Terrance “Terry” Edward Shafer was born April 23, 1954. He died of a heart attack on February 25, 2017, hours after responding to a call.
Terry grew up on a dairy farm in rural Spring Valley, Wisconsin. He was the second of nine children born to Ivan and Catherine Delores Shafer. Terry graduated from Spring Valley High School with the class of 1972. After graduation, he worked construction while attending school at night to become a master electrician. In 1977, he founded Shafer Electric, grew the business to two locations and several employees, and more recently had downsized.
He enjoyed the challenges of various projects and always strived to learn new things, but his passion was helping others. His electrical and construction knowledge provided opportunities to help many people with many projects, but he found his calling with the fire service. He joined the Spring Valley Fire Department in 1979 and was elected chief in 1986. After 30 years as chief, he decided to step down at the end of 2016. He was looking forward to staying an active firefighter and first responder and continuing to serve in various roles with the department but was ready to hand over the white helmet.
Family was very important to Terry, as was his community. The various community projects he was involved in extended far beyond the fire department. Terry is known and remembered for his dedication to helping others. His last contribution to others was the donation of his eyes and tissue through the Lions Eye Bank and Lifesource.
Terry was united in marriage to Marsha Erickson on August 7, 1976. Their marriage was blessed with three children, Chad, Kari, and Todd, but later dissolved. The special person in Terry’s life for the past 22 years was Sue Gregg.
Terry was preceded in death by his parents and his brother-in-law, Scott Hoffman.
Terry is survived by his children, Chad (Stacy) Shafer, Kari (Jeff) Chaffin, and Todd (Leah) Shafer; grandchildren, Chase and Brayden Shafer, Alexander Chaffin, and Faith, Trent and Kamryn Shafer; former wife, Marsha Shafer; siblings, Tim (Mary) Shafer, Tony (Marsha) Shafer, Tom (Bonnie) Shafer, Julie Hoffman, Jane (Bruce) Erickson, Jackie (Barry) Garfield, Jeff (Shelly) Shafer, and Joe (Amy) Shafer; Sue Gregg and her children, Jason Gregg, Curt (Tammy) Gregg, and Tracy (Jason) Lynum; their children, Braden, Jack, and Liam Gregg, and Kayla, Connor, and Carson Lynum; many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends; and his brothers and sisters in the fire service.
(Photo courtesy of Don Blegen)