Donald W. Sheffler
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85, born April 16, 1928, in Massillon, passed away peacefully Feb. 19, 2014, in New York City after a short illness. He was a resident of New York City for over 50 years. Don had a long illustrious career as a commercial illustrator. His interest in drawing began as a young student at Horace Mann Elementary School, where he made posters and other similar works. At 17, as a Senior at Washington High School, he painted the War Memorial Mural surrounding the Honor Roll plaque which included the names of WHS students that gave their lives during World War II. This inspirational mural, located on the first floor across from the Principal's Office, covered an area 9 feet high by 13 feet wide and depicted different stages of the war, and the country's return to peace. Given a special reception, it was highly praised by faculty, students and parents and one newspaper reporter labeled it as, 'the most ambitious art project ever undertaken by a student of the school.' Unfortunately, the mural was destroyed by a fire set in that area by vandals in 1972. As a reward for creating the mural Don received a full scholarship to Ohio Wesleyan University after graduating in 1946. After his freshman year he decided to return the scholarship in favor of eventually attending a top-rated art school that would better suit his goals in the field of commercial illustration. Don served as the Display Director for the Massillon Hardware store (now the Massillon Senior Center), and won many first-place awards in window display contests sponsored by outdoor sports magazines. This activity was interrupted by the Korean War, when he was called up for Army service in Massillon's Battery 'B' of the 987th Armored Field Artillery Battalion. He served from 1950 to 1952 in Korea, first as Fire Control Director for a battery of Army M7B2 self-propelled 105 MM Howitzer Cannons, and later on as Staff Sergeant of Battery Supply Corps. Upon discharge he returned home to resume his position at Massillon Hardware. In 1954, using the G.I. Bill, he enrolled at The Art Center School in Los Angeles, graduating with distinction three years later with a Bachelor of Professional Arts Degree. This led him to New York City where, from 1957-1964 he was associated with Cooper Studios as an Advertising Illustrator. His accounts included Eagle Clothiers, Lily Dache, Clavert Whiskey and U.S. Steel. He also freelanced as Men's Fashion Illustrator for the Burdine Department store chain in Miami, Fla. Until 1969, his accounts also included Schenley Distillery, Estee Lauder, Liz Claiborne, Concord Watches, and Playtex. In addition he served for four years in product design and illustration for The Franklin Mint. His longest association, from 1958 until this year, was with Avon Products, Inc., as Illustrator and Designer in the Package Design and Product Illustration Division, the Gift and Decorative Division and the U.S. Events and Motivation Division.
He is survived by nieces Betty L. Ballinger of Stamford, Conn.; Gail Sheffler Lacey of Longmont, Colo., and Gwen Sheffler Sparn of Boulder, Colo. Surviving nephews include Perry Ballinger of Massillon; Kenneth Ballinger of Canton; Gary Sheffler of New Raymer, Colo., and Glenn Sheffler of Longmont, Colo. He was predeceased by parents George W. and Amelia Wacker Sheffler; two sisters, Margene Sheffler and Marie Sheffler Ballinger; and brother, Harold Sheffler of Boulder, Colo.
Friends may call at the Arnold-Lynch Funeral Home, Wales Road, Saturday, April 5th., from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. A memorial service to celebrate Don's life will follow, conducted by Rev. Keith Baker of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Interment with military honors at the Massillon Cemetery will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests remembrances be made to a charitable organization of your choice.
Paquelet & Arnold-Lynch Funeral Home
1100 Wales Rd NE
Massillon, OH 44646
Published in The Repository on Mar. 29, 2014