In death, as in life, they couldn’t bear to be apart. At the age of 92 years and 11 months, Billy Shafer went to be with our Lord and Savior on November 21, 2015. Ida Cathern Chappell Shafer, his wife of over 61 years, was called to follow on January 19, 2016, at the age of 83 years and 5 months.
Billy was a farmer at heart and with every fiber of his being. With his 3 older brothers and his older sister already in the military, Uncle Sam decided that Billy would support the war effort on the Homefront. He helped support 7 younger siblings and worked the farm until his father’s death in 1967. After WWII Billy attended the University of Nebraska-College of Agriculture where his skills at playing catcher and short stop became legendary. For many years he enjoyed playing town-team baseball for teams in Oxford and Edison. He eventually retired from the Edison Coop where he exceled at sharing his expertise with many farmers and gardeners in the Edison area. Billy was proud to have been elected and to have served as a Mayor of Edison for two terms.
Ida Cathern (Tootie to her Chappell family) began a career as a nurse’s aide after graduating from Orleans High School. Proud of her work for many years at the Oxford Hospital, Ida performed many responsibilities beyond the scope of an aide in today’s profession. She loved assisting in surgery and in delivering babies! Later, as the owner of the Edison Café and Ida’s Place she became renowned in the area as an excellent cook and baker—especially for her cinnamon rolls. Ida enjoyed being a vital part of the Edison community by actively participating in many local groups like Hobby Club, Ladies Aid and the Lion’s Club. She was instrumental in the organization and creation of Edison Market Day.
After meeting on a blind date, Billy and Ida were married on October 21, 1955. At that time Edison became their home. Together, Billy and Ida spent most of their days caring for their large yard and garden—watering with their own well and windmill. They loved sharing the bounty of their harvest with many other people in the area—especially anyone in need. They meticulously maintained the Edison Cemetery for several years in their retirement. They were faithful members of the Edison Christian Church where they actively embraced their Christian values. Billy and Ida were easily identified as faithful Husker fans by their enthusiastic and frequent sporting of the scarlet and cream!
Billy Shafer was born to John Robert Shafer and Velma Ruth Osborn Shafer on December 20, 1922, one of 12 children. He was born on the farm two miles east of Edison, Nebraska. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Maxine Shafer Homer and brothers Duane, Jack, Jerry and Donnie Shafer.
Ida Cathern Chappell Shafer was the youngest of 10 children born to Jesse Lee Chappell and Mary Cathern Flanagan Chappell on the farm outside Orleans, Nebraska on August 28, 1932. She was preceded in death by her parents; her step-father Ira Chappell; her sisters Louise Chappell Scharff, Josephine Chappell Schuster, Mary Chappell Fruhling, Betty Chappell Cochrane and Wauneta Chappell; and her brothers Dale, Bob, Marvin and Bill Chappell.
Billy and Ida are survived by their daughters Kim (Casey) Crayne and Pamela (William) O’Donnell; their granddaughter Erin Galvin; and great granddaughters Olivia Cathern Galvin and Norah Jean Galvin; sisters Janice Shafer Howman, Margie Shafer Ericksen, Arlene Shafer Smith, Phyllis Shafer Kantaras; brothers Francis Shafer and Sam Shafer; in laws Wanda Chappell, Clarence Fruhling, Wendy Shafer, Richard Howman, Donna Shafer, Karol Shafer, Duane Ericksen, Colleen Shafer and Gladys Shafer.
Condolences or personal reflectons can be left at wenburgfuneralhome.com
A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Edison Christian Church, Edison, Nebraska on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 10:30 am with Pastor Kirk Einspahr, officiating. Inurnment at the Edison Cemetery will follow. Wenburg Funeral Home of Arapahoe