CHARLES THOMAS SCHAEFFER

Posted On September 23rd, 2011 -

CHARLES THOMAS SCHAEFFER

Charles (Chuck) Thomas Schaeffer was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin to Charles Senior and Emma at his parents home on July 10, 1918. He died September 1, 2011 at the Spark Matsunaga VA Center in Honolulu, Hawaii at the age of 93.
Beginning as a young man, and continuing for the rest of his life, two of his favorite sports were sailing and boat racing, most of which took place in his early years at the family summer home at Big Cedar Lake near Milwaukee. He also was active with the boy scouts.
In depression times he found work at Shadbolt and Boyd, a wholesale hardware distributor. Later he found employment at a tractor production plant, Allis-Chalmers manufacturing Company in Allis, Wisconsin.
With the start of WWII, he and his two brothers, John and Frank, were faced with military service. In January, with military service pending, Chuck
married his true love Arleen Joyce Foss, whom he remained happily married to until her death in 1999. In March of 1943 he joined the U.S. Army and began officer candidate training.
After being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and undergoing Engineer training at various army camps including Fort Smith Arkansas he deployed to Europe with the 16th Armored Division. When advancing through France, the
half-track that he commanded broke down near the German border where he commandeered a Jeep and crossed through Germany and into Czechoslovakia and onward to Pilsen. There, he was alerted by a concerned Czech citizen about the German military headquarters located nearby. Investigating the lead, he discovered a building occupied by two Nazi generals, one of whom he would eventually meet again and testify against at the Nuremberg trials. The other General initially refused to be taken prisoner indicating that Chuck was only a junior officer and it would be an inappropriate military action. After Chuck had given the Generals the order, “Rleiben Sie die Waffen in der Ecke”; The reluctant Nazi general produced a hidden pistol and killed himself.
Through his career he was stationed in many army posts, including in the USA, Germany, Japan, Korea and Pakistan. After being assigned to Pakistan in 1958 he had a new Nash Rambler shipped to Europe where he would embark on a two month driving trip across Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iran and finally to Rawalpindi in North Eastern Pakistan. Along for the epic ten thousand mile ride with him was his wife Joyce and their two Dalmatian dogs.
After years of taking classes after duty hours, and during Chuck’s four year assignment in Japan, he graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo with his degree in Engineering.
In 1965, after being stationed in Hawaii he retired from the Army Corp of Engineers remaining on Oahu and settling at Kawela Bay in Kahuku where he and Joyce lived for many years enjoying their time together. Transitioning to civilian life he put his engineering education and experience to use working for several years with Pacific Machinery in Waipahu.
For many years he also enjoyed flying his Cessna 172 around Oahu and among the outer islands whenever he could. He was a devout Christian, affiliated with the Kahuku United Methodist Church, and also Olive United Methodist Church in Wahiawa. He and Joyce took an interest in saving dogs and caring for them, at one time having at least six that they owned and loved. As an amateur ornithologist, he was fond of birds and collected many books relating to the subject.
Chuck was well loved, admired and respected by all who knew him. He was always optimistic, cheerful but humble, and will be forever remembered for his warm and sincere smile. It is agreed by those who shared time with him that he had the best attitude anyone could possibly have.
Chuck is survived by his brother Frank Nicholas Schaeffer, and nieces and nephews. In leu of flowers please make donations to the Hawaiian Humane Society. Memorial service Punchbowl National Park Monday September 26, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran