Van "Pete" Schaeffer
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Obituary of Van "Pete" C Schaeffer

Van (Pete) Schaeffer, of Carney’s Point and Ocean City, NJ, passed away on Saturday August 25, 2018 peacefully with his family by his side.

Pete was born on November 09, 1945 in Pottsville, PA to Leon and Irma Schaeffer. He attended Pottsville Area High School and Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences before accepting a job offer at E.I DuPont de Nemours & Company’s Jackson Laboratory where he worked for 38 years. On November 13, 1965 he married his wife of almost 53 years, Mary (Gig) Adamson, of Carney’s Point, NJ. Pete and Gig made a life in Carney’s Point where they raised one daughter, Dawn, and two sons, Todd and Eric.

Pete had a passion for woodworking and model railroads. Pete was amazed by the craftsmanship of early American woodworkers and he set-up an 18th century hand tool woodshop in a circa 1800’s historic barn. Several of his skilled woodworking creations are distributed among his family and are considered precious heirlooms. His obsession with trains resulted in the annexation of the entire basement in the home of his long-time friend Jerry Branscome where they built a large HO scale railroad with realistic scenery, buildings, and terrain. 

For those of you that knew Pete, you are probably aware of his dedication to his friends and family especially his grandchildren. He would endlessly entertain them with stuffed toy monkeys. Each of the animals in his collection were given the opportunity to experience life in various ways including swimming with trained US Navy dolphins, being attached to and launched in a model rocket (complete with parachute pack), and traveling the world. If nothing else, Pete was a character, loved by all who had the privilege of spending time with him.

He is survived by his wife, daughter, two sons, son-in-law, two daughters-in-law, five grandchildren, and a grandson-in-law. Mary Schaeffer of Ocean City, NJ; Dawn and Gary DiPietro of Carney’s Point, NJ, and their daughters Angel, 29, her husband Stephen Foster, Melanie, 26, and Juliana, 21; Todd and Megan Schaeffer of Chester Springs, PA and their son Ethan, 11; and Eric Schaeffer and Stephanie Haller of Marblehead, MA and their daughter Lilly, 13.

The Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary family played a big role in Pete’s life. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to support the deserving residents of the farm at  If you get a chance to visit the Funny Farm, which is recommended, make sure you tell the animals that Pete said hello.

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