Rev. William Herbert Schaffer


Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2003

Former Kenai resident the Rev. William Herbert Schaffer died Sunday, Dec. 29, 2002, at Grace Village Health Care in Winona Lake, Ind. He was 98.

A funeral service will be held at a later date in Johnstown, Pa. Burial will be in Richland Cemetery in Johnstown.

He was born May 11, 1904, in Allentown, Pa., to William H. Schaffer and Jane (George) Schaffer. He married Helen Maurine Hostetler on June 11, 1927. She died March 1, 1978.

He served as a Grace Brethren minister for 20 years in Kenai. He started one church in Alaska and since 1984 had served as minister of missions at Kenai Grace Brethren Church.

For 21 years he also served as a chaplain with the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, in Pennsylvania, Washington and Alaska. He retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

He moved to Kosciusko County in Indiana from Kenai in August 2000.

He graduated from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, in 1927 with a bachelor of arts degree in classical divinity. He also attended Muhlenberg College in Spokane, Wash., and did post-graduate work at Whitworth College in Spokane.

Rev. Schaffer was one of the founders of the Grace Brethren Fellowship. His preaching ministry began in 1925. Seven pastors, five foreign missionaries and one lay evangelist were the products of his ministry. During a 12-year pastorate in West Kittanning, Pa., he trained five assistants.

He was a member of the National Ministerial Association and was the last living member of the committee that organized Grace Theological Seminary and was a trustee during its first 25 years.

He was the first treasurer of the Grace Brethren Missions Council; was a member of the Missionary Herald board of trustees for 29 years; was a former board member of the Brethren Herald Magazine; was secretary-treasurer of the Grace Brethren retirement board for 20 years; was vice moderator of the National Grace Brethren Conference in 1953; and was a former member of the Brethren Home Mission Board.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Helen Schaffer Flowers.

He is survived by sons, Herbert Paul Schaffer of Lewistown, Texas, and William Lewis Schaffer of Miami Lakes, Fla.; a daughter, Alyce Ann Schaffer of Tacoma, Wash.; 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Grace Theological College and Seminary, 200 Seminary Drive, Winona Lake, IN 46590 or Grace Brethren Home Missions, 1401 Kings Highway, Winona Lake, IN 46590.

Arrangements were made by Titus Funeral Home in Warsaw, Ind.

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