Gerald (Jerry)(Shifty) Eugene Schaefer, age 79, passed away on July 17, 2023, at Rosebud Health Care in Forsyth, Montana after battling heart disease for 40 years. Services will be held at the Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Forsyth on Thursday, July 27,2023, at 2:00 p.m.
Gerald was born on July 28, 1943, to Eilene (Harris) and Walter Schaefer in Bowman, North Dakota. His mom said, “He was a pretty good little feller.” He started school in Rhame, North Dakota for the first year and a half, then went to Harper Township school for six and a half years. He then returned to Rhame and graduated in 1961. One of the most favorite stories about Gerald’s high school shenanigans was when he had his feet out in the aisle in the classroom and tripped the teacher as she walked by. Someone had rolled out a roll of toilet paper on the floor…..was it Gerald? She walked down the rows, and as she went by Gerald kicked her in the butt. This of course got him sent to the principal’s office immediately!! When the principal asked him what they should do about this situation, Gerald’s smart remark was, “I think you should FIRE HER!” Consequently, Gerald was expelled for several days!
Gerald worked around the Rhame area and went into the United States Army from March 6, 1963, to March 5, 1965. Then he “goofed around” for a while and went to Sonora, California for a year. Gerald went back home to Rhame and bought the local CCC bar which he owned for 2 years. It is now called the Waterhole. He worked on the railroad tie gang from Lemmon, South Dakota to Terry, Montana. After attending school in Wahpeton, North Dakota for three years, he received a plumbing degree. From there he moved to Forsyth, Montana in April of 1973 and worked for Ernie Post for six and a half years, and for Al Critelli for one and a half years. He then went out on his own and worked until in “his words”… he got OLD, and then… “kind of quit.”
He married Marilan Schmeling on January 24, 1970, in Golva, North Dakota at the Saint Mary’s Catholic Church. They had three children: Jay, Jo, and Jodi Schaefer. He was very proud of his children and had lots of fun with them. He also had many good times with his special friend, Holly Negaard. Gerald was an avid hunter, fisherman, and enjoyed gardening. He especially liked shooting prairie dogs with his great friends from Forsyth. He was a member of the Forsyth Fire Department for 25 years. Gerald was known for his wittiness, his smirky grin, his twinkling eyes, and his rare sense of humor. He also liked to flirt and tease with the pretty girls.
Gerald is survived by his three children; Jay Schaefer, North Pole, Alaska; Jo (Jo Jo) Schaefer, Laurel, Montana, and Jodi Schaefer from Billings, Montana. His older brother, James (Donna) Schaefer, Beulah, North Dakota, Les (Lynette) Schaefer, Rhame, North Dakota, Terry (Nancy) Schaefer, Bowman, North Dakota. Sisters; Brenda (Gene) Davis, Rhame, North Dakota, and Marlys (Duane) Hendrickson, Parker, Colorado. Several nieces and nephews that loved him dearly and his special grandchildren, Rayla, Maddi, Owen, and great granddaughter JJ. He was preceded in death by his mother, Eilene (Harris) Schaefer, and his father, Walter Schaefer.
A special thank you to Veterans Affairs for the many years of care and kindness given to our dad. Also, to his many caring and kind friends who have helped him in so many ways on his journey through life.
PS: “Gerald, turn that damn TV down!”