Donald R. Shafe, age 95, passed away peacefully late on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022, under the expert care of Oaklawn Hospice. Don was born in Pennfield Township, Michigan on May 6, 1927, the son of Melvin and Lula (Thomas) Shafe. He was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings: Ralph Shafe, Grace Zeerip, and infant Paul Shafe. Don was also recently preceded in death by his son-in-law, Rex Smith.
Don chose to leave school following the eleventh grade so he could serve in the Merchant Marines. Following his time in the service he spent the bulk of his life working as a millwright in various factories including Oliver White Farm Equipment, American Stamping, and eventually retiring in 1985 from Post Cereals.
On March 17, 1946, he married the former Juanita Keathley. Together they raised two children while living primarily in Emmett and Pennfield Townships. Following an extended battle with cancer, in late 1974 she preceded him in death. Then on September 18, 1976, he married the former Ardyce Ling. Following this marriage they lived several years in East Leroy, Michigan before retiring and moving to their dream location on Lake Gogebic in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Declining health prompted them to move downstate eventually settling in the Marshall area with Ardyce preceding Don in death in 2012.
Two themes remained constant throughout Don’s life, his love for family and his love for the outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. From hunting deer to pursuing pheasants or grouse he relished his time in the woods as well as the people and dogs who shared that time with him. During his years on Lake Gogebic, you could be sure there were always Walleye in the freezer and minnows in the tank out back. Whether it was drifting out in the boat or fishing the West Wind off the dock, he was going to get his fish. His home was always open to friends and family looking for a place to stay while they enjoyed the surrounding woods and waters. Don’s other love was his family. While he was never overly demonstrative, he was always there with a helping hand, his sense of humor, and slightly mischievous smile. Without fanfare he was a consistently faithful caregiver, first for Juanita, then for his father Melvin, and eventually for Ardyce. He went above and beyond to be there for each of them as they walked the final part of their life journey. As Don approached the end of his path, he increasingly savored time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, never failing to inquire how each of them was doing with their various endeavors.
Don is survived by his daughter, Sue Shafe of Marshall; son, Steve (Diana) Shafe of Jackson; granddaughters, Nichole (Serge) Garcia of Spring Arbor, and Jessica (Gary) Barber-Curtis of Horton; as well as five great grandchildren: Owen and Reid Garcia, Ellarie, Hadlie, and Mollie Barber.
Services have been entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068. Visitation will be held Tuesday, August 9, 2022, from 12:00pm until the time of the funeral service beginning at 1:00pm with Steven Shafe officiating. A graveside committal service will follow at Floral Lawn Memorial Garden, 1490 E. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49014.
If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Oaklawn Hospice, 116 E Prospect Street, Marshall, MI 49068, or envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Also, you may visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, sign the online guest book, or to leave the family condolences.
116 E. Prospect Street, Marshall MI 49068