1938 - 2018
SCHAEFFER, Spencer, A Remarkable Life Born July 27, 1938 in Brooklyn, NY to Elsa and Philip Schaeffer. He died peacefully on July 9, 2018 in his home in Natick MA.

"Drink the good wine first"....and he did.

Spencer's team was the Ebbets Field Brooklyn Dodgers. His Brooklyn roots were strong with existing friendships that go back 77 years. He loved music from classical to Rock and Roll, but Simon and Garfunkel meant home to him. He started reading at age two and never stopped. Prolific reader of: novels, news, medical journals, poetry and articles about science and osteopathy. He was always seeking better ways to serve his patients. He was a lifelong learner and he loved teaching. Sharing knowledge was essential to him. One of his specialties was Osteopathic Cranial Manipulation, which transformed the lives of many patients. As one patient wrote in a thank you, "After my head injury, you put Humpty Dumpty back together again and returned me to work and life again." Each patient was the center of his universe while he was with them. He relished the puzzle of diagnosing, and the joy of treating and helping people.

A Scrabble master and NYT Crossword Puzzle enthusiast, which he enjoyed doing with others, sharing the solving fun. As friend said, "A brilliant person that didn't need to prove his genius." Another added, " He takes the art, appreciation and joy of eating good food to new heights. I don't know anyone with whom I'd rather share a meal." Known for his quick wit, and ability to find the humor in life and appreciate it with a full belly laugh. He was a steadfast and generous friend. For Spencer seeing new places, eating new foods, exploring new cultures was a joy, not to be missed.

Graduated Kirksville Osteopathic Medical School 1969

Internship Dayton OH 1969-70

Private Practice in the greater Boston area from 1970 with General Practice and then specializing in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine 1981- 2018

Positions held: Faculty, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Adjunct Faculty, Sutherland Teaching Assoc., Past President of the New England Academy of Osteopathy, Cranial Academy Board of Examiners Certification of Competency, Lecturer, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in the Temroromandibular Joint Program.

Memberships: American Osteopathic Assoc., American Academy of Osteopathy, Osteopathic Cranial Academy and the Massachusetts Osteopathic Society

He is survived by, as he would tell everyone, the love of his life for 45 years, his wife, Lydia, Natick MA, and son, Benjamin, Watertown MA. Spencer is also survived by son, Andrew, and daughters Stephanie Schaeffer and Patricia Schaeffer Straub, and two grandsons, and one granddaughter, all of Eastchester NY. Dr. Schaeffer also leaves behind his brother, Bruce, and his wife, Susan, and niece, Sara, of NYC and San Francisco.

The family will have a private service. In honor of Spencer's love of body surfing and Moody Beach, ME. He will take his final swim there at a later date.

Donations may be made in his honor to: The Osteopathic Cranial Academy, www.cranialacademy.org
Published by Boston Globe from Jul. 10 to Jul. 15, 2018.
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18 Entries
I hear his memory speaking to me "find a way now to say goodbye, let the feelings and thoughts carry me, not burden me --- now lean back and turn onto my left side (and as I turn to the right, he says "no, your other left)"
July 21, 2019
Ben and I are deeply grateful for everyone's kind and supportive words. Thank you. We miss Spencer with all our hearts.
Lydia Schaeffer
August 25, 2018

Spencer and I go back a long way, 1969. I never met him in medical school, even though we were there at the same time. We got close when he arrived in Boston and remained so until the day he died. He was a fine family man, physician and dedicated friend who I'll miss dearly. Luckily, I have many wonderful memories to fall back on, which is helpful dealing with his passing. He was a one of a kind, so correctly depicted in the condolences of him I reviewed here. My love will always be there for him, Lydia and Ben, who are friends forever.
Howard Jonas
August 2, 2018
I was much saddened to hear of Spencers death. In addition to his being an extraordinary healer, it was always delightful to spend time with him while getting treated. I always enjoyed his jokes, such as declaring that they come from miles around regarding the popularity of some of his more robust manipulations. Whether gentle or robust, his treatments were remarkably effective, and I generally found myself greatly improved within 24 hours. I so appreciated the compassion I received from both Lydia and Spencer when I came to the office, often in significant pain.
Mimi and I send our condolences to Lydia and the entire family. May Spencers memory be a blessing as his entire life was a blessing for all of us.
Renee Shapiro and Mimi Rhys
Renee Shapiro
August 2, 2018
Howard Jonas
August 2, 2018
The one and only person who could truly fix me has left this earthly plain. Selfishly, I will miss him. I am glad he lived life so fully, richly and lovingly. Spencer was so uniquely talented at healing. The Earth will have a void now that truly cannot be filled. My love goes out to Lydia and Ben. May you grieve and love and hold dear all your memories. Peace and love, Amelia Turner
Amelia Turner
July 25, 2018
Spencer was such a healer, and such a lovely human being. I always loved his light-hearted and light-filled way...often telling ridiculous jokes (jokes we still repeat) all through a session. His way of telling our daughter Whitney to take it easy for a few days after an appointment was a classic: he always told her to spend the next couple of days riding on her elephant scattering rose petals here and there. we will all miss him.
Bev Chapman
July 23, 2018
I am honored to have known Spencer as a colleague and friend. His integrity, curiosity, and clinical acumen were outstanding. He was my "go-to" expert in neuro-musculo-skeletal problems during my years in practice at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. I profited from his wisdom, his perspective, and his wonderful personality. He was blessed to have had the enduring support of Lydia, and she in turn was blessed to have had a wonderful husband and friend in Spencer.
July 20, 2018
My heartfelt condolences to Lydia, Ben, and the family, Spencer is a luminary. He is the standard to which I hold other doctors. His attentive compassionate skill manifested miracles and gave not only hope, but true transformative care that resulted in real healing. He showed us what was possible - what great transcendent capacity is held in the human body when it is treated with loving kindness and wisdom. He did this through listening with his whole being when working with a patient. He brought to light things that were hidden, that needed to be changed, and that no other doctors could discover. His healing wisdom transformed my husband, my son, and me - restored what had been damaged through injury - and we are forever grateful to him, and brilliant Lydia. Great Blue Herons were dear to his heart, may his spirit fly with them.
Eleanor Mitten
July 20, 2018
Forever a bright light
Greer Tocci
July 19, 2018
I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of Spencer and my heartfelt condolences go to his family. I will always be grateful for the care he gave me. I met Spencer when I could barely walk and was in tremendous pain. At the time I was a young mother with a young child. He was one of less than a handful of doctors with whom I felt truly cared for and I felt safe to have hope again. He set me on a path to the best care I could have had. He referred me to Dr. Charles Radbill DO, who also helped me to get out of bed and walk again when Spencer himself had done all he could. I like to think these two wonderful healers will be in company again. xo xo
Greer Tocci
July 19, 2018
Condolences to Lydia and the family. Spencer was a wonderful osteopath and perhaps even better philosopher (which is saying a lot). He was extremely helpful to me dispensing not only with his skilled sensitive hands but also providing wisdom, humor and love along the way. I will always remember him with fondness and gratitude.
Eileen Schwart
July 18, 2018
The world has lost a true healer, deep thinker, and earnest friend. I can only hope he's helping my Grandfather whose back I inherited. Spencer never stopped thinking about me (and all his patients) thinking of new ways of helping. I believe my experience was shared by others - when with Spence - we were his singular focus!
Barry Greene
July 18, 2018
A wonderful and witty friend for many years...Many of Spencers most memorable incites I still recall and recite to friends... Joining the sea at Moody Beach...a place our small group of friends and family frequented for decades, is a perfect place for Spencers last swim. We will miss his smile and his friendship...
Martin Weinkle
July 17, 2018
I remember Spencer not only as a gifted doctor who educated as he treated, but as a very special human being.
Corinne Trabucco
July 17, 2018
Corinne Trabucco
July 17, 2018
What a blow to this world. . . we have lost one of the greatest minds and hearts we have been blessed to have met. Our deepest sympathies Lydia and Ben. Our most sincere gratitude for sharing him with all of us who were lucky to be his patients. He did so much good for our family, and all of his patients. He was a supremely wonderful healer, and an even better man. We will miss him deeply . . .
Kaiden, Ginger, and Stephen
Stephen Bateman
July 15, 2018
The world has lost a brilliant man, one that made hours of treatment enjoyable as the conversation would always be entertaining, witty, and yet, informative. Spencer was able to fix a neck injury that hobbled my life for years, years wasted with other doctors prescribing drugs that did nothing to stop the pain. I owe an enormous debt to him (and so does my wife, whose back locked up one day and Spencer unlocked it, and then she too considered him a Miracle Man). My condolences to his family, especially Lydia and Ben. I did not know the rest of his family but I want to let them know I will never, ever forget Spencer giving me my life back. I wish I could do the same for him.
Frank D'Angeli
July 15, 2018
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