Rev. Dr. Gale F. Schafer, of Watertown, WI, passed away on Sunday May 12, 2013, at 99 years of age. He was born in Peoria, IL, and lived in that area for many years. He became a long-time resident of Jefferson and Watertown. He was the founding pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Jefferson, remaining there for fourteen years. Years after his retirement, he returned to that church as a member until the present time. During his first two years in Jefferson he was also employed at the Schweiger Furniture Factory. For two years he was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown. He taught at Maranatha Baptist Bible College for five years and in 1971 they awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree.
Due to his outgoing nature, he never knew a stranger. He enjoyed speaking with and counseling persons who found themselves in jail. For many years he had weekly broadcasts on several Wisconsin radio stations. He enjoyed trying to help people in all stages of their lives and was always willing to perform graveside services for those who died without family or means.
Many will remember him for his sense of humor. Some of his interests outside his church work were sports-related. While that included most sports, he was most known as a loyal New York Yankees and Chicago Bears fan. He was also an avid hunter and fisherman. All game he hunted and caught meant food for his family and they fondly called him "the Great White Hunter."
He was preceded in death by his entire family; his father Fred, his mother Ida, his sister Juanita, and two brothers, Dean and Kenneth. He is also preceded by his son Keith Schafer who lived in Peoria, IL.
He is survived by his wife Mildred of 76 years. They had five children; Arlene(Charles) Peterson of Seattle, WA., Larry(Diane) Schafer of Watertown, WI., Darrel Schafer of Watertown, WI., and Marcia(Dave) Ramey of Fate, TX., nine grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.
All will miss his playful spirit, jokes, and work ethic. Above all, we will remember him for his love of God, his savior, and his willingness to serve Him wherever he went.
Those wishing to express their sympathy with a memorial may consider Calvary Baptist Church in Jefferson or Heritage Homes in Watertown.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday May 15, 2013 at Calvary Baptist Church in Jefferson. Visitation will be held from 9:30 AM until the time of the service on Wednesday at the church. Burial will be in Pleasant Grove Mennonite Cemetery in Morton, IL. On Thursday May 16, 2013, at 12:00 Noon.
Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home is caring for the family. On-line condolences may be made at www.pn-fh.com