Sewing 08

Dorothy Elizabeth (Mirtes) Schaffer

February 6, 1921 ~ January 17, 2021 (age 99)


Dorothy Schaffer, of Norwalk, Ohio passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, January 17, 2021, in her 100th year. She was born on February 6, 1921, in her grandparents’ home in Havana, Ohio, to the late Mary and Joseph Mirtes -- their first child.

Dorothy lived her long life to the fullest. She was blessed with abundant energy, very good health, a huge capacity for work, a friendly, out-going personality, an impish sense of fun, a faithful, loving heart and a strong desire to be of help to anyone she found in need. She manifested an early passion for ice cream which never left her. She had childhood memories of rollicking rides in the family’s horse-drawn cutter and of her Dad’s very first automobile.

After finishing her eighth grade at St. Sebastian’s School in Bismark, Dorothy needed to leave school to help take care of her younger sister and brothers while her mother recuperated from tuberculosis. For the next ten years, families with someone ill, or a new baby or some other need called upon Dorothy help care for children, assist with housework and prepare meals.

During the Second World War, Dorothy’s GI penpal Fred Schaffer, contrived to present her with a diamond ring, though thousands of miles away. On May 4, 1946, Dorothy and Fred were married. They made a home, a family and a life together on a 100-acre farm in rural Norwalk. Their life was woven into that of their extended families, their St. Alphonsus parish community, and their neighborhood. As years passed, their love and devotion for each other only grew stronger and more beautiful. Even after Fred’s death in 1993, after decades of illness and incapacity, Dorothy’s deep care and gratitude for her beloved Fred only burned brighter.

Dorothy lived nearly 75-years on that farm that became her home as a young bride. There she delighted in raising big gardens and canning; picking wild berries and raising lots of chickens; fitting fields with the John Deere 4010 and opening the throttle on the riding lawn mower; designing a new home (fifty years ago) and helping build it; planning all the interesting stops on a big trip to California with Fred and the girls then sewing, sewing, sewing for the adventure; crocheting and embroidering for enjoyment; serving as a Eucharistic minister, a lector, a visitor of the sick, leading the parish Altar and Rosary Society and encouraging cancer patients after her own surgery; studying the new teachings of the Second Vatican Council and researching family history; being a listening friend and an excellent correspondent who always remembered birthdays. Indeed. Dorothy lived life to the fullest.

Dorothy is survived by her daughters, Catherine Schaffer, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Mary Schaffer, of Saint Joseph, Minnesota; sister-in-law, Lucille Mirtes, of Bellevue, Ohio; brothers-in-law Leonard and Alex Schaffer, both of Norwalk, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Fred Schaffer; daughter, Susan Schaffer; siblings: Mildred Schneider, Robert, Charles and Norbert Mirtes; and many brothers- and sisters-in-law.

Her funeral mass will be held at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 1322 Settlement Road, Norwalk, Ohio 44857, on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 10:30 a.m., with her burial to follow. Visitors are required to bring and wear a face mask or covering while inside the church and are encouraged to follow all social distancing and mass gathering requirements. The funeral mass will be live streamed through St. Alphonsus’ website .

Memorial contributions may be made to Saint Alphonsus Parish, Southern Care Hospice, Milan, Ohio, or North Central EMS, Milan, Ohio. Online condolences may be made by visiting .

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Elizabeth (Mirtes) Schaffer, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Mass
January 23, 2021

10:30 AM
St. Alphonsus Catholic Church (Norwalk, Ohio, St. Alphonsus&)
1322 Settlement Road
Norwalk, OH 44857

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