A longtime leader in the Ravenna industrial community, he served on the board of directors of the A.C. Williams Co. for 25 years after joining the company as treasurer in 1952. He also was vice president/treasurer and a director of Trexler Rubber Co. from its founding in 1953 until he retired in 1996.
Born Dec. 13, 1920, in Ravenna, he was a son of Eli O. and Mable Ruth (Long) Schafer. He was graduated from Ravenna High School in 1938. He lived in Ravenna until 1984, when he and his wife, Neva (Trexler), moved to Aurora.
His college education at Kent State University, from which he
graduated in 1948, was interrupted by World War II. He became a member of the U.S. Eighth Air Force 92nd Bombardment Group, serving as a waist gunner and radar man on a B-17.
In that capacity participated in 25 missions over Europe including the Battle of the Bulge, one of the largest aerial attacks ever mounted by the Allies during the war.
Mr. Schafer survived that battle and other missions, but in March 1945, less than two months before Germany's surrender, the B-17 on which he was serving was seriously hit on a mission over Berlin. Unable to return to base, the crippled plane managed to land safely by flying to neutral Sweden, where the crew sat out the remaining weeks of the war. Reported missing in action, it was more than six weeks before his family and hometown knew he was alive.
Following the war, heworked in the accounting department of Oak Rubber Co. in Ravenna.
In addition to his work in industry, Mr. Schafer participated in volunteer and civic organizations. He was a 32nd degree Mason in the Canton Consistory and a 40-year member of the Ravenna Rotary. He served as treasurer of the Portage County Chapter of the American Red Cross and he was active in the United Way of Portage County.
In the 1950s, he was the Ward 3 representative of Ravenna City Council. He was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ravenna.
In addition to his wife, Neva (Trexler), to whom he was married 54 years, survivors include his son, Jack William Trexler of Ravenna; daughter, Patricia Harper of Long Beach, Calif.; and one grandchild. His sister, Mary Pauline, and brother, Paul H., died previously.
Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until services at noon Saturday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ravenna. The Rev. Dr. Judith Wozniak will officiate. Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery in Ravenna. Arrangements are being handled by Shorts Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel.
Memorials may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ravenna.