Life Story / Obituary
Arnold Lea Shafer, 89, of Douglas, Michigan, passed away Saturday, July 25, 2020. He is survived by his partner of seventeen years, Rosemary Nielsen and her accompanying family, Melissa (Robert) Rost, Julie (James) Kohler, Diane Nielsen, and Gail (Leif) Gamrath, and grandchildren, Andrew and Elliot Rost, Caroline and Michael Kohler, Kai Nielsen, and Laine, Ryder and Brady Gamrath. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Beatrice Shafer, and his wife of 30 years, Gretchen (nee Moldstad).
Arnold graduated from Miami of Ohio, served two years in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Gatling during the Korean Conflict, and later worked as a Sales Engineer for the U.S. Railway. A long-time resident of Chicago, Arnold refurbished several small apartment buildings which were built during the Columbian Exposition of 1893. He was most proud of his work to restore and transform a historic 1857 Yankee Three-Bay Barn into his home in Douglas, Michigan, for which he won a 2005 Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society Heritage Award.
Arnold was a gifted woodworker, giving most of his beautifully crafted works of art to friends. He donated his time and talents in restoration to the Saugatuck Historical Society, where you can see some of his pieces on display.
A celebration of Arnie’s life for family and friends will be held at a later date. Contributions in Arnie’s name to the Saugatuck Historical Society would be appreciated.