Gary Schaffer Obituary, Death- On June 19, 2023, Gary Francis Schaffer passed away at the house of his sister just a few days before he would have turned 78 years old. His passing brought him into eternal life.
He was the oldest of three boys and three girls and was reared in Beloit, Kansas. His parents, Francis Joseph and Juanita Faye (Price) Schaffer, had six children total: three boys and three girls. Gary received his diploma from North High School in Wichita in 1964 and then continued his education at Wichita State University to acquire a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Gary discovered the love of his life in a young woman named Mary O’Reilly, and they tied the knot on June 5, 1971.
following Gary’s successful completion of his tenure of service in the United States Army in Vietnam (SP4) on an honorable note. Mary and Gary are the parents of seven children, including one daughter and six sons. The foundations of their sturdy marriage were the Catholic religion, their love for one another, and prayer. They have involved stewards in the many parishes where they resided around the nation; their participation in the Church’s Marriage Encounter, Cursillo, and the Knights of Columbus led to the development of a great number of mutually beneficial connections with other members of the parish.
Gary worked in the aerospace sector for a variety of corporations around the country, including Boeing, Learjet, Cessna, Lockheed Martin, and others. He was also involved in the NASA Mission to Mars project. Gary’s late wife, parents, and parents-in-law, Peter J. F. and Mary L. (Keane) O’Reilly, as well as his brother, John E. Schaffer, grandson David, and granddaughter Mary Catherine all passed away before him. Gary is survived by his granddaughter Mary Catherine.
He is survived by his stepson, Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight; his daughter, Cynthia Bergkamp (Gerard); his sons: Aaron (Adeline), Jeremy (Jennifer), Andrew, James, MSgt John Joseph, USMC (Carolyn), and Gary, Jr. (Caitlin); 21 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren with two more on the way; and 21 great-great-grandchildren on the way. He is also survived by his brother Steve, who is married to Leah; his sisters Susan Schulte, Jolene Smith (Dale), and Mona Laudick (Dennis); his brothers-in-law Dr. Peter F. O’Reilly (Barbara), Dr. Michael J. O’Reilly (Jere), and LTG Patrick J. O’Reilly, USA (Judy); and a large number of nephews, nieces, cousins, and beloved friends.
Visitation will take place on June 25 at 4 pm at the Downing & Lahey West Mortuary, followed by a Vigil and Rosary service at 5 pm. On June 26 at 10:00 am, a Funeral Mass will be performed at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita, with Bishop McKnight serving as the celebrant. The interment will take place at Resurrection Cemetery after the Mass. In memory of Gary, his family has donated some items to the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Memorial Fund, which can be found at 861 N. Socora, Wichita, Kansas 67212.