Kenneth Albert Schaefer, 73, of Elyria, passed away suddenly on May 7 in North Redington Beach, Florida. He is survived by his devoted wife of 45 years, Mary Ann (née Kalil), and his children, Laura (Ryan) Foglyano and Jeff (Kaylin) Schaefer, as well as his grandchildren, Julia and Charlie Foglyano and Miles and Evan Schaefer and his sister-in-law, Bernice Schaefer. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Albert and Loretta Schaefer, and his brother, Ronald Schaefer.
A lifelong Elyria resident, he graduated from Elyria Catholic High School in 1968 and then received his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Bowling Green State University. He spent the entirety of his career with what was once Harshaw Chemical Company and is now known as BASF, where his colleagues appreciated his work ethic and easy-going demeanor.
Ken was a man who lived out the values of his Christian faith. After retirement, he dedicated his life to serving the people around him, volunteering at UH Elyria Medical Center and the St. Agnes Table of Plenty food pantry. To these roles, as well as to all who knew him, he brought his kindness, gentleness, and calming presence.
Ken prioritized family above all else. As a husband, he was generous of heart and spirit. As much as he did to maintain their house, inside and out, it paled in comparison to the love and attention he gave Mary Ann. He was a selfless parent, instilling in his children the importance of authenticity, humility, responsibility, and taking care of your neighbor. Additionally, his children inherited his extreme impatience for waiting for a bill at a restaurant. To his grandchildren, he was a highly desired and willing playmate and fixer of all broken toys.
Throughout his adult life, Ken found joy in many hobbies. In recent years, he spent countless hours constructing and maintaining his model railroad display. Earlier in life, he was an avid tennis and volleyball player, as well as a stamp collector. Dogs always brought a smile to Ken’s face, whether it was his own dogs, Hobbes and Jasper, the service dogs at the hospital, or any passing wagging tail. He wasn’t a very adventurous eater, but couldn’t pass up a good milkshake or a root beer float.
Ken brought peace to so many people just by being himself. Upon his passing, one of his friends remarked, “You didn’t have to know Ken long to know who he was.” His quick wit and seemingly endless knowledge will be missed by all who knew him.
The family will receive friends 4-7 PM Friday May 19, 2023 at The Laubenthal Mercado Funeral Home 38475 Chestnut Ridge Rd. Elyria (440)322-4626. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 AM, Saturday, May 20, 2023 at St. Agnes Church 611 Lake Ave. Elyria. The Reverend Father Charles T. Diedrick, Pastor, will be the Celebrant (Please meet at church). Burial will be at St. Mary Cemetery in Elyria. If you wish to make a contribution in Ken’s memory, donations to the St. Agnes Table of Plentyfood pantry (St. Agnes Church, 611 Lake Ave., Elyria, OH 44035) are appreciated. Online condolences to the family may be expressed at www.laubenthalmercado.com
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