Dec. 18, 1933-Oct. 25, 2013
On October 25, 2013, Marie Elizabeth Janik Schiffer left the bonds of her pain on Earth to enjoy eternal peace with the Lord in heaven.
Mrs. Schiffer was preceded in death by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Joseph John Janik, Sr., her husband Jerome Bernard Schiffer, and her infant daughter Helen Frances. Mrs. Schiffer is survived by her brother and his wife Mr. and Mrs. Joseph John Janik, Jr.; her son, Paul Herman Schiffer; and his children, Autumn Elizabeth, Alex Joseph and Kaelin Nicole; her daughter, Noelle Marie Schiffer; and her children, Sydney Louise, Charles Patrick and Edward Noel; and her daughter, Veronika Rose Schiffer (Randy Berry); and their children, Christopher Chase and Hanna Marie. She is also survived by many Schiffer and Janik nieces and nephews and their children.
Mrs. Schiffer was born December 18, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois and lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated from Merrywood Academy at age 16 and would have been named valedictorian, but she was inspired by the leadership and dedication of the Sisters of Mercy who taught her, and left the all-girls school a year early to answer a call to serve Christ as a novice with the Sisters of Mercy. While serving as Sister Delores, Mrs. Schiffer earned a degree summa cum laude at Mercy College in Detroit, and began a lifelong teaching career. Mrs. Schiffer subsequently left the convent and completed graduate studies with the Jesuits at St. Louis University, in St. Louis, Missouri. In the early 1960's, she accepted a position as an associate professor of English at Ferris State College and moved to Big Rapids, MI. While on a chartered trip to Rome, she met Jerry Schiffer, whom she married.
Mrs. Schiffer taught English for nearly forty years. She also advised and inspired hundreds of students to continue their education. She enjoyed playing the piano and organ, singing, reading, swimming, playing basketball as a power forward, water and snow skiing, art, Shakespearian theater, canoeing and taking long walks. True to her studies, Mrs. Schiffer remained a strict grammarian, even as all of her other skills and abilities declined, by insisting that those around her used precision grammar, syntax and pronunciation. The legacy of that tutelage endures with her children and grandchildren. In the last few decades of her life, Mrs. Schiffer suffered from a myriad of conditions that severely compromised her abilities and quality of life. Her family is extremely grateful to Mary Ellen Coldwell, who managed her affairs with diligence and care, above and beyond the call of duty. The family would also like to recognize Jenna, Nikki and Jamie, and many others who generously cared for her and gave her friendship.
Visitation is Monday, October 28, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. with a Scripture at 7 p.m., at St. Michael's Catholic Church, in Remus, Michigan. There is a viewing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 followed by an 11 a.m. Funeral Service at St. Michael's. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations are made to The Country Place, 1805 East Jordan Road, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, 48858, 989.773.6320. Friends may share a memory with the family at the church or online at
Published in The Morning Sun on Oct. 27, 2013