Joseph F. Schaefer

Joseph Schaefer, 93, Fessenden, passed away Thursday, January 9, 2020 at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd in New Rockford. His funeral will be held Wednesday, January 15 at 10:30 A.M. at St. John’s Catholic Church in New Rockford with burial in the church cemetery later in the spring. A Rosary Service will be held Tuesday, January 14 at 6:45 P.M. followed by a 7:00 P.M. Vigil Service at the church. Arrangements with Nelson Funeral Home of Fessenden.

Joseph F. Schaefer, son of Herman and Catherine (Steinbach) Schaefer, was born October 20, 1926 on his parents’ farm in eastern Wells County where he was raised with his 11 brothers and sisters. He attended the nearby Fairville Country School.

Joe began farming with his father at an early age and developed a strong love for livestock, especially horses.

He was united in marriage to Harriet Beeghly on September 17, 1946 at New Rockford. They made their home and farmed at rural Cathay. Harriet passed away in 1974. Joe was later married to LaVonne Widiger in New Rockford. They made their home on the Schaefer farm at rural Cathay until moving to Fessenden in 1983. LaVonne passed away in 2012.

After moving to Fessenden, Joe remained involved with the farm, helping his son Louis wherever needed. He also purchased a parcel of land on the outskirts of Fessenden where he continued to raise and train horses.

Joe was an active member of St. Augustine Catholic Church of Fessenden and a former member of St. John Catholic Church of New Rockford. He was also a member of the Harvey Eagles Club, the Knights of Columbus and several horse racing associations.

He is survived by his sons, Louis of rural New Rockford and Timothy of White Rock, NM; son-in-law, Roger Miller of Pasco, WA; daughter-in-law, Helen Schaefer of St. Thomas; his special friend Violet Seibold of Fessenden; 11 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; sister, LeNore (Del) Rood of Sturgis, MI; sister-in-law, Darlene Daugherty of New Rockford; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Joe was preceded in death by his wives, Harriet and LaVonne; his son, Joseph Jr.; daughters, Mary Lou and Kathleen; daughter-in-law, Rita Schaefer; brothers, Herman Jr., Louis and James William (Bill); and sisters, Helena, Dolores, Kathryn, Josephine, Beverly Annella, Lois and Rita.

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