HYDE PARK, N.Y. -- Donald James Shaffer, 64, a resident of Hyde Park for almost 30 years, died early Friday morning, June 3, 2016.
Born Dec. 30, 1951 in Poughkeepsie, he was the son of the late William Henry and Verna Amy Baker Shaffer. He grew up in Pleasant Valley.
Shaffer worked for the National Park Service at the Roosevelt/Vanderbilt Historic Sites in Hyde Park for 15 years until three weeks before he passed. He was a lover of the outdoors, nature and gardening and could grow anything, especially tomatoes, and always would save the first one of the season for his mother-in-law, which she looked forward to with great anticipation.
He was a stone mason who could build walls like they were jigsaw puzzles. An avid NASCAR race fan, ace mechanic and adventurer, he hoped to visit Daytona and re-visit Disneyworld with his family.
Shaffer always was ready to lend a hand to anyone, with anything, and was a great partner in his wife's sign business.
Shaffer was a member of the United Methodist Church of Hyde Park.
He married the former Kathleen Hinz; she survives at home, along with their two sons, Daniel James Hinz-Shaffer and Devon Robert Hinz-Shaffer. In addition, he is survived by his children, Donald Robert Shaffer and wife, Crystal, Christine Marie Shaffer and Dawn Marie Kane; several grandchildren; three sisters, Henrietta Ritter, Marti Selage, and husband, Richard, and Cindy Camburn and husband Gary; three brothers, Charlie and wife Sharon Shaffer, William Shaffer and Raymond Marshall; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Gertrude 'Trudy' Kricker-BenHamouda; a brother, Floyd Shaffer; and two infant brothers, William Henry and Arthur John Shaffer.
In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place.
A celebration of his life, with a reception to follow, will be from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at the United Methodist Church of Hyde Park on Route 9.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial donations to the Dutchess County SPCA, 636 Violet Ave., Hyde Park, NY 12538 (www.dcspca.org) or The Shriners Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104-2396. (www.shrinershospitals.org).
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.