George Walter Schaefer

NORTH CANAAN — George Walter Schaefer, 85, died peacefully at home on July 16, 2018, in North Canaan. 

Born on Cherry Street in Torrington on Aug. 6, 1932, to Anna (McCaffrey) and George James Schaefer, he was the second of three children. The family included older sister Mary and younger brother Joseph. 

They moved to North Canaan in 1934 when George’s father went to work for Decker & Beebe.

After graduating from Housatonic Valley Regional High School, he started working at Decker & Beebe with his father. His plumbing career was interrupted when, in 1951, he joined the Marines during the Korean conflict. 

He served until 1954, stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. On a weekend leave away from the Marines, George met his love Margaret “Sue” on a beach in New Jersey. The two wed in 1955 and together raised seven children. 

He took an active role in raising all those children, for family was the most important part of George’s life. 

A dear memory the children cherish is how George met them at the end of the driveway after work every day so they could jump onto the tailgate and ride the last few yards home. 

He also treasured time spent with all his grandchildren and they will forever have terrific memories of their grandpa. 

There were many family rituals but none more longstanding than the “family dinner night” that Sue established in 1957, which came to include many dear friends as well. Although this weekly dinner will not be the same without George, it will continue in the spirit of kinship and love. 

George was a man committed to his craft as a plumber. Countless nights were spent serving the emergency plumbing and heating needs of his customers at Decker & Beebe, Inc., a dedication that inspired all who knew him. 

In addition to his plumbing vocation, George was a collector of treasures, first and foremost antique clocks. As a hobby, he worked with his brother Joe to collect, refurbish and resell them. 

A man who loved North Canaan, George was active in the town, serving on several committees through the years. He will always be remembered as a man of great skill, integrity, honesty and devotion. 

Those who knew him were blessed to have him in their life, as he enriched us all! Few people touch the lives of others in the way that George did, making us smile with his wry wit and pleasant demeanor. 

In declining health, George and his family were grateful for the loving care of nurses from Winsted Nursing Service, especially Rose, Heejah, Carmen and Sarah, as well as the exceptional care of the Foothills VNA, especially Marcia. 

George leaves behind his aforementioned sister, Mary Schaefer, and brother, Joseph Schaefer as well as his seven children, Mary Ann Fox and her husband, Jeffrey, of West Cornwall, Joseph Schaefer and his wife, Lisa, of Salisbury, Ellen Kloke and her husband, Lyle, of North Canaan, Thomas and his wife, Ingrid, of North Canaan, Dolores Perotti and her husband, Francis, of East Canaan, Jean and her husband, Peter Harris, of Niantic, Conn., and Christine of Lenox Dale, Mass.; 10 grandchildren, Laura Fox, Charles Fox, Oliver Fox, Meghan Schaefer, Joseph Schaefer Jr., Marcus Morey, Mary Perotti, William Perotti, Theodore Perotti and Elizabeth Harris. 

George was predeceased by his parents, George and Anna ,and his loving wife, Margaret “Sue.” 

Arrangements are under the care of Newkirk-Palmer Funeral home with calling hours on Friday, Aug. 3, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in North Canaan. 

Memorial donations may be made to Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church of Saint Martin of Tours Parish; or the Marine Corps League Northwest Detachment 42.