MSG Gary Lamar Schaeffer, Jr., 52, of New Ringgold, passed away Friday, February 5th, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.
Born in Pottsville,on July 20, 1968, a son of Gary L. Schaeffer, Sr., of Middleport and the late Sandra (Gradwell) Schaeffer.
Garywas a graduate of Pottsville Area High School and graduated in 1986. He then enlisted in the 1068 th MP Company of the PA Army National Guard in 1986. He served in the unit in Pottsville as it transitioned into Alpha Battery, 1/213 thADA.Gary was hired full time by the National Guard in 1991 as a supply specialist.He deployed to Germany with the 213 th to conduct force protection and security missions at US bases at the start of the Iraq War.He went on to work full time with the 213 th Area Support Group in Allentown and the 56 th SBCT based in Philadelphia.
Gary deployed to Taji, Iraq with the 56 th in 2009 as the Brigade S4 NCOIC. Gary retired after thirty years of service at the rank of Master Sergeant.His awards include the Combat Action Badge, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and a host of other service medals and ribbons.He will forever be remembered as a stellar soldier and one of the finest logisticians in the history of the PA Army National Guard.
Gary was a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers and was one of the few stockholders of the organization in the country. Gary was a man who owned every tool imaginable and he was always ready to help anyone with car or home projects.
He was a member of the F&AM Schuylkill Lodge #138 and the Community Fire Co., New Ringgold.
In addition to his father, Gary is survived by his companion Heather Rhodes, New Ringgold; a daughter Madalynne Schaeffer and her fiance Nick Behm, Schuylkill Haven; brothers Brian husband of Jill, Scott and Eric, all of Pottsville; nieces Brea and Jayden; and his Norwegian Elkhound, Abby.
At the family's request, memorial donations may be forwarded to Mission 22 694 N. Larch Street #910 Sisters, OR 97759.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held Thursday, February 11 at 10:30 am at the Community Fire Co., New Ringgold with Pastor Robert Berry officiating.
A visitation will be held the night prior from 5-7 pm and the day of the service from 9:30 - 10:30 am.
Interment will be at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville.
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