Cover photo for Gary Schafer's Obituary
Gary Schafer Profile Photo

Gary Schafer

October 14, 1946 — December 6, 2019

Gary Schafer

Gary Joseph Schafer, 73, of Charlevoix passed away on Friday, December 6, 2019 in South Lyon, MI.  He was born on October 14, 1946 in Mt. Pleasant, MI, the son of Frank and Irene (Bierschbach) Schafer.

Gary was raised in Beal City, MI along with his 13 siblings.  Upon obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University, Gary went on to graduate with a Master’s Degree from Wayne State University. He eventually moved to Boyne City, and it was there that he met Vicky Warner.  The two of them wed on December 6, 1986 at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlevoix. They lived in Charlevoix together for 33 years. They were the co-owners of a software company named Memory Lane Systems. Gary was also the co-owner of an ambulance company in the Dominican Republic.

Gary loved to have fun, and have a good laugh.  He stayed very active throughout his life. He played basketball and went biking often, but running was his passion.  He ran many marathons including the Boston Marathon. He also enjoyed traveling all around the world with Vicky. Gary was a good father, husband, uncle, brother, and grandfather.  He had many redeeming qualities; he cared for others before himself, led with a quiet strength, and had a faith that was unwavering. He was always helping and guiding his brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews.  He was the glue that kept the Schafer family together. He will be greatly missed by all those who loved him.

Gary is survived by his loving wife, Vicky Schafer; his daughter, Jennifer (Scott) Wallace; his step-children, J.Lynn Warner, and Jeff Warner; 12 siblings, Joann Blessley (Bob), Janet Oaks, Mary Marizata, Cathy (Jack ) Smith, Susie (Bob) Barto, Donna (Tom) Hutchison, Marj (Donald) Dawkins, Carla (Stan) Daniels, Mark (LeeAnn) Schafer, Lois (Tom) Mahoney, Stan Schafer, and Bernie (Sue) Schafer; two grandchildren, Avery and Alder; over 26 nieces and nephews; and many great nieces and nephews and great great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Irene Schafer; his brother, David Schafer; his sister-in-law, Jane Schafer; and three brother-in-laws, Gary Oaks, Bob Blessley, and Warren Marazita.

Funeral services will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 13 at Christ Episcopal Church, 200 State St, Charlevoix, MI 49720.  Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 12 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Winchester Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes, 209 State St., Charlevoix, MI 49720, and from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service on Friday at the church.  Interment will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 13 at St. Joseph Cemetery in Beal City, MI.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047 (online at, or St. Joseph School, 2091 N Winn Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858.

Arrangements are in the care of the Winchester Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.  Please sign his online guestbook at

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