Obituary: James Joseph Schaefer

James Joseph Schaefer, 66, of Sturgeon Bay, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family, Friday morning, Feb. 23, 2018.

He was born May 22, 1951 to the late Joseph and Doris (Donovan) Schaefer. Jim attended St. Joseph Grade School and graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1969. He was united in marriage to Mary Ellen Peterson on Sept. 9, 1978 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay where he remained a lifelong member. They were blessed with more than 39 years of marriage.

Jim worked for Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay from 1973 until 1992. He was then employed as a bridge tender for the Door County Highway Department until 2016 when he retired.

Jim had a passion for carpentry and woodworking and loved being outdoors. He also liked making maple syrup. Above all, he loved spending time with his family, especially his grandkids.

Jim will be deeply missed by his dear wife, Mary; two children, Joe (Kari) Schaefer of Denmark, WI, and Melissa Schaefer of Sturgeon Bay; two grandchildren, Mikayla and Taylor Schaefer; mother-in-law, Helen Peterson; two sisters, Mary Maggle of Sturgeon Bay and Barb Tanck of Green Bay; brothers-in-law, Wayne (Vicky) Peterson of Egg Harbor, Gerald (Betty) Peterson of Fish Creek, and Donald (Angela) Peterson of Sturgeon Bay; sister-in-law, Shirley (Rick) Gronseth of De Pere; and many nieces and nephews; cousins; and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law, Arthur Peterson; brother, Larry Schaefer; and nephew, Damir Maggle

His life was honored with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 11 am on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Fr. Anthony Birdsall as celebrant. Jim will be laid to rest in the St. Joseph Cemetery Mausoleum.

Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of James may be shared with his family through his tribute page at

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