John D. Schafer, 81, of Mt. Vernon, died at 12:16 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, at St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis.
He was born on Dec. 19, 1932, in DuQuoin, the son of John Nicholas and Edna Carolina (Ogorozalka) Schafer. He married Patricia D. “Pat” Yotkewich at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Johnston City on June 22, 1956, and she survives in Mt. Vernon.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Schafer is survived by a son, Richard D. Schafer and Kathy Ragan of Bluford; a daughter, Melissa A. Pyles of Greenwood, Ind.; five grandchildren, Joshua Pyles of Indianapolis, Justin Pyles, Jeremy Pyles, Megan Pyles and Nicholas Bruhn, all of Greenwood, Ind.; great-granddaughter, Madilyn Pyles; brother-in-law, Jim Yotkewich and wife Mary of Johnston City; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather Elza Breed; and sister-in-law, Joann Yotkewich.
John was an alumni of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, was a Yeoman 3rd Class U.S. Navy Air Transport Squadron veteran of the Korean War serving from 1950-1953. He was later employed by the Norge Division of Born Warner Corp. in Herrin, Sequa Corp., General Radiator Division in Mt. Vernon and Spartan Manufacturing in Flora.
He excelled at his many career positions such as a quality control analyst, I.C. Cost Engineer, M.F.G. Data Systems, EPA and IE Manager. He was a 4th degree Knights of Columbus and was treasurer, financial secretary, comptroller, pilot, purser, first degree team member, honor guard member for the Knights of Columbus. He was a church member, usher and lector at St. Mary Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon. He was a 50-year member of Mt. Vernon American Legion Post 141, was a volunteer tax aide for AARP, Special Olympics and Red Cross volunteer.
Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at St. Mary Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon with the Very Rev. John Iffert officiating.