Walter L. "Skip" SCHAFER Jr.
1947 - 2017
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SCHAFER, Walter L. Jr.

"Skip" 69, of Clearwater, passed away on Jan. 27, 2017, surrounded by friends and family. Son of Dr. Walter L. Schafer, Sr. and Vivian B. Schafer. Moved to St. Petersburg, FL in 1955, he graduated from Florida State University in 1969, earned his J.D. from Capital University School of Law in 1977, and his L.L.M. from the University of Miami School of Law in 1978. He was appointed to the 6th Judicial Circuit Court in 2005 by Gov. Bush. Skip, a devoted father and a friend to all, is survived by sons, Walter, Kurt, and Kyle; sisters, Barbara and Janet; and brother, Lee. A memorial will be held at the Sylvan Abbey Mausoleum at 11 am on Saturday, Feb. 4. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to MD Anderson Cancer Research Center, or the St. Petersburg College of Nursing.

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Published in Tampa Bay Times from Feb. 3 to Feb. 4, 2017.
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Memories & Condolences
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47 entries
February 5, 2017
Condolences to Skip's family. Known him for more than 50 years as a school chum. Always fun, he went on to make his friends and family very proud.
Marty Marth
February 4, 2017
My sincere condolences to Skip's family. He and I first met at new Judges school 11 years ago and I quickly came to appreciate what a smart, caring decent human being he was. He embodied the golden rule. He will be sorely missed but touched so many lives in such a positive way that he left a great legacy. RIP my friend.
Paul Firmani
February 4, 2017
Skip was one of the best friends anyone could have. He was one of the most caring individuals to ever serve his community. His passing is truly a great loss.
Bill and Charlotte Douglas
February 4, 2017
Skip was a wonderful friend and next door neighbor. For the past 18 years we would discuss our kids, exchange our world views, travels, local news or just discuss whose grass was causing an issue to the others, but mostly we would listen to one of Skip's antidotes, which would always be very humorous and have us all laughing. He always talked fondly of his sons, often finding something he liked and buying three more to make sure they all got one. That was Skip and we will always hold him in dear our hearts.
Jerry and Peggy Taylor
February 4, 2017
My most sincere condolences to the family of Walter l. Schafer.
Jeffrey Stewart
February 4, 2017
I had few moments with Skip as his neighbor. I will treasure each and everyone of those moments as each was heartfelt--a remarkable man, one filled with compassion, kindness and wisdom. My thoughts and prayers are with his sons and family.
Sue Pagan
February 4, 2017
Skip Schafer did not want to retire. He loved being a judge and he still had the sharp intellect, common sense, collegial spirit and work ethic that he brought to the job years ago. Skip sometimes lamented the fact he had not become a judge sooner and more recently expressed his complaint that Florida's judicial age limitation would force him to leave too soon. In a subtle resistance to the looming unfair forced retirement he submitted a resignation letter giving the Governor his own chosen day prior to the day he would turn 70. Ironically, Skip avoided the constitutional mandate and remained an active circuit judge for the rest of his life. If there is a court in heaven he is probably working a docket there now.
Anthony Rondolino
February 3, 2017
Judge Schafer was a good man, a fine judge and a wonderful colleague. He always seemed happy to see us. In todays world that is not all that easy to find. We will miss him.
David & Susan Demers
February 3, 2017
Sally Hargreaves
February 3, 2017
I didn't know Skip as a Judge, only a neighbor. We had many talks and laughs standing in our yards solving the world's problems. He was very proud of his sons and spoke of them often while always encouraged our son to be the best he could be. I don't think I've ever met anyone that epitomized the term Southern Gentleman better than Skip. His intellect, joy and laughter will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in their time of grief.
Jeff Gjoen and Family
February 2, 2017
Please know that, as always, our prayers, thoughts, and love are with you all. May God grant you the peace, serenity, and strength through this time. Skip certainly left his mark on all that knew him.

Joe(Joey),Delaine Rawlings and family
February 1, 2017
My deepest sympathies to his family. A true gentleman. Always polite and courteous to all that appeared before him. An overall great judge and person. He will be missed by many.
Robert Eckard
February 1, 2017
Skip was a dear friend and my mentor for 25 years. I treasured our friendship and the many deep conversations we had. When I think of words that come to mind about him I will always remember his faith, compassion, true friendship, intellect, ethics. To name a few. I will dearly miss him. Semper Fi.
February 1, 2017
Our friend for over thirty years. Always a gentleman and true professional. Skip was a wonderful person. We will miss him greatly.
Bill and Barbara Lopez
February 1, 2017
Kind, caring, smart, funny.... just a few of the words that describe Skip. He was the happiest and friendliest judge that I know! I will surely miss emailing and seeing him at conferences. Rest in peace my dear friend. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. With sincere sympathy
Cynthia Cox
January 31, 2017
He was a true gentleman with a kind heart and great sense of humor. I will truly miss working with him.
Mary Andersen
January 31, 2017
I very much enjoyed working with your father over these many years. He was a wonderful man - he had such a kind heart! He will be greatly missed! I pray for blessings for your family at this difficult time.
Shelly Naja
January 31, 2017
Skip will be greatly missed! He was always a true gentleman, and a wonderful man. To his family, I want you to know that I always have held your father in the highest regard. I hope you find peace and comfort in your many memories. Rest in peace in heaven, Skip!
Bob Burnside
January 31, 2017
I always enjoyed our conversations in the parking lot of the restaurant after Trial lawyers. Just two old soldiers who had way too many memories to waste on those with too few. Living has so many challenges and our measure of success is how we encounter and meet them. He and I allowed as we managed somehow. But there is that last one that we have to meet before we can move on.
Robert Walker
January 31, 2017
A brilliant legal mind, a patient jurist, a kind and caring heart, a loving father, and a very dear friend.
Chuck Philips
January 31, 2017
A total loss to the community. A good, fair and compassionate person who was literally liked by all. He will be missed

Joseph N Perlman
January 31, 2017
My condolences to the family and friends of Judge Walter "Skip" Schafer. He served the Bench and the legal community well.
Jeff Albinson
January 31, 2017
Skip was a friend and had a good heart. Sorry to see him move on.
Jay Avril
January 31, 2017
As my employer during his time in private practice, I learned a great deal from Skip. His demeanor and work ethic influences me to this day. The legal community, his friends, and most of all his family have suffered a great loss by his untimely passing.
Laura Scalzi
January 31, 2017
A lovely, intelligent and compassionate man. Our entire community will miss him.
Ted Schofner
January 31, 2017
Always a gentleman and patient to a fault. Skip was fond of the old epigram:
"When my friend is one-eyed, I view him only in profile". RIP
John D. Fernandez
January 31, 2017
Hardworking, decent and always good-humored. What a loss to the local legal community. My condolences to his family.
Jim Gulecas
January 31, 2017
I had known Skip as a colleague, but really got to know him serving together on a Grievance Panel for 3 years before his joining the bench. His insight, fairness and compassion for both the lawyer being grieved and the complaintant, was a precursor to the way he ran his courtroom.
Tim Schuler (Seminole)
January 31, 2017
His combination of passion, intellect and compassion are seldom seen and will be missed by all who knew him. He was a shining light for all who had the pleasure of getting to know him. He is now with GOD and I am thankful that he is now without pain and is with the Lord. Richard Heiden
Richard Heiden
January 31, 2017
So sorry to hear of Skip's passing... my deepest condolences to his family... he was a great person...
Catherine Ostrander Lopez
January 31, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with Judge Schafer's family. He always had a warm smile and a kind word. He will be greatly missed.

Judge Irizarry
Judge Myriam Irizarry
January 31, 2017
So sorry for your loss.
Bill Pontrello
bill pontrello
January 31, 2017
Skip was my dear friend. He and I often had lunch together and even took some over seas trips. He was always interesting to talk with and upbeat in his attitude toward life. I shall miss him and his friendship.

Denis deVlaming
denis devlaming
January 31, 2017
His passing. Is a loss to the judiciary and to the community.
Jean and Louis Kwall
January 31, 2017
Skip was such a good friend to me over the last 18 years and was always the Judge we knew he would be. He never once took his position for granted, but instead honored it by being humble and always showing respect to what his robe stood for both on the bench and off. I was proud to call him my friend. I will miss you Skipper - may you find peace and comfort in the heavens above
January 31, 2017
I'm so sorry for your loss. Skip was a great guy.
Stewart Olson
January 31, 2017
I am certainly celebrating your life Judge Schafer. Your zest for life, joy, and happiness continues to be admired and felt by many (including myself)! Thank you for all of your experience, service, and positive energy!
Cary Cash
January 31, 2017
I will miss him - he was always kind and positive. Our community has lost a wonderful man.
Jodi Leisure
January 31, 2017
I am so sorry to hear of this. I appeared in front of Judge Schafer many times. He was always very personable and professional with the attorneys and their clients. He will be greatly missed. I offer my prayers for him, all of his family and friends. Requiescat in pace.
Lorrie Robinson
January 31, 2017
May his memory be eternal. we will miss his temperament and his professional manner.
Peter Sartes
January 31, 2017
Deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. I enjoyed appearing before Judge Schafer because he was conscientious and en excellent listener. I and numerous colleagues will miss him. Shirin M. Vesely
January 31, 2017
My condolences to the family of Judge Walter Schafer. I practiced before him for many years. I always appreciated his judgment, fairness and analysis of legal issues. the bar and the sixth judicial circuit will miss him,
Alan Gross
January 31, 2017
So very sad to learn of his untimely passing. Always enjoyed having cases before him. Warm and brilliant. A profound loss for the entire Tampa Bay community.
Charles Gallagher
January 31, 2017
Judge Schafer always had time for a quick chat with anyone seeking advice or support. He also always had time to help his fellow Judges with the weight and responsibilities of their jobs when they were difficult. "Skip" had an immense impact on the people around him and whose lives he touched in both his personal and professional life. The Judge was a friend and a source of inspiration and his presence will be missed by anyone who knew him. Fortunately, he lives on in the hearts and memories of those he touched.
Gary Williams
January 31, 2017
This is a sad day for us all.

Wally Pope
January 31, 2017
Skip was the best. Friendly, smart and always doing the best. Our prayers are with you.
kirk davis
January 30, 2017
Not just a judge, but a friend and an extraordinary person. You will be missed. Prayers for your peace and for strength to those you leave behind. Sallie Skipper
Sallie Skipper
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