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Walter W. Shaffer


The funeral service for Walter William Shaffer of County Route 62, Watertown will be held on Saturday, May 17th at Stone Presbyterian Church in Watertown at 12:30 p.m. Internment will follow in Brookside Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday May 16th from 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. at TLC Funeral Home, Inc. Mr. Shaffer died at Integris Hospital in Edmond, Oklahoma on May 7, 2014. He was 87.

Walter was born April 8, 1927 in Gary, Indiana to William Albert and Elsie Sarah Taggs Shaffer. Mr. Shaffer graduated from Horace Mann High School in Gary Indiana in 1945. He entered the United States Army July 9, 1945, serving as a lead trumpet player in the U.S. Army Band with a rank of T/4 Sergeant. He was honorably discharged on November 30, 1946. Mr. Shaffer attended Taylor University in Upland, Indiana on the GI Bill, earning a bachelor’s in music education. He later graduated from Teacher’s College at Buffalo State with a masters in education. Walter married Margaret Rose McGregor on June 27, 1970 at the First Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, New York. They were together for 43 years, and Mr. Shaffer died exactly six months to the day after his beloved wife, Margaret, died.

Walter loved big band, classical and religious music. He played trumpet with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra during the 1960s. During the 1970s and 1980s, he played trumpet with various big band groups in Watertown. Mr. Shaffer taught band, choir, and music to thousands of young people over his 41 year career. He shared his love for the beauty of music with elementary and high school students in rural Indiana and western New York, Buffalo Public Schools, Watertown School District, and after retirement, Immaculate Heart Central. In addition to teaching, Walter served as choir director for a time at Stone Presbyterian Church in Watertown. He sang in the choirs at Stone Presbyterian Church and United Presbyterian Church of Sackets Harbor, and occasionally played and sang his own religious compositions on trumpet, guitar, violin, and piano.

Mr. Shaffer’s strong Christian faith motivated his teaching. He read the Bible daily and enjoyed a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Walter built the home he and his family lived in, himself, and he enjoyed tinkering with machinery. Walter also loved science fiction movies, bacon, chocolate ice cream, making bad puns, and hanging out with the ROMEOS. He was a well-respected and honored teacher, but more importantly to him, a caring and loving husband and father. He will be deeply missed by his four surviving children William and Kelly Shaffer of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Dr. Laura Shaffer and Roberto Diaz of Greenbelt, Maryland, Sharon Shaffer of Springhill, Florida, and Beverly Alleyne of Buffalo, New York, and surviving grandson, Dr. Brendan Alleyne of Cleveland, Ohio.

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