt very lucky to be in Paris when Germany surrendered, it was an amazing day in his life. When the war ended he was on the first ship back to the USA and he expected to be sent to the Pacific War next, that war was still very active and needed more soldiers. His ship had communications units in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. He was told the Army would need the signal company as soon as Japan was invaded with ground troops and resulted in him being the first unit to leave Europe for reassignment. He eventually made it home.
In 1951, he started his career in Dentistry, and for 57 years he had practiced in the Sandusky area. From 1951 to 1968 (18 years) , his practice was in the Tom and Emmett Murray Building and he later moved his practice to Columbus Avenue which was started as a Dental Practice by Dr. George Heiler in the late thirties. In 1988, he was joined by his son, Dr. Peter, into the practice. Dr. Schaefer had practiced up to the age of 87.
He was a member of St. Peter Catholic Church (Huron), a supporter of the Buckeye State Sheriff Association, a Past President of the North Central Ohio Dental Society, Past Editor of the Lookout Power Squadron (1952-1954), life member of the VFW Post #2529, life member of the AMVETS Post #17, life member of the American Legion Post #83, life member of the 3rd and 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Council #546, life member of Guild of Saint Appollonia, life member of Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity Beta Chapter, life member of the American Dental Association, a member of the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners, member of the National Rifle Association, member of Area Maritime Association, a former member of the Sandusky Yacht Club, the Sandusky Sailing Club, Sandusky Power Squadron, and the Jockey Club. Dr. Schaefer had also been Past Chairman of the St. Mary's High School Band Uniform drive in 1967 and he was able to provide uniforms for the entire Band from this successful drive.
He is survived by his children, John Gary (Deborah) Schaefer CLU ChFC PhD, Paul J. (Charmaine) Schaefer, Dr. Peter L. Schaefer D.D.S., and Thomas G. (LaDonna) Schaefer; his grandchildren, Tamara K. (Todd) Schaefer-McPeek, Jennifer L. (Adam) Schaefer-Pribanic, Neal (Lydia) Schaefer, Jessica (Alex) Schaefer-Duncan, John R. (Angela) Schaefer, Patricia (Tim) Schaefer-Melton, Crystal Schaefer, Cory Schaefer, Nathan Schaefer, Natalie (Nate) Schaefer-McVicker, Nina Schaefer, Carson Schaefer, Paige Schaefer, and Carter Schaefer; his great-grandchildren, Toddy and Taylor McPeek, Thea Schaefer, Willow Schaefer, Ivy Duncan, Dean Duncan, Abigail (Dr. Eric) Pribanic-Geiselhart, Jacob Pribanic, Esme McVicker, Kendal and Myles Melton; sister, Kathleen (Paul/dec.) Wiesler; and his nieces and nephews.
Dr. Schaefer was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 65 years, Esther M. "Pat" (Haubert) Schaefer RN on June 4, 2013; his two daughters, Cindy Lou Schaefer and Christine Marie (Schaefer) Vodicka BSNRN; his two sons, Joseph P. Schaefer CLU ChFC and Reid R. (Gina/sur.) Schaefer; a sister, Mary Jean (Ray) Schaefer-Jordan; and two brothers, William A. (Gladys) Schaefer, Jr. and Robert W. (JoAnne) Schaefer.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, from 4-6 pm at the David F. Koch Funeral and Cremation Services, 520 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for him on Thursday morning, June 17, 2021, at 10:30 am at St. Peter Catholic Church, 430 Main Street, Huron, OH. Fr. Jeffrey McBeth officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Sandusky. Military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Post # 83 and the V.F.W. Post # 2529 Color Guard.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made in his memory to Back to the Wild, P.O. Box 423, Castalia, OH 44824.
Your memories and words of comfort may be shared with Dr. Schaefer's family at davidfkoch.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Kenneth Schaefer, please visit our floral store.