RALPH E. SHAFTER, 63, of rural LaOtto, died on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, 3:20 p.m., at his home. Born March 23, 1948, he was a son of Richard L. and Evelyn A. Shafter. His formative years were spent at the family home on Shriner Lake. He graduated from Columbia City Joint High School in 1966. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy. His service included a tour in Vietnam where he was awarded a Purple Heart Medal and Bronze Star with combat V for Valor. He retired from the United States Postal Service. His passion in life was fishing with family and friends especially the grandchildren. He cherished the bonds that were formed while catching fish. Surviving relatives include his wife, Dianna "D"; a daughter, Rachelle Diane Richey of Angola; four grandchildren, Nathan Hunter, Samantha Hunter, Laurel Richey, and Paul Richey; a great-granddaughter, Aaliyah Berry; mother, Evelyn Shafter of Warren; and three brothers, David L. Shafter of Fort Wayne, Richard P. Shafter of Shriner Lake and Kirk A. Shafter of Big Lake. He was preceded in death by his father; and a sister, Linda Sue Shafter. Memorial service is 7 p.m. Friday, March 23, 2012, at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City, with Chaplain Cheryl Schmidt of Heartland Hospice officiating. Military honors will be presented by the Whitley County Korean War Veterans Honor Guard. Preferred memorials to Heartland Hospice. Condolences may be sent to www. smithandsonsfuneralhome.com
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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Feb. 29, 2012