David G. Schaffer
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Virginia Beach - Lt. Cdr. David George Schaffer (USN Ret.), 81 passed away peacefully at home on December 15, 2013. "He was a good man." These simple words, spoken by his loving wife of 56 years, Patty (Patricia Ann Chambers), shortly after his death on December 15th, express the essence of the life of David George Schaffer. David was born in Newark NJ, May 11, 1932 to William and Elisabeth Schaffer. After graduating from Barringer HS, he enlisted in the US Navy. As an enlistee he achieved top scores on a fleet-wide exam that earned him an appointment to the US Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1957.
While at the Academy, a classmate, John Chambers, asked David if he would be a blind date for his sister, Patty, at a party of midshipmen at the Willard Hotel in Washington. Patty was in town visiting from the University of Maryland, and John wanted her to join everyone. David said "yes," and thus a cherished family story began. David boldly informed Patty on that first date that he intended to marry her. Of course she was amused by his brashness, but just a few months later they became man and wife in a ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockville MD. Little did David know on that first date that he would be marrying into a family of US Marines that included four brothers-in-law and a father-in-law, all of whom would teasingly urge David to switch his military allegiance. But David stuck to his Navy guns, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, although he did take on the passion of his new family for the Washington NFL football team. However he never gave up his boyhood baseball heroes, the Yankees, much to the chagrin of his sons-in-law. Even so, one of their fondest memories is visiting New York City with him, his son Michael, and grandson David, to attend one of the last games the Yankees played in their old stadium. Everyone sat in the uppermost row of the nosebleed section behind home plate, where David had watched his favorite team as a boy.
While in the Navy, David served many deployments including service aboard the USS Farragut, USS Randolph, and USS Yorktown. After retiring from service in 1976, David worked as a consulting engineer with the firms of Vitro Corporation of Crystal City, 1977-1979, and Q.E.D. Systems, Inc. of Virginia Beach, 1979-1995.
In addition to the many friends and relatives who will remember David, the members of his immediate family will keep his spirit in their hearts: wife Patricia; daughters Hansi and husband Tim Brittain, Patricia Ann and husband Ken Daley, Josie and husband Peter Bergstrom; sons David and Michael; grandchildren Katherine Brittain, David Daley, Lance LaCombe, and Elise LaCombe.
A funeral mass with military honors will be celebrated at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 712 Little Neck Rd., Virginia Beach, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 21st. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the
. Condolences may be offered to the family at: www.hollomon-brown.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Dec. 19, 2013