Jerry Shafer, Korean War Veteran, Was An Administrator at Mercywood Hospital


Jerry Lavern Shafer, 87, born on September 18, 1933, passed away peacefully on November 26, 2020 in the loving presence of his devoted wife Linda, and went to be with our Lord.

Jerry was born and raised in Milan, Michigan. He enjoyed playing sports for Milan High School and played on the 1950 League Championship football team, graduating in 1951. Jerry served in the United States Air Force (1953-1957) where he met his former spouse Rose (Hula) of twenty-eight years. They resided in Michigan and raised a family together. He graduated with a business degree from Cleary College (now Cleary University), Ypsilanti, Michigan, and worked as the Assistant Administrator at Mercywood Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

He later married his wife Linda (Gray) of thirty-five years and worked in Human Resources at University of Michigan Health System until retirement. Jerry was a devout and active member of St. John's Episcopal Church, Clinton, Michigan. 

A Korean War veteran, he was a 50-year member of The American Legion. Jerry enjoyed working outdoors, cooking out, neighborhood walks, scenic drives, bike riding, golfing, ice skating, playing pool and family board games/cards, watching sports, and attending his children’s sporting events. He also enjoyed relaxing in his backyard amongst the beautiful gardens that Linda planted. He listened to various genres of music, especially Big Band music. Jerry loved his family, spending time with them at every moment he could.

He had a great sense of humor. Jerry was always so kind, loving, patient, thoughtful, compassionate, giving, and understanding.

Jerry was predeceased by his dearly departed family members: parents Daniel and Carrie (Wales) Shafer; grandparents Garnett and Neva (Harris) Shafer, and Ora and Sarah (Schlutz) Wales; infant son Timmy Michael Shafer; former spouse Rose; brother-in-law Donald Purkey; his son Gregory’s loved one Loretta McKenzie; uncles Rosco, Glen, Leonard, Lewis, and Robert Wales, and aunts Florence and Gertrude Wales; Linda’s brother Gary Bird and son-in-law Stevie Nash; and other dear family members.

Jerry is remembered with love by his family: wife Linda; his children: daughter Cynthia and son-in-law Mark Blumenau and their children Ashley, Stephanie, Nick, Michelle, and Michael; twin son Gregory Shafer; twin daughter Bonnie and son-in-law Douglas Rideout, Jr.; son John and daughter-in-law Kathleen Shafer and their children Brooke, Jacob, and Maximilian; sister Bonnie Purkey and children Deborah, Donna, Pamela, and Betsy; half-siblings Sandra Miller and Barry Shafer, and Nan Leffel and Kent Shafer; Linda’s children: daughter Teresa Nash and children Kelly, Steven, and Landon; daughter Deborah and son-in-law Bruce Shoberg and her children Jennifer, John, Benjamin, and Andrew; son Kenneth Gray; daughter Leanne and son-in-law Justus Layman and their children Amanda, Austin, Isabella, and Kacie; his godchildren: nieces Catherine and Stephanie, and dear friend Shirley; and his many cousins and family members.

Jerry has had so many friends, from years ago to the present day. Jerry is and was loved by all who knew him. Truly, a beloved man.

A celebration of Jerry’s life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be sent to St. John’s Episcopal Church, POB 518, Clinton, Michigan. Arrangements are under the care of the Clinton Chapel of the Handler Funeral Home. Online condolences for the family may be offered at

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