Robert F. “Sam” Shaffer, 85, a lifetime Plymouth area resident, has died after a brief illness, at 4:10 p.m., on Sunday, August 26, 2001. Sam, who lived with Esther, his wife of 55-years, at 217 Shalley Drive, Plymouth, since 1976, died in the Emergency Room of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Plymouth. Born in Tippecanoe, Ind., on October 3, 1915, Sam was the son of John E. and Elizabeth A. Hardesty Shaffer. He graduated from Tippecanoe High School in 1933. He first worked at Morris Lumber Co., as a yardman and in delivery with his brother Bud, and lifelong friend Robert Cook. When World War II came, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving four years. On June 6, 1944, with the 16th Infantry Division of the First Battalion, Sam landed on Omaha Beach where he was wounded and later was awarded a Purple Heart and a Silver Star. Once home, Sam and Esther L. Grossman were married in Plymouth on April 21, 1946. He and his brother, Bud, formed the Shaffer Brothers Construction Company. They were well regarded in the field specializing in remodeling and room additions. He retired in 1978, but continued in the carpentry trio of Sam, Bob Cook and Bill Snyder until June of this year. Three years ago Sam and Bill Snyder went to Americus, Georgia, to help on a Habitat for Humanity project. He was also a Plymouth firefighter for 25 years, starting in 1955, and was part-time chief from 1967 to 1978. Mayor Chuck Glaub appointed Sam as Plymouth’s first full-time Fire Chief, serving from 1978 to 1980 when he retired. He was instrumental in the addition of the 1970, 80-foot Am LaFrance aerial truck that was just replaced. A supporter of Plymouth’s Big Red sports teams, Sam belonged to the Plymouth Kilwinning Lodge #149, serving as Master in 1956. A member of Valley of South Bend Scottish Rite, the Ind. State Fireman’s Assoc., and was a life member of the V.F.W. #1162. Sam is survived by his devoted spouse Esther and their loving daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth A. “Beth” and Dick Webster, Bremen. Also surviving is a grandson, Michael C. and Paula Shively, Plymouth. Their great-grandson, Seth Shively, and great-granddaughter, Morgan Shively, survive as well. Several nieces and nephews also survive. Sam was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers: Durward “Dude”, James W. “Bud” and Cloyse “Pete” Shaffer and two sisters: Donna B. Shaffer and Doris Anglin. Visitation with Sam’s family will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 29, 2001, in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth. A Masonic service will be held at 8 p.m., following visitation. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 30, 2001, in the funeral home. The Rev. Brian Deckinger, pastor of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, Donaldson, where Sam was a member, will officiate. A special salute will be give at the Plymouth Fire House. Burial will be in New Oakhill Cemetery, Plymouth, where military honors will be accorded Sam by the VFW Post 1162. Former Mayor Chuck Glaub said it best. “ Sam Shaffer was a gentleman. He will be missed by many.” Memorial gifts may be made to the Immanuel Lutheran Church.
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