Thomasina Kathryn (Shipman) Schaffer, devoted and beloved wife and mother, died on May 12, 2013, after a prolonged battle with cancer.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Mary Iva Shipman, her aunt Mary Lou Watzek, her sister Sally Ann Shipman Barrett, her infant brother, and niece Heather.
Tomi graduated from Parkersburg Catholic High School and Marshall University where she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education. Tomi taught for over 40 years, beginning her teaching career in the Wood County School system.
After moving to Huntington, she initially taught at St. Paul’s Lutheran pre-school. In 1988, she began teaching at Saint Joseph Grade School, where she remained until her death. Tomi received numerous accolades and awards from the Catholic school system and the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston including the esteemed Bishop’s Cross. One of her greatest joys was when her former students returned years later to visit. It meant so much to her to see that her students still remembered her and thought so highly of her.
Tomi was an avid sports fan and among her favorite teams were her beloved Thundering Herd and the Cincinnati Reds. She gained much joy from watching her sons play baseball, basketball, and soccer, and later cheering her granddaughters on in softball and basketball. She loved the beach and its sand, surf, and sunshine. She was a seasoned quilter, who generously shared her creations with family and friends.
Tomi is survived by her beloved and devoted husband of 44 years, Joseph M. Schaffer, her two sons Andrew J. Schaffer of Huntington and his fiancee, Stephanie Adkins and her daughters Alexandra and Emmalina, and Matthew T. Schaffer of Huntington and his fiancee, Cassie Via,; her sister Rebecca Hurst of Hanson, Mass., , four brothers-in-law, Paul E. Schaffer and his wife Linda, of Columbus , John R. Schaffer of Vienna, Jim Hissem of Salem, W.Va. , and Jack Barrett of Georgia; her daughter-in-law, Jessica A. Watzek,; cousins Mary Ann Thompson of Lake Havisou, Ariz., Ned Crews of Pineville, W.Va. and Barbara Crews of Weston, Fla., Beth (Watzek) Bougher of Indiana, Bill Watzek of Florida and Meg Watzek of West Virginia; her grandchildren Laura, Emily, Morgan, Vivienne, Trevor, Gretta, and Tucker; her nieces and nephews Christopher W. Hissem of Parkersburg, Jameson J. Hissem of Martinsburg, W.Va., Brian M.Hissem of Parkersburg, Jennifer E. Hissem of Virginia, Melinda Nelson-Hurst of New Orleans, La., Amy Hurst of Hanson ,Mass., Benjamen P. Schaffer of Columbus, and Holly K. Schaffer of San Diego, Calif.
She also leaves behind many special friends and colleagues whom she loved dearly. Special thanks to the faculty and staff of St. Joseph Catholic Grade School, St. Joseph Parish, the staff of Reger Mortuary and the staff of the oncology unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
Visitation will be at Reger Mortuary located at 1242 Adams Ave., Huntington, from 5-8 p.m. today. Mass of Christian Burial, celebrated by Father Dean Borgmeyer and Deacon Bill Watzek 11 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. There will be a special visitation at the church one hour prior to the Mass. Burial will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Parkersburg. The family requests that donations be made to Saint Joseph’s Grade School.