John Francis Schaefer 1926-2007

El Reno Tribune, El Reno, Oklahoma, October 14, 2007

Francis Schaefer (J. Francis Schaefer) was born on June 4, 1926, to John H. and Elizabeth Leona Naberhaus Schaefer in Okarche. He was raised on a farm west of Okarche and graduated from Holy Trinity School in 1944. He joined the U.S. Navy, serving as a signalman in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1946.

He married Loretta Voss on Jan. 11, 1950. Later that year he and Vernon Hoehner opened the Hoehner Schaefer Texaco Station. In October 1955, he was hired as assistant manager at the Farmers Co-op and served as manager from February 1959 until his retirement in 1989.

Francis was a long-standing member of the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association, serving on the board of directors for eight years and as president in 1976, and was honored as the Outstanding Farm Cooperative Manager in 1972. He was also a member of Oklahoma Plant Food and Education Society and was honored as OPFES Outstanding Fertilizer Dealer in 1979 and was on the board of directors until 1982. He continuously worked with the FFA organization involving the students of Okarche High School.

Francis had also been active in local civic organizations. He served as president of the Lions Club and was awarded the Melvin Fellow Award in 2003. He received the 60-year certificate of continuous membership in the American Legion Post 5. He was also a member of the VFW. He was on the board of directors of the First Bank of Okarche since 1980 and served on the board of directors at the Okarche Memorial Hospital Association for many years.

Francis was a lifelong member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church. He was president of Holy Trinity Church Parish Council, Grand Knight of Knights of Columbus and a member of the Catholic Foresters. Francis had been a lector at Holy Trinity for many years.

He is survived by his wife, Loretta; two daughters, Carol Moore and husband, Harry of Norman and Joan Meyer and husband, John of Okarche; three sons, Paul and wife, Rae of Edmond, Steven and wife, Kathryn of Bridgeport, Texas, and John and wife, Lenda of Okarche; sisters, Elizabeth (Pat) Skala of Guthrie, Judy Easlon and husband, Phil, Janet Cosgrove, Linda Suchak and husband, John, all of Oklahoma City; brothers, William of Dallas, Texas, Robert and wife, Betty of Grandview, Mo., Mike and wife, MaryAnn of Okarche and Karl and wife, Carolyn of Oklahoma City; and 13 grandchildren, Christopher, Daniel and Amanda Schaefer, Emily Schaefer, Laura Austin and husband, Toby, Jaryn Meyer, Jayme Ferrell and husband, Brian, Joshua and Jillian Meyer and Megan, John, Joseph and Madison Schaefer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Beatrice, and a brother, Eugene.

Francis died Oct. 10, 2007, at his home in Okarche.

Prayer service was held at 7 p.m. Friday and Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Both services were at Holy Trinity Church with Rev. Philip Louis and Deacon Max Schwarz officiating. Burial was at Holy Trinity Cemetery with military honors. Services were under direction of Huber-Benson Funeral Home.


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