Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

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 or by leaving a comment on Jon’s obituary on the funeral home’s Facebook page,

Memories & Condolence

  1. Monica Jenney says:

    My deepest sympathy to Jon’s family. He was one I will never forget. His honesty and great sense of humor will truly be missed. I have this feeling he’s still talking and laughing on the other side. Rest easy Jon.

  2. Dana Pennell says:

    I am very sorry to hear of Jon’s passing. What a wonderful person and advisor. Jon served my family faithfully for more than 30 years. It was always fun to drop in and see Jon and Linda. My mom enjoyed chatting with him and he also enjoyed “shooting the breeze” with Mary. May God bless Jon in his rest.

  3. Betsy Coll says:

    Kathy & family
    I’m so saddened to hear of Jon’s passing. My sincere condolences to each of you. Sending prayers for peace during your time of mourning.

  4. Sherry Stoclmaster says:

    Dear Kathy and family,
    My heart goes out to you. You are in my prayers. Jon will be missed, especially the love for the people of Shelby. May you feel the loving comfort of God in this time of loss.

  5. Thella Mahon Wells says:

    Kathy and Family. I’m so sorry to here of Jon’s passing. He will greatly missed by all. He sure was there for his people when they needed him even if it was to answer a question. He never knew a stranger. He spoke each and everyone he passed. My Prayers and Thoughts are with you all. May God Be with you in this hard times. Thella Mahon Wells

  6. Trisha Armstrong says:

    I will always be grateful to the Judge. He gave me a job and that opportunity allowed for me to move back to town to be closer to my family. He was a great boss, a fair Judge and a wonderful friend. My sincerest condolences to your family and friends.

  7. TED CLABAUGH says:

    John was a good friend to all and a good mentor to anyone who needed advice. He will be missed by all that knew him.May god bless you in these trying times. Ted and Nancy Clabaugh

  8. Judy Green Decker says:

    So sorry for your loss. Being Tiffany’s Aunt, I’ve kept up with Heather & know that she was the apple of her Daddy‘s eye. Treasure the memories & know that he is still with you! With sympathy, Judy Green Decker

  9. Tom Trittschuh says:

    Jon was truly a great and humble man. Loved his role as a Municipal Court Judge and I give my condolences and prayers of comfort to all of the family and friends. He made a great impact on the entire community of Shelby.

  10. Jamie Messenger says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with Kathy, Heather, Matt and their families. I always thought so very highly of Jon. He will be deeply missed. Prayers to you all.

  11. Roberta Mathias says:

    I am saddened to hear of Jon Shaefers passing. He was truly an honorable man with true compassion for so many. He will be greatly missed. My condolences go out to his family at this time. Take comfort in knowing that his memory will live on.

  12. Ray ward says:

    Always though he was one of the good guys! He will be missed, my condolences to all the family and friends. Rip judge

  13. Denny, Karen Rismiller says:

    So sorry to hear of Jon passing. Condolences to Kathy, Heather, Matt and families.

  14. marilyn E smith says:

    One of the good guys he will be missed

  15. Debra Keene says:

    Prayers for his Wife and Family! Jon will be Greatly Missed. He Truly was a Special Person!

  16. david pennell says:

    Jon served me and my family with integrity for decades as a trusted legal advisor, confidante and friend. We also loved his unique sense of humor and larger than lifer personality…he will be sadly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. My condolences to his family.

  17. Staci says:

    My deepest condolences for Jon and his family. He was such a nice guy. I first met him as a little girl when he was my mothers attorney for her divorce. He definitely knew I was devastated and he would talk to me and reassure me it would all be ok. Later in life he was my attorney as well. I went to him because I knew he would be upfront and honest with me. He again reassured me of the safety of my son and gave me amazing guidance and a sense of peace. I seen him one early morning last fall going into the local bakery and he made sure to stop and catch up, never forgetting mine or my sons name, that was the type of man he was. His passing will have such an impact on Shelby and all he came in contact with. He will be missed.

  18. Julie Barch says:

    So very sorry for your loss! Prayers for your family! Remember all the great memories!

  19. Janet Kehres says:

    Jon was a wonderful person. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kathy and family. He will be missed in all of Richland County because he knew and cared for so many in this area.

  20. Ann Imhoff says:

    Kathy and family
    So sorry for the loss of Jon. He was a great man and was always there for my family.

  21. Stephanie Triplett says:

    Kathy and family so sorry to hear of Jon’s passing. He was such a wonderful person and an excellent lawyer with a great sense of humor! R.I.P. Jon.

  22. Tony Ginter says:

    My deepest condolences to Kathy and the rest of Jon’s family. He will be sorely missed by our community as he did so much for Shelby and it’s people.

  23. Theresa (Fox) Janszen says:

    My deepest sympathies to the Schaefer family. I remember your dad very fondly and he surely will be missed.

  24. Paula Egner says:

    So sorry to hear that you’ve lost Jon. He was a great guy.

  25. Theresa (Fox) Janszen says:

    My deepest condolences to the Schaefer family. I remember your dad fondly and he will surely be missed.

  26. Deb Sallee says:

    Kathy and family, so very sorry to hear about your husband their dad and grandpa’s passing.
    Please know your in our thoughts and prayers. ❤️Deb and Ernie Sallee

  27. Tiffany (Green) Brockett says:

    Jon was always there for me. He practically helped to raise me. I remember his speech to me before I left for college, giving practical advise and wanting to keep me safe. He presided over my wedding and was Santa to my children. The world lost an amazing man and I will miss him dearly. Love and prayers to Kathy, Heather, Scott, Matt, Jenny and all of the grandkids.

  28. Donald Lehnert says:

    My sincerest condolences to Kathy and family. I have not been close to Jon only seeing him at our Class reunions. All the memories and condolences entered here from close friends paints a very dedicated life of giving to others. I’m sure he will be missed but remembered by all.

  29. Clarence and Nancy Ousley says:

    Dear Kathy and Family! So sorry for your loss! You are in our prayers!

  30. Andi Riguet says:

    My sincere sympathy to Kathy, Matt, and Heather. Jon was a truly outstanding man in so many ways. His generosity was given to me in more ways then I can express. I have so many fond memories of growing up next to you all on Parkwood Drive. I’m sure he’s “cutting” up as we speak with Mom and Dad, and reminiscing about old times. Prayers for all of the family.

  31. Meg (Arnold) Holden says:

    So sorry to hear the passing of Jon. Meg, Pam, Amy (Arnold) and Milly Munroe. Prayers to all family.

  32. Nancy Metzger says:

    Love and prayers to you and your family at the lost of Jon. Please know all the fellow members of our parish prayer chain will be lifting you in prayer. May you feel God’s love and peace.

  33. Ann Benton says:

    Love and prayers to you and your family, Kathy. Jon was a good man.
    May your memories of the good times help you get through the hard days ahead. Love, Ann and Dan

  34. Tom Hadley says:

    Kathy and family. I am so sorry to hear of Jons passing. He was as good as they come.

  35. Ann Cooper says:

    Kathy and Family I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your husband and dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  36. Vanessa Fagan Kurtz says:

    So sorry for your loss. Rest In Peace Jon.

  37. Linda Frary says:

    Dear Kathy and family, I was so saddened to hear of Jon’s passing when we stopped in yesterday to sign new wills. He was such a calm and competent attorney and Judge. I will miss our conversations. Please accept our sincere sympathy. Rick and Lin Frary

  38. Frank ardis says:

    Kathy and Family. I am so sadden to hear of Jon’s passing. Jon was a very honorable, fair and honest attorney and judge. I have many fond memories of Jon and he will be greatly missed in Shelby and Richland county. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  39. JoAnn & Tim Atves says:

    Kathy, Heather, Mat, our sincerest condolences on your loss. Both you and Jon were fixtures @ CWHYC as long as we were ever associated with it. Jon’s guidance, leadership, and wisdom will be will be missed. May he rest in peace.

  40. Brenda Schuller- Daniel says:

    I first met you at age 17 when I needed an attorney to help me through an auto accident that wasn’t my fault. We prevailed and you’ve been my attorney ever since, and I’m 10 years away from retirement.
    Through all these years you became a family friend and trusted confidant. You gave sound, truthful advice and always had time for chit chat if I would just drop by the office or ran into you and your wife on a weekend outing.
    My family will greatly miss you and your humor and wit. When I get to heaven I’m counting on you to take me for a ride on your yacht. Rest easy, friend.

  41. Misty Hicks says:

    Jon was a WONDERFUL man & attorney!!! He helped me through some difficult times and I will 4 -ever be grateful for his help!! Sending prayers to his wife & family through this difficult time! He will be missed dearly

  42. Pat Heydinger says:

    A kind, decent, honorable man whose legacy will go on in the lives of the thousands he touched over the years. RIP Jon

  43. Chris Miller says:

    I personally did not know Jon but my husband Dan Miller thought very highly of him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  44. Linda & Al Striker says:

    Our hearts, prayers and deepest sympathy to you, Matt and your mom. Your dad was so respected in this community and was a true leader. We were so lucky to have become such close friends with your parents these past several years. Enjoyed dinners out with them and weekends at the lake. We will miss him so.

  45. William Hicks says:

    Rest in peace Sir. You touched many peoples lives and made us feel like we were people not trash. Prayers to your family and friends you leave behind. You will be missed my friend.

  46. Darlene says:

    I am so sorry for this great loss. May Jon Rest In Peace and May God give you strength through this difficult time. Prayers for all the family!

  47. Sue Pelton says:

    Kathy…although Terry and I totally disagreed with you and Jon regarding CWHYC after the fire…..I know “in my heart” that Terry would be there…”in his “whites”

  48. Pam Myers says:

    So saddened to hear of Jon’s passing. He was a great man and always took time to speak when he was in the County Courthouse. Many thought and prayers for his wife and family. God Bless all of you!!!

  49. Joyce Phillips says:

    My deepest sympathy to you Kathy, Heather and Matt and all your family. Jon was honorable and very caring to all. My prayers are with you all.

  50. Heather Cockley says:

    I am so sorry and so sad that Jon has left us. He is already missed. With love and sympathy, Heather Cockley.

  51. Deacon Denny Burkett says:

    Dear Kathy and Family,
    Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May our good and gracious God bless you and keep you in his love as He welcomes another Saint home. Jon was a good and faithful servant.

  52. Dale & Linda Schroeder says:

    Our sympathies to the Schaefer family, so sorry for your loss.

  53. KATHY MILLIRON says:

    So very sad to hear of your loss! My thoughts and prayers are coming your way … Trust in the Lord and he will see you through the days ahead!

  54. Sam and Kari Lybarger says:

    I will forever be grateful for his humor and advice while growing up with Heather. He was like a second dad. Jenna still remembers him coming to play Santa for us. He was such a great man. He will be surely missed. Love and hugs to you all Kathy, Heather, Matt and families.

  55. Kelly & Darren Long says:

    Kathy and family;
    So sad to hear of Jon’s passing. Deepest condolences to all of you.

  56. Art and Liz Semmler says:

    Kathy and Family, Art and I were sorry to hear about Jon’s death. We enjoyed talking with him at club functions. It was a pleasure to know him. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this sad time. May God bring you peace !!!

  57. Lynette & Doug says:

    Kathy, Heather, Matt, and Families: We were so sad to receive the news of Jon’s passing. He will be greatly missed by our family. Keeping you close in thought during this difficult time. Sending our love.

  58. Ruth (Meeker) Miller says:

    Ron and I are deeply saddened to learn of Jon’s death. We are praying for your entire family. Our condolences go out to you and your children. We are here and our door is always open.

  59. Steve Siesel says:

    So sorry to here of Jon’s passing. Got to know him through the Knights. We had some great times at the hall. He has gone before his time. May he rest in eternal peace in the arms of Our Lord. My condolences to his family.

  60. Deb Heichelbech says:


  61. Margaret Baker says:

    We enjoyed knowing John while they docked their boat at Foxhaven Marina. Our sincere condolences to the entire family.
    Dick & Margaret Baker, Foxhaven Marina, Catawba Island

  62. Tammie says:

    Sorry for your loss, Jon was a great man. He will be missed. Prayers for your family.

  63. Larry & Brenda Dininger says:

    Dear Kathy & Family,
    We are so sorry to hear of Jon’s passing. We are praying for you & your family. Memories remain part of the heart forever. May they give you peace and comfort & may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
    Larry & Brenda Dininger and family

  64. Troy says:

    Kathy, Heather, Matt and families, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss!! I can remember the boating days, OSU games, & of course the Browns outings. Such great memories with Jon!! Deepest condolences to all of you.

  65. Jerry & Carol says:

    Kathy, Heather & Matt,
    So many memories… loved Jon – his soothing/calming voice, his wit, and the deep love and compassion he had for Everyone, especially his family! I’m sure Jon is up there now, carrying on a conversation with our Lord! Such a righteous man. Gonna miss that ‘big bald guy’… Peace be with you, Jon – will meet up with you again!! : )

  66. Beth and Randy Terman says:

    So very sorry for your loss of Jon. He was definitely one of the good guys. Several years ago I asked him to come to MTD to help employees with living wills and he spent his entire day helping employee with their questions. He helped a great many people that day. Prayers for you all.

  67. Cindy & Bill Babitt says:

    Dear Kathy &Family, I am very sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with each one of you. I always enjoyed seeing John at the pool. He didn’t come down a lot but when he did we typically enjoyed a short conversation. Blessings to each one of you during this difficult time.
    Love , Cindy, Bill & Family

  68. Till Bremke says:

    Dear Kathy, my US mom, Heather and Matt,
    it caught me speachless to hear about the loss of a great father, who also was my dad some time ago. He was not only my ‘big’ friend as I quoted in 1990 when staying at his home, but he has also become my father since then. I will truly miss you Jon. You will be kept in my heart for always.

    Love from your German son, brother and friend.

    Rest in peace.

    Till Bremke

  69. Ulla Bremke says:

    Dear Kathy, all our sympathy goes out to you on the loss of your husband Jon.
    Your friends from Germany wish to extend their most sincere condolences.
    I was personally happy to have met Jon in 1991 as a very kind and caring father for both your children and our son Till who you took as part of your family for his one year exchange at your home. I am deeply feeling with you as the same loss happened to me when I had to let go of Dieter last December.
    Please know that we are thinking of you at this sad time and share in your grief. Sincerely Ulla Bremke

  70. Sister Karen Elliott, C.PP.S. says:

    “Well done good and faithful servant” are the words Jon heard as God welcomed him into the divine heavenly embrace. Jon was always generous in sharing his time, talent, and treasure with both Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish and St. Mary School. I remember with great fondness conversations with Jon his dedication, faithfulness, and quick wit made each encounter a delight. Kathy, Heather, and Matt please be assured of my prayer for each of you and your entire family. May God’s abundant blessings fill you with peace as you continue to share your sacred memories and comfort one another.
    With love and prayer, Sister Karen

  71. Sister Barbara Davis, SC says:

    I was saddened to learn just yesterday of Jon’s passing to eternal life. Jon served on the initial Board of Trustees for the St. Mary School Foundation, established in the 1990’s. His wisdom and insights guided our decisions in those early days. I always enjoyed his sense of humor and wit. My prayers are with you, Kathy, Heather, and Matt.

  72. Jim Wilson says:

    Kathy I am so sorry for your loss. Jon was a great classmate at Bethel and friend in Memphis.

  73. Russ Leffler says:

    I just found out. He was such a fun lawyer when we were on the same side. And a tough smart competitor, one of the best people in our work. One of the smartest guys in the Huron or Richland County Bar. Shelby was lucky to have him so were we all.

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