Francis H. Schaefer, Jr., 98, of 625 McGraw House, Ithaca died on Saturday, August 21, 2004 at the Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. He was born in Newburgh, N.Y., a son of Francis H. Schaefer, Sr. and Henrietta Regina Goss Schaefer both deceased. He was a graduate of the Newburgh Free Academy, Class of 1924, and of the College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University, Class of 1929.
Mr. Schaefer became interested in newspaper work when in high school, reporting high school events for The Newburgh News, then a Gannett paper, and editing his high school paper and yearbook. During his junior and senior years at Cornell, he was campus reporter for The Ithaca Journal. Following his graduation from Cornell, he moved into teaching and taught World History in the Watkins Glen and Ithaca High Schools. After his retirement in 1972, he wrote “Trumansburg Comment”, a column in The Trumansburg Free Press, for more than 17 years. At McGraw House, where he moved in 1992, he wrote biographical sketches of many of the residents in the monthly news letter.
On graduation from Cornell, Mr. Schaefer was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery. He graduated from the Battery Officers course at the Field Artillery School at Ft. Sill, Ok, and was on active duty with the R.O.T.C. at Cornell before being given command of a base censorship group for service in the Pacific Theatre prior to the projected invasion of Japan. He eventually retired with the Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel.
Mr. Schaefer was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses at Trumansburg where he served more than 25 years as Clerk of Session and as Superintendent of the Sunday School. He was also a chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was active in various Masonic orders, having been Master of Trumansburg Lodge No. 157 twice and treasurer for six years. He received the Dedicated Service Award in 1985 and his 50-year pin in 1992. He was patron of Trumansburg Star Chapter No. 479, Order of Eastern Star, for 15 years, was District Grand Lecturer in 1949, and Grand Marshall of the Grand Chapter in 1950. He was also a member of Fidelity Chapter No. 77, Royal Arch Masons, and of the American Lodge of Research.
In the village, Schaefer served on the Planning Board and on the Board of Zoning Appeals. He was one of the earlier Cub Masters in the Boy Scouts and more recently a member of the Advisory Group of Fidelity Chapter, No.77, Order of DeMolay. He organized the committee which eventually erected Juniper Manor, the Senior Citizen housing complex. He compiled the service records of the more than 200 Trumansburg men and women who served in World War II which were published in “Trumansburg in World War II.”!
At McGraw House, he organized and was the first president of the Residents Council. In 2003 Mr. Schaefer was selected as Senior Citizen of the Year by the Tompkins County Office of the Aging. He also served as the Honorary Chairman of his church’s Bicentennial Committee. In June 2004 Mr. Schaefer attended the 75th reunion of his Cornell class.
His wife of 56 years, Mary Hutchinson Schaefer, predeceased him in 1992 as did his brother, William V. Schaefer in 1987.
He is survived by his beloved companion of nine years, Joanne Carpenter Parke; four children, Francis H., III, of Austin, TX and Scottsville, KY; George H. (Anne), of Mattydale, NY; F.J. Andreas (Rose Marie) of Holt, MI, and Mary S. Eldridge of Ithaca; seven grandsons: Francis H.,IV, Francis Arthur, Carl A (Kerri), Stephen, William V., George H., Jr. and Christopher; four great grandchildren: Ashlii, Amanda, Austen, and Andrew and by one great-great-granddaughter, Sophie Kate.
A Memorial Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses in Trumansburg on Saturday, September 18, 2004 at 2:00 pm with the Rev. Jeffrey S. Kellam and members of the Trumansburg Lodge #157 officiating.
Prayers of Committal will follow at the Grove Cemetery in Trumansburg with Full Military Honors presented by the U.S. Army and members of the Arthur E. Bouton American Legion Post #770.
Those who wish to make a memorial contribution are asked to consider the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses, P.O. Box 597, Trumansburg, NY 14886; Trumansburg Lodge No. 157, F& AM, P.O. Box 752, Trumansburg, NY 14886 or to the Covenant House 460 West 41st St., New York, NY 10036.
The family has entrusted arrangements to the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg. 1-888-534-5446.
Page Submitted By: Joseph L. Sibley, Director