Raymond F. Shafer, Sr. age 101, a resident of Knox passed peacefully at a long term care facility in Stamford on April 9, 2017. Previously, he had been living w his daughter and son-in-law, Paula and Bernie Sisson since last July where he enjoyed visits from family and friends and deer hunters to swap hunting tales. He was the son of Frank and G. Catherine Waldron Shafer born on October 19, 1915 in Duanesburg and brother of George H. and Howard W. Shafer. In March of 1921, his mother moved the family in a horse and wagon with his grandparents, George and Elizabeth (Saddlemire) Waldron to West Township (Knox) when he was five. Raymond attended School District #2 in West Township. Since the loss of his father at age three, he was raised in great part by his great uncle Henry Waldron and his mother. Raymond had cultivated a 19th century way about him and set of skills that would serve him well in life. He was involved in farming early on his mother's farm shocking oats at age six and at age 11 using horse and plow. When 12, he was farmed out to work the Truax farm in Gallupville for a summer and at 16 was working a roof job at the Knox Cave Skating Rink as well as assisting putting electric lighting and wooden steps inside the cave. During the Great Depression at 17, Mr. Shafer went to work at the CCC Camp in Tannersville clearing forests for a fire tower. Mr. Shafer would later have to clear his own farm using his team of horses, Ned and Ted on the Bozenkill in the late 1930's which had been left fallow for a decade. In his farming life, the one thing he found difficult was the changeover from horse power to machine. He was a kind and patient trainer of his team of horses and hunting dogs and enjoyed working with them. Tales of coon hunting in the "Bozy" as he fondly called it with sons and his dog Tip by lantern light was no easy feat in the steep ravine of the Bozenkill Creek. On the Bozenkill farm, Mr. Shafer and his wife, Elsie (nee Bradt) had four children, Raymond Jr., Loren Sr., Richard and Lucille Shafer. While farming, he also drove school transportation for Duanesburg Central School, worked building roads, set power poles, drove coal and later oil deliveries, mowed and baled hay for other farmers and hunted deer and raised a small herd of cows.
With Mr. Shafer's second wife, Shirley (nee Barber), he would have one daughter, Paula and a step-daughter, Donna Heath. In 1960, Ray built a home on Middle Rd. in Knox. In the late 1950's, he began to work for the NYS Thruway and later worked his way up In the Dept. of Transportation as a supervisor of highways such as I-90, 787 and the Northway. Raymond would always stay a John Deere and Ford only man as his first automobile was a Model-T. In the 1950's he worked for Howard L. Gage helping farmers with their new machinery adjustments and though started out with an International, he switched to John Deere permanently. He would continue to farm while working full time for local farmers mowing and baling hay with his brother, Howard on his mother's homestead as well as on farms of the Nesbitt brothers, Charles Beebe and others working with his sons, Richie, Lornie and Junior as well as nephews, Dave, Danny and Howard and Roger Shafer.
An avid political follower of the Republican party, Mr. Shafer enjoyed talking politics and was also a member of the Conservative party in the 1950's. He enjoyed stock car racing and baseball games. Mr. Shafer enjoyed deer hunting, ice fishing with his brother, Howard and summer fishing at Duane and Thompson's Lake where he camped summers and square danced at the Township Grange Hall. He only traveled extensively early in his life with his mother, grandparents and brothers in touring cars in the 1920's and 30's to Bennington Monument, Ashokan and Gilboa Dams, Niagara Falls having picnics with neighbors. Throughout his life, he enjoyed gardening, planting potatoes, pumpkins and onions. People came from as far away as Lake George to purchase his produce which he continued to sell until age 98. Customers who were fond of him and his stories of his life came recently for his 100th birthday to visit him. Raymond loved history and could weave it in reciting every detail while telling his own life story. He enjoyed his home and took care of his wife, Shirley who had been stricken with Alzheimer's. On October 18, 2015 he enjoyed his 100th birthday with family and friends and had the opportunity to look back over a life of pride in his hard work, his home and legacy of wonderful family and good friends and neighbors. His family stories of his life were written in a book for him as a keepsake.
Raymond is survived by his sons, Raymond (Eileen) Shafer, Jr., Richard Shafer and daughter Lucille (Robert) Kellie, and Paula Shafer (Bernard) as well as many grand, great and great-great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his son, Loren Shafer, Sr. and wife, Shirley and brothers, George and Howard Shafer. The family has appreciated the support from all during the last few years from Rev. Timothy Van Heest, the Knox Reformed Church, neighbors, friends, family and caretakers who have helped him through his final days. A special thank you to long-term caretaker and family friend, Jan Dano.
Calling hours will be on Wed., April 12, 2017 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Fredendall Funeral Homes, 199 Main Street, Altamont, NY. The funeral service will be on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 10:30 am at the funeral parlor. Interment will take place later this spring at Grove Cemetery in Delanson. Memorial contributions at Mr. Shafer's request may be made if so desired to the Knox Reformed Church, 2175 Berne-Altamont Road, Knox, NY 12009.