Elvin Shafer, 90 of St. Louis, MO formally of Washington, IA died Friday, December 14, 2012 at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. Louis, MO.
Services have been set for 10:00 AM, Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at the Beatty Funeral Home in Washington with Pastor Jim Bringman officiating. Burial will follow at the English River Cemetery west of Kinross with military honors. Visitiation will begin at Noon Tuesday at the Funeral Home with family present from 4-7:00. Memorials in the name of Elvin Shafer may be designated to USO of Missouri.
Elvin was born in Kinross on September 19, 1922 to Earl H. Shafer and Hazel A. (Wagamon) Shafer. He graduated from Kinross High School in 1940. Farming was his way of life (especially raising 3000 turkeys) until he was called to duty in the Army via World War II where he became a Sergeant for the infantry. Being on the front lines, he was wounded twice in Italy receiving the Purple Heart with an oak leaf cluster. He was medically discharged on October 23, 1945. Wedding bells were heard on November 21, 1945 when he married Mary Louis Fitzsimmons daughter of A.I. and Nina Fitzsimmons. From this union they had a daughter, Deborah Ann Goldsmith, wife of James L. Goldsmith, of Florissant, MO, and two grandchildren, Joseph and Wanda.
Other survivors include his brother, Wilbur and his wife Phyllis of Arkansas, nieces and nephews as well as great-nieces and nephews.
He was a member of the First Christian Church in Washington, Iowa, VFW of Iowa, and a former Mason.
Besides being a farmer, he was a plumber with his uncle “Coonie” Palmer; a bus driver for the Kinross Public Schools for 20 years where he acquired the name of “Dutch” from the kids; he had a hand in taking care of the 4th of July fireworks at Kinross’s celebrations; worked for Keokuk County for 20 years as a maintainer operator before retiring and moving to Washington, Iowa in 1987. After moving to Washington, he and Mary volunteered their time for many years at the Adult Day Care Center, going to nursing homes to visit and for Mary to play the piano for the residents. He helped may in and around his area by taking them to the doctor or getting groceries for them.
Due to his injuries in the war, he became an entreprenaur by making rugs, thus, “Rags to Riches” was the theme of the business. His rugs became quite known while he was living at Kinross and then when he and Mary moved to Washington.
It was always planned that if Mary went home to be with the Lord first, he would come live with Debbie, Jim, Joey and Wanda. This happened on May 15, 2007 where he made Florissant, MO his home. Just like he made friends in Iowa, it carried over to wherever he went in Florissant. Debbie would take him to Senior Dining in Bridgeton, Mo on Wednesdays and Fridays for lunch where one year he was voted King Valentine; he would draw many to his table to hear about his life, stories and jokes; he’d take off in his scooter and head to “Heavenly Donut” near the house until it burnt and then to “Our Place” that was also close by where he’d always get his two eggs over easy, bacon, toast and soda; with the weather being good, he’d stop and watch the kids playing little league baseball on his way home after eating; he’d also take trips in his scooter to Schucks, Dollar General and Walgreens two miles down the road. He was the adventurer.
It wasn’t until February of this year, 2012, that things went south for him physically. He changed his residence to Crystal Creek Nursing Home for six months before getting the call to be admitted to the Missouri Veterans Home where he breathed his last.
He will be deeply missed by all who knew him over these 90 years, but not forgotten.
Preceding him in death are his parents, wife, Mary, September 4, 2006, one niece, one nephew, brothers and sisters-in-law.