Ralph Clair Shafer, of Buchanan

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Aug. 17, 1942 — April 29, 2016

Ralph Clair Shafer, 73, passed away on Friday, April 29, 2016, at his family farm in Buchanan, Michigan surrounded by his family and friends.

Ralph Clair Shafer

Ralph Clair Shafer

Ralph was the only child born to Ralph and Loraine Shafer, on Aug. 17, 1942, in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Ralph was a very intelligent individual, and a man of many accomplishments. As a young man he was in boy scouts, where he spent a lot of time at Camp Madron. He was a graduate of Three Oaks high school class of 1961. He then went on to graduate from both Michigan State, and The University of Michigan, which he always said, was great because he got a shot at Notre Dame twice a year. From there he graduated from The University of Detroit, and Syracuse University.

He proudly served his country in the Air Force, where was an intelligence agent and linguist in the Cold War, and if asked he always said he’d do it again. Ralph will always be remembered for his love of sailing, and the sailboat races he participated in. As well as, his time spend at the race track where he enjoyed being part of the pit crew for formula one racing, and hours spend on the Chesapeake bay. He also loved his Labradors and the goose hunting they accompanied him in. If he said, come by this weekend were going to burn something on the grill, you didn’t want to miss it. He was known for the best smoked salmon, and anything else he was set on making. His motto was the more feet under the table for dinner the better. He was a man of many talents including playing the banjo and guitar. He did a lot of traveling, and always said he had visited every country and saw every great monument he ever wanted. You could spin a globe, point on the map, and he’d tell you where the best local breakfast, and beer joints were.

Ralph is preceded in death by his parents: Ralph Shafer and Lorraine (Pletcher) Shafer, as well as, his cousin’s: Paul Shafer, and Ruthy Olsen.

He is survived by, his wife, DixieLee Shafer. His Daughter’s: Lilliilona Shafer and good friend Tim Wreggelsworth, Virginia Alcala and her fiancé Tim VanHulle, RosaLee and her husband Aaron Brandson, and his son Eduardo Alcala and his girlfriend HeavenLeigh Jutson. His 18 nieces and nephews, nine grandchildren, close friends Robert Thorten, and Mark Radecki, as well as, many other children in and out of the neighborhood that looked up to him and called him dad for many years.

A celebration of his life will be at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, 2016, at Hoven Funeral Home in Buchanan with a luncheon to follow at the VFW of Buchanan. Memorial visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the service. We are grateful for his time on earth and the joy he gave everyone he came in contact with. He will be greatly missed. Flowers are being accepted but those who wish to make donations in Ralph’s memory can do so to: The Boy Scouts of America, and Hospice. Online condolences may be made at www.hovenfunerals.com