Vera Margaret Schaefer, nee Smerek, 89, of Belleville, Ill., born July 30, 1926, in Belleville, Ill., died Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, Ill.
Mrs. Schaefer retired from Sears after 17 years of employment. She was a member of St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, and a member of the rosary group at church. Vera was also a member of Western Catholic Union, Catholic War Veterans Auxiliary Post 370, the St. Louis Metro Polka Club, and Meat Cutters Union Local 534 retirees.
Vera and her husband, Clarence, loved to dance, especially the polka, the cha cha, and the swing. They attended many polka festivals throughout the country. The last two years, they danced the senior dances in the area on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Anna, nee Gotch, Smerek; and two brothers, John and Stephen Smerek. Stephen was killed in Operation Tiger, while on maneuvers in the English Channel. The Germans sank Stephen's LSD prior to the D Day Invasion. Stephen's son, Nicholas, has passed away since.
Surviving are her husband of 67 years, Clarence J. Schaefer, whom she married Sept. 21, 1948; two sons, Stephen M. Schaefer (Tammy Seiber), and Dennis M. (Diane) Schaefer; a daughter, Mary Ann Schaefer; eight grandchildren, David M. Schaefer, Jason Schaefer, Amanda J. (Philip) Bischoff, Jessica N. Penny, Neil Schaefer, Kimberly Schaefer, and twins, Matthew and Mark Schaefer; six great-grandchildren; three cousins; a brother-in-law, Joseph Schaefer; a sister-in-law, Verdell Fehlker; a nephew, Robert (Mary Ann) Smerek; and a niece, Mary Ellen (Mark) Cummings.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois or in the form of Masses. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, 2016, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill., and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 9, 2016, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill. A Catholic War Veterans Auxiliary ritual will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the church with Msgr. William McGhee, Rev. Kenneth York, and Deacon Robert Smerek concelebrating. Burial will be at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, Ill.
GEORGE RENNER & SONS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on July 7, 2016