Martin Frederick "Bill" Schafer (1924 - 2016)

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  • "MY sincere sympathy to your family. May the God of all..."
  • "With sincere sympathy may you find comfort in your memories..."
  • "Kim and Lin, thanks for letting me know about your father...."
    - Walt Hossfeld
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Martin Frederick (Bill) Schafer passed away peacefully on July 17, 2016 at home in Juneau, Alaska with his daughters by his side.

Bill was born on March 1, 1924, in Ritzville, Washington. He was named Martin, but was always called "Bill" by his family even before he was born. He attended Washington State University before he left to serve in the Army Air Corps in WWII in the Pacific as a 1st LT Bombardier/Navigator on the B-24 Liberator. After returning from the war, he graduated from WSU in 1949 and married Marian Hassel later that year. They moved to Fairbanks, Marian's hometown, and remained in Alaska for their married life with a couple of short stints in California.

Bill had a career in the travel business that spanned over 40 years. He was able to travel to
parts of the world that were just beginning to be opened to tourism. He was in sales and marketing for Pan American World Airways in the early days in Fairbanks, Juneau and San Francisco, Scandinavian Airlines and Northwest Orient Airlines in Anchorage and as owner of The Travel Center in Anchorage. Bill served as Director of the Alaska State Travel Division in the Dept. of Economic Development under Governor Hickel in the early 1970's. During a few years in California he was Director of Marketing for Hughes Airwest before returning to Alaska to finish out his travel career as Traffic Manager for the Alaska Marine Highway System.

After retirement Bill and Marian traveled extensively. They visited every corner of the world, and went to many places twice, except Antarctica. When he wasn't traveling, Bill enjoyed boating and fishing with friends. He was a life-long golfer and especially loved golfing when he and Marian spent winters in Palm Springs, CA and on vacation in Hawaii.

Bill was predeceased by his wife of more than 63 years, Marian Hassel Schafer. He is survived by daughters Kimberly Schafer of Juneau and Lin Sanford (Steve) of Green Valley, AZ; sister Betty Schwisow of Moses Lake, WA and her children Paul (Florence) Schwisow of Sprague, WA, Dawn (Chris) Jones of Moses Lake, WA and Jean Schwisow-DeBuhr of Spokane, WA and their children. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Patricia Schaefer of Richmond Beach, WA and her children Jay (Julie) Schaefer of North Bend, OR and Jill (Martin) Law of Edmonds, WA and their children.
One of Bill's favorite places was Sugar Beach in Kihei on Maui, Hawaii, where the family enjoyed vacations for many years. His family will honor his wishes to "be somewhere warm" and he will spend eternity on that beautiful beach.
An informal gathering to celebrate Bill's life will be held at T.K. Maguire's at the Prospector Hotel on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 from 4:30 to 6:30. His family welcomes his friends to attend.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Aug. 29 to Sept. 27, 2016
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