Jon Patrick Schaefer
Jon Patrick Schaefer, age 71, of Shelby, died Sunday, June 7, 2020 at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Hospice of Central Ohio wing in Columbus, after an unexpected and brief illness.
Jon was born November 20, 1948 in Fremont and was raised in Bellevue by his parents, the late Ellsworth and Lois Ann (Fought) Schaefer. He was a 1967 graduate of Bellevue High School. His collegiate studies began at Miami University prior to transferring to Bethel College in Tennessee where he earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Sociology, with a minor in English. Law school was next on Jon’s educational journey as he then attended Memphis State University graduating with a Jurisprudent Doctorate Degree.
Wanting to return home to Ohio, Jon passed the Ohio Bar Exam and a job opening out of law school brought Jon and his family to Shelby in 1974. After several years of work with another firm, Jon started his own practice where he continued to serve clients until his death. Jon was an honorable and respectable man doing only what was right and in the best interest of all clients whom he served. His clients highly respected him, as he did they, and Jon’s service to Shelby helped thousands of families through various phases of their lives.
In addition to his private practice, Jon served two terms as the Law Director for the City of Shelby and, at its conclusion, thought his time in public service had ended. That quickly changed when the acting municipal court judge became ill and called upon Jon to become acting judge in 1986. After his predecessor’s retirement, then- Gov. Dick Celeste appointed Jon as municipal court judge on July 11, 1986. Jon faithfully served Shelby and its citizens for the next 30+ years until he chose to not run for reelection in 2017. Jon remained modest about his impact as Judge but was immensely proud of his work in creating a successful “Drug Court” program. It was, to him, the “highlight of my career.”
In addition to his work, Jon was a member of Sertoma, the Shelby Knights of Columbus (where he was Past Grand Knight), the Ohio Bar Association, the Richland Bar Association, and the National Bar Association. Together with his wife, Kathy, and family, they loved going to Lake Erie. For 22 years, they had a boat and loved boating and fishing and, after selling it, bought a condo in Port Clinton which they enjoyed together. Both Jon and Kathy were members of the Catawba West Harbor Yacht Club, where they both were Past Commanders. Outside of these hobbies and accomplishments, there are many things Jon was active with that assisted in making him who he was and thus increasing his impact on the Shelby community.
Jon is survived by his wife, Kathryn L. “Kathy” (Koch) Schaefer, whom he wed on August 21, 1971; children: Heather (Scott) Bowden of Galena and Matthew (Jenny) Schaefer of Ontario; grandchildren: Claire, Charlotte, and Carter Bowden and Braden Dorsey; brother: James (Connie) Schaefer of Chillicothe; 2 brothers-in-law: Stephan Koch of Willard and Mark Koch of MI; his longtime faithful employee: Linda Spangler; and numerous other relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his stepmother: Jeannine Schaefer; grandson: Toby Dorsey; and brother: Jeffrey Schaefer.
Family and friends are welcome on Friday, June 12, 2020 from 4-8 pm at the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby. Funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 10 am at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 29 West Street, Shelby. Fr. Chris Mileski with officiate and burial will follow in the church cemetery.
Due to the current COVID-19 circumstances, both the family and the funeral home wish that everyone remains safe. Therefore, we ask that visitors be mindful of current restrictions, wear masks when visiting, and pay respects appropriately and promptly, without lingering.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary School and left in care of the funeral home.
Appropriate ways to express sympathy for those unable to attend may be done by leaving an online condolence at www.PenwellTurner.com or by leaving a comment on Jon’s obituary on the funeral home’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/PenwellFuneral.