Some might say the earth shifted slightly on its axis on September 1, 1963. It was on this day in Hugo, CO that Jeffory Wade Saffer was born into this world as the fourth child of Ross and Pearl Saffer. Life was never to be the same for this family. It was evident very early on that Jeff loved life. He had a quick wit and sense of humor that left many people shaking their heads and smiling after being around him.
Jeff attended school in Arriba, CO, graduating in May of 1981. Many stories come from his days spent here. One friend remembers that Jeff could have his pick of any seat on the bus the first day of school, but from that point on spent most of the time sitting on the step so the bus driver could keep an eye on him. Those who watched him play basketball can remember him racing so fast to the other end of the court that he would have to run up the wall before he would get stopped.
After graduation, Jeff moved to Akron, CO. On February 26, 1982, he was joined in marriage to Pam Thompson. Shortly after, the couple moved to Otis, CO, where Jeff was employed by Sito, Inc. To this union two sons (his mini-me's) were born. Ryan Jeffory entered the world on February 21, 1984. Kyler Wade was born on September 27, 1987.
At a very early age, Jeff started making ramps and jumping his bicycle over anything he could. He did it so often that it started annoying his older brothers, Dan and Steve. As a result, they decided to loosen the bolt on the front tire of his bike. The next jump he made found his tire staying on the ground and him landing on the front fork of the bike. Jeff spent many summers staying with his sister, Veda, and her husband, where he would jump the ditches and creek bottoms with his bicycle. He eventually graduated to a motorcycle. This fascination led him to the sport of motocross. Jeff participated in many races until the late 1980s, when he witnessed a fellow racer severely injured in a race. This made him realize the importance of being around for his kids. His continued love for motorcycles moved him out of motocross and onto a Harley.
In November of 1999, Jeff went to work for the Otis Elevator (later known as Cargill). Many friendships and memories were made here. Farmers (and their wives) recounted Jeff coming out to the wheat trucks to help them un-tarp and unload, all while joking with them. He made several trips south of Akron to fill anhydrous tanks for the farmers who needed it.
On November 24, 1996, Jeff married Jinny Weiss. With this union, Jeff was blessed with the addition of two daughters, Jami and Jessi, to his family. Before proposing to Jinny, he asked the girls' permission to marry their mom. A bond was instantly formed. The family bought the house on the old Denova homestead south of Otis.
Jeff was so well known for his work ethic that when his employment at Cargill ended in 2000, word quickly spread that he would be looking for a job. Before he could even fill out applications, Jeff had at least three job offers. He chose to go to work for Ison Oil Company in Platner, CO, where he put many miles on his truck each day traveling to areas as far as Wiggins, Strasburg, and Haigler, NE. Many farmers knew they could call Jeff at the last minute, and he would be there to fill their fuel tanks just as soon as he could.
On March 20, 2006, in the middle of a late winter storm, Jeff got a call that his house was on fire. The fire departments of Otis and Cope responded as quickly as they could, considering the road conditions. Unfortunately, the house was a total loss. Jeff was very humbled by what followed. The communities of Akron, Otis, Yuma, and Cope came together to do some fundraising to help Jeff get back on his feet. He was stunned by all of the people who came forward, making contributions to help. Jeff was often heard saying the house fire was one of the best things that ever happened to him. As said by a friend, "Jeff took all life handed him with a laugh and a comeback".
It was after this that he bought his current residence in Akron. His daily routine often started with Jeff having breakfast with friends at Odell's, checking on his mother Pearl, or stopping by the Akron Clinic to harass his "Sissy" and her co-workers.
Jeff thought the world of his children, and thought even more of his grandkids. Close behind them was his brand new Harley, lovingly named "Arleen". He loved hitting the road just to ride, whether it was by himself on a vacation in the mountains, on a poker-run with his buddies, or simply a joyride with his son, Kyler.
Everyone around felt they had a special relationship with Jeff. He never knew a stranger and had a nickname for just about everyone he knew. While being remembered for his quick wit, he will also be remembered for his compassion and kindheartedness toward others. He had a quiet way of paying it forward.
Jeff passed from this world on February 5, 2014, following years of chronic respiratory disease that was compounded by other illnesses. Jeff's final days were spent surrounded by family and friends at North Colorado Medical Center Intensive Care Unit. No words can express the void that has been left in the lives of those who knew and loved him.
Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Ross and Pearl Saffer. He is survived by his children, Ryan Saffer and wife Jodi of Yuma; Kyler Saffer of Wray; Jami Anderson and husband Jake of Colorado Springs, and daughter Jessi Saffer of Gunnison; grandchildren Johnathen, Rachel, and Elijah Saffer and Ruby June Anderson; sister Veda Pieper and husband Leo of Akron, brothers Dan Saffer and wife Cynthia of Greeley, and Steve Saffer of Flagler; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. Donations can be made in Jeff's name to the Otis and/or Cope Fire Departments.
A celebration of Jeff's life will be held Saturday, February 15, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at the Akron High School field house, followed by one last ride (weather permitting) to Ison Oil in Platner and back to Akron. Graveside services will be held at a later date.