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Donald Edward Shaffer of Cochranville passed away on September 21, 2022. He was 78 years old. Born in Luciousboro, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Theodore James Shaffer and Sylvia Burkley Shaffer.
Don came from a hardworking farming and coal mining family, helping wherever he could from milking cows to harvesting cabbage. However, his appetite for math and science caught the attention of his high school math teacher, who encouraged Don to shoot high and helped him secure loans and complete university applications to further his education.
He started work in 1968 with the Martin Company, a defense contracting company in Baltimore, Maryland after receiving a BS of Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. It was a good decision professionally and personally, as he met his wife, Mary Lou a few weeks into the role. They married that same year and shared 54 years together.
Later, Don would earn his MBA from the University of Delaware which would help him during his tenure in Thiokol. He moved up the ranks, serving as President of the Elkton, Maryland division and throughout a few company mergers, a testament to how valued he was in the business for over 35 years. At the time of retirement, he was Group Vice President overseeing multiple divisions of the business across the country from ATK’s company HQ in Minnesota.
Don was passionate about work and would give an amazing tour of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, pointing out the different projects he or his division worked on for NASA. He and Mary Lou were often driving to Washington DC to attend government gala events and dinners and meeting astronauts like John Glenn and Bob Crippen. His work took him around the world, working with many different governments and alliances.
Don loved his family and friends, spending time sharing his love of travel, skiing, flying, scuba diving, sharing the latest spy novel and good food. In his last days he emphasized how many amazing experiences he was able to enjoy and how proud he was of his daughters and family. He hoped his work achievements made a positive impact to the wider world. He will be remembered not only for his professional achievements, but his love of life and family.
He was the beloved husband of Mary Lou Shaffer; father of Cheryl Lynn Stutzman (Jim) and Jennifer Anne Niblock (Stewart); grandfather of Tracey Yaworski, Angela MacZura, Rachel Doak and Christopher Liam Niblock; great-grandfather of Julia Stutzman, Deion, Nayah & Samira Cannon, Connor Doak and Ian MacZura. In addition to his parents, Donald was predeceased by his siblings, Sharon Huey, Theodora Short, Naomi McCauley and James Shaffer.
Visitation with the family will be from 10:00AM until 11:00AM with a funeral service at 11:00AM on Friday, September 30, 2022 at the LONGWOOD FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION of MATTHEW GENEREUX, 913 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square. Burial will be private.
The family asks that no flowers be sent. Memorial donations in Donald's name may be made to St. Jude Research Hospital for Children, https://www.stjude.org/donate OR the Kennett Area Food Cupboard, https://kacsimpact.org/support/