September 23, 2020
Gerald M. Schaefer was Born to Eternal Life September 23, 2020 at the age of 96 years. Loving father of Anne (the late Kenneth) Scharneck. Dear grandfather of Christine (Kevin) Dee and Daniel (Kirsten) Scharneck and great-grandchildren Connor and Kaden Dee. Brother of Jean Spencer and Paul (Gale). Preceded in death by his wife Anne and wife Katherine, sister Ruth and brother James. Further survived by other relatives and friends. Gerry was born on a farm in Lyons, Wisconsin and began milking cows at the age of seven. While he loved his rural upbringing, pursuing a degree from Marquette University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University started him on his lifelong career path. His life work was a testament to his deep faith and kindness to all. He dedicated his career to organizations that promoted this faith and strived to make them successful in their missions. Gerry started his career as a speech teacher and debate coach at McDonell Central Catholic High School in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In 1950 Gerry accepted a position at Marquette University, as their first admissions counselor. By 1957, he was appointed as Marquette’s first full-time Development Officer in charge of the Marquette Annual Fund. From there he went to Mount Mary College as Director of Public Relations and Development, serving in that position through 1968. He then went to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as the first Director of the Office for the Laity and subsequently was appointed to the position of Development Director for a total span of 26 years. During those years Gerry also served as chairman of the Milwaukee County Ethics Board for five terms from 1975 to 1990. In 1991 the rector at the Basilica of St. Josaphat contacted Gerry for advice on addressing the decaying state of the Basilica. Gerry recommended saving the Basilica and was the impetus behind the formation of the St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation. When Gerry retired at 71, he and James McDonald formed McDonald Schaefer, a development consulting firm that continues to bear their names today. Throughout his life, Gerry was involved in numerous volunteer positions, especially those related to nonprofit educational and religious groups. Gerry found great joy in getting to know the people with whom he worked and established life-long friendships. Special thanks to the staff of Zilber Hospice for their kind and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation (thebasilicafoundation.org) would be greatly appreciated. Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the BASILICA OF ST. JOSAPHAT (601 W. Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee) on Saturday, October 17 at 11:00 AM. Due to the Covid Pandemic and concern for the health of everyone, the family will not receive those in attendance for visitation. Please sign the Guest Register Book in the rear of Church and be seated in the safe distancing provided by the Basilica. The Mass will be recorded and available for viewing on Gerald's Tribute Obituary page at the Funeral Home Website at rozgafuneral.com. Private inurnment will be held immediately following Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery. "Our lives are better left to chance"
Gerald M. Schaefer was Born to Eternal Life September 23, 2020 at the age of 96 years. Loving father of Anne (the late Kenneth) Scharneck. Dear grandfather of Christine (Kevin) Dee and Daniel (Kirsten) Scharneck and great-grandchildren Connor... View Obituary & Service Information
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