David Richard Shafer, of Aurora and Farely’s Point, NY, died unexpectedly at home in Aurora on Wednesday, March 22nd. He was 73 years old.
Dave, known as Pop-Pop to his grandchildren, was born on March 8, 1950, in Binghamton, NY. He served in the United States Army 1969 - 1975 as a combat engineer for Alpha Company, 464 Engineering Battalion out of Binghamton, NY. He was honorably discharged in 1975 with a rank of SP4. A union sheetmetal worker by trade, Dave worked in the field from 1978 until he retired as Sheetmetal Foreman at Erie Mechanical in Syracuse, NY, in 2017.
Dave met Donna while working on a job in the early 2000s, and Dave soon joined Donna at her home in Aurora. In 2007, the two purchased a second home on Farley’s Point in Springport, which they renovated and restored together. They frequently hosted friends and family at their Shady Nook on Cayuga Lake. Both in the summers and in the off-season, Dave played an important role in the Farley’s Point community, heading up the all-important road committee and keeping an eye on things throughout the winter. On summer mornings, Dave would often be found fishing for smallmouth bass off the dock at Farley’s with one or several grandchildren.
Dave was always at work around the houses, and was especially talented in the demolition phase of home improvement. He was perennially curious about history and how things work, and he pursued his interests through deep reading on his favorite subjects, in thrift shops and flea markets, and in his endless “drives” to collect this or that to round out his knowledge and collections. He was a serious fan of Syracuse University Football and Basketball, and the New York Yankees and Giants. He loved fishing and hunting, and acquired an impressive collection of unique and historic firearms. He loved music and was learning to play the banjo. A fixer and tinkerer, Dave improved the world around him in small ways and large, keeping the world spinning for those he loved. He was always there to lend his knowledge and experience, his tools and truck, or just his quiet strength and wisdom. He will be deeply missed.
Dave was predeceased by his mother Josephine Evelyn Shafer (née Gergle), father Louis Richard Shafer, and sister Joyce Johnston (née Shafer). He is survived by his partner Donna Goddard, her daughters Sara Goddard (Joseph Daly III) of Bryn Mawr, PA, and Leslie Goddard Baum (David Baum) of Cincinnati, OH, and four grandchildren Elliott McAteer and Casey Daly, and Jocelyn Baum and Mikayla Baum; his son Samuel David Shafer; brother-in-law Robert Johnston and niece Cindy Johnston; nephew Tim Johnston (Choen Johnston); great nice Aubrey Foster (Ben Foster) and their three daughters Isla, Hazel, and Harlow; other extended family; and lifelong friends Gary Slocum, Ernie O’Dea, and Stephen (“Spike”) Kliment.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 20, at 2:00 p.m. at United Ministry of Aurora (337 Main Street, Aurora, NY 13026), where he will lie in rest in the Memorial Garden, overlooking Cayuga Lake. A reception for family and friends will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in support of the Memorial Garden to the United Ministry of Aurora or to the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department.
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