Cover photo for Robert Schafer's Obituary
Robert Schafer Profile Photo
Robert

Robert Schafer

d. September 11, 2011

Robert Roy Schafer was born on September 29th, 1917 in Inverness, MT to Jacob and Mary Schafer. Later, the family moved to Cavalier, ND where they settled. Bob, or “The Professor,” as he was known, graduated from Cavalier High School and worked for Salaba Drug Store until he left for employment in the defense plants in Burbank, CA. In the spring of 1941, Bob went to serve proudly and bravely in WWII with the 29th Infantry. He was wounded in St. Lo, France, was in the second wave that hit Omaha Beach, and was wounded again at the Battle of the Bulge in Germany. Bob returned home a highly decorated veteran and hero, having earned 2 Purple Hearts with an Oak Leaf Cluster, a Bronze Star for bravery, and a Silver Medal for heroic action, an Occupational Medal, a Combat Infantry Badge, a Good Conduct American Badge, and a Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. On November 29th, 1946, Bob married the love of his life, Betty Elaine Briggs, at Apple Blossom Time in Crookston, MN. In 1950, the couple relocated to Mandan, ND where they built their lifelong home and Bob was employed with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Energy through which he would eventually retire. Over time, the perfect pair had 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and also cared for countless relatives and friends over their many years together.
Bob was a gentle giant with a dry and wry sense of humor. He loved fishing, woodworking, reading, writing, sneaking dark chocolates, football and baseball, music and dancing, and winning at cards. He enjoyed camping trips with his family, sipping coffee and visiting with his kids, whisker rubbing his grandkids cheeks, and hiding favors for his wife on the Christmas tree. There was nothing that Bob couldn’t fix or craft or build and no one told a sweeter tale or sang a livelier song.
After many years of slowly declining health, Bob passed away quietly, in the arms of his devoted Betty on September 9th, 2011 at St. Alexius Medical Center. He was 93. His adoring family surrounded him and one another with their love and strength in the hours before his death. Together they will lay him to rest at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Mandan VFW Post 707 and American Legion Post 40.
A memorial service will be held in celebration of Bob’s amazing life at 1pm on Tuesday, September 13th at Buehler Larson Funeral Home, Mandan, with visitation and sharing beginning at 11am. Interment will take place at 2pm at the NDVC and a reception will follow at the Eagles Club in Mandan. In lieu of flowers and gifts, please send donations on Bob’s behalf to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery Foundation at 1825 46th St. SW, Mandan, ND, 58554.
Robert Roy was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Mary, along with his siblings, Irene, Ivis, Leona, Cyril and Leon. He is survived by his beloved Betty, Mandan; his children, (daughter) Linda & Tim Massey, Mandan, (daughter) Lana Bernhardt, Lincoln, and (son) Jake & Jane Schafer, Mandan; his grandchildren, Beau & Tammy Massey, Toni Massey-Wheeler & Greg Wheeler, Amber Rae Bernhardt, Cole Bernhardt, Jacob, Dylan, Cale, and Wyatt Schafer; his great grandchildren, Kayla Massey, Scout and Pip Wheeler; and dozens of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives in-law and adoring friends. He was our hero. He was our pater familias. He was our Santa Claus. He is loved and will be missed but his brilliant legacy lives on in all of us.

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