Ralph James Shafer, 89, of Mason City, died on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at his home.
Ralph was born March 24, 1931 in Grand Junction, Iowa to Carl and Pearl (Cox) Shafer. His family moved to Nora Springs/Portland area where they farmed until 1944 or 1945 when they moved to Mason City.
Ralph was a Mason City High School graduate. For three years Ralph served in the army as a certified truck mechanic. He was stationed in Ft. Riley, Kansas, Guam, Japan, and Camp McCoy, Wisconsin.
Ralph and Dixie were married in 1954 and went on to enjoy family life. Their travels include trips to Las Vegas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii and Europe.
Ralph was a supervisor/foreman at Lehigh Cement Plant, retiring in June 1992 after thirty-two plus years of service.
Everyone liked Ralph. He was a kind, gentle, caring, understanding, compassionate man with a very positive attitude toward life. His moral upbringing always compelled him to do the right thing. He couldn’t have told a lie if his life depended on it. Ralph was an exemplary man of high integrity and good character, a true role model and an inspiration to all. He accepted life’s challenges with a positive attitude, strength, courage, and perseverance, right up to the end of his life.
Ralph loved life and had many interests. His number one interest and top priority was always family. He thoroughly enjoyed dining out with his family as well as weekly Wednesday morning breakfasts with his brothers. On holidays and special occasions, Ralph always gave Dixie a dozen red roses and an exceptionally beautiful card. When selecting her card, he never looked at the price. He said that a price could not be placed on his love for Dixie.
In earlier years, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and working on cars. He was the proud owner of a 1940 chevy and enjoyed taking the family on Sunday rides. Dancing with Dixie was one of Ralph’s pleasures. They attended many dances together. Ralph spent hours in his woodworking shop, usually working on a project for a family member.
Ralph was able to fix anything! He had the analytical ability to diagnose the problem, the creative ability to design the fix, and the physical skill to implement the fix which often involved making parts. If Ralph couldn’t fix it, it was unfixable!
For years Ralph served as a board member of the Lehigh Credit Union. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and Disabled Veterans. In 1994, Ralph received the Governor’s Volunteer Award recognizing his outstanding volunteer efforts for the North Iowa Community Action Organization Head Start Program. Ralph donated many hours to construct the new Head Start playground at 300 15th Street N.E. in Mason City, Iowa.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents: Carl and Pearl Shafer, sister: Leila (Walter) Atkinson, brothers: Ray (Wilma) Shafer and Frank Shafer. He is survived by his wife, Dixie and daughters, Sherry of Mason City, Peggy (Larry) Davis and Glenys Shafer of Mason City, brothers, George, Joe, and David (Alma) Shafer, sister-in-law: Janice (Frank) Shafer, uncle: Clifton (Charlene) Cox, grandchildren: Jim Barkema, Jason Weitzel, Michael Weitzel, Aftin (Weitzel) Waite, great-grandchildren: Takota Weitzel, Drake Waite, Kavaya Weitzel, Alec Barkema, Madison, Ian Weitzel Keaton Weitzel, great-great grandson, Kasen Kettwig, many nieces and nephews, and his Special feline friend, Buddy.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 1:30 p.m., at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 North Pennsylvania.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 28, 2021, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the funeral home.
Interment will be at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery.