Theodore James "Jim" Schafer

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  • "I am indeed saddened to learn of Jim's passing and going..."
    - Mickey Baccio
  • "Msgt. Theodore James Jim Schafer, 87, USAF Retired, of..."
    - Dennis Schafer
  • "Please accept my dearest and heartfelt sympathy; I am so..."
    - RK
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DOVER - Msgt. Theodore James "Jim" Schafer, USAF Retired passed away peacefully, at his home on May 14, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born March 18, 1931 in Ritzville, Wash. to the late Theodore and Beulah Schafer.
Jim was drafted into the Army in 1952. He served in Korea as a rifleman with the 7th Infantry Division. He was one of the few survivors of Pork Chop Hill.
After being discharged from the Army he settled in Seattle, Wash. Jim worked as an aircraft mechanic with Northwest Orient Airlines and West Coast Airlines. He also worked as an inspector at Boeing Field.
In 1964 he joined the U.S. Air Force Active Reserves. He was recalled to full time active duty in Jan. 1968 and remained active duty Air Force until his retirement in 1991. During his career he served as a Flight Engineer on the C-119 Boxcar, C-124 Globemaster, C-141 Starlifter, C-97 Stratocruiser, C-118 Liftmaster, and C-5 Galaxy. Jim served in all conflicts from Viet Nam, up to and including The Desert Storm War.
One mission he was particularly proud of was the rescue of downed B-52 crew members in the Western Pacific Ocean. In July 1972 they dropped life rafts to the downed crew resulting in saving all members except one. Another noteworthy mission was tracking terrorist on the cruise ship the Achille Lauro, after they had departed the ship in Greece and hijacked a Greek airliner. This resulted in the capture of the terrorist in Sigonella, Sicily.
After retiring from the military in 1991 Jim worked as an aircraft mechanic for TIMCO, an aircraft refurbishing company in Greensboro, N.C.
He returned to Dover in 1994 and drove school bus for several years.
As an avid private pilot Jim flew the Cessna 150, 172, 175, and other light aircraft. His combined total of 11,040 safe and mishap-free flying hours resulted in his being awarded the "Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award" and "Roll of Honor" from the FAA for professionalism, skill and aviation expertise in safe operations for over 50 years.
He was a member of The Washington State Grange, Korean War Veterans Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association and Central Delaware Pilots Association. Jim loved flying his Cessna 172, bowling, traveling, and most important, enjoyed time with his wife, family, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Jim met his wife Rosemary in Ritzville, Washington. They were married on Jan. 25, 1953. They had four children. As a military family they had many travels and adventures state side and overseas.
Jim is survived by his wife Rosemary of 65 years; their son Dennis and his wife Brenda of Junction City, Kan.; their daughter Rhonda and her husband Steve of Anderson, S.C.; their son, Kirk and his wife Sandra of Van, TX; and their daughter Gail and her husband Rob of Magnolia.
He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Brian Sulser and his wife Michelle, Darryl Schafer and his wife Jessica, Cheryl Hart, Karyn Schafer, Eric Sulser and his wife Kim, Sharyn Schafer Worcester and her husband Ben, Mark Schafer and his wife Tobi, Daniel Dunkleberger, Kevin Dunkleberger, Daniela Colucci, and Justin Colucci.
He is also survived by nine great-grandchildren, Dylan, Harley, Isabella, Alanna, Emily, Matthew, Trent, Peyton, and Penelope, and sister Georgia Ann Morton of Spokane, Wash.
Jim was preceded in death by his brothers, Harold and Herb; sister, Goldie; and grandson, Scott.
A visitation will be held on Sunday May 20, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at Torbert Funeral Home, 61 S. Bradford St., Dover, DE. 19901.
Services will be held at the same location on Monday May 21, 2018 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Burial with full military honors following at Veterans Cemetery in Bear DE at 2465
Chesapeake City Rd, Bear, DE 19701.
Services will be officiated by Jim's grandson, Pastor Darryl Schafer.
In lieu of flowers the family asks donations be made in Jim's honor to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.
Letters of condolence and guestbook may be signed at

Funeral Home
Torbert Funeral Chapels - Bradford Street
61 South Bradford Street
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 734-3341
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Published in NewsZapDE on May 18, 2018
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