Gene Schafer was not like anybody else you ever met; he contained multitudes. He was born in Texas in 1931, but soon moved to southern Utah when his dad saw an ad for free homestead land near Monticello.
He knew practically nothing but hard work for most of his youth, but still found time to appreciate the joys of swing dancing, pretty girls, a taste for good whiskey and a well-tuned fast car. He walked and hunted and rode over much of San Juan County, and also ran southeast Utah’s only ski resort for 20 years.
He was the ultimate master mechanic – he could fix anything. From cars to toasters, Gene had the gift.
He slaughtered his own beef each spring, but claimed his good health could be attributed to the two or three cloves of garlic he ate whole every day (he kept a jar of them – pickled with hot jalapenos – in the fridge in his shop). He appreciated good scotch and preferred Glenlivet, but would settle for cheap brandy in a pinch.
Gene liked to help people. Some of us like to do good deeds so we can tell our friends. With Gene, it just came naturally to him. He never sought recognition for his generosity, in fact, he didn’t think he was doing anything extraordinary. It’s simply the way he was. He’d stop whatever he was doing to help friends and strangers alike. What Monticello’s citizens will do without Gene to help them out is a mystery. One thing is certain – Gene Schafer probably had no idea how many lives he touched.
Gene passed away with his family present on June 15, 2011. He is survived by a daughter, Rhonda Gene, of Moab; a son, Stanley Benjamin (Laurel), of Cortez, Colo.; four grandchildren, R. Taylor Schafer, Chimayn Morgan Lynn Schafer, Cameron Marie Schafer, and Benjamin Stanley Schafer; one great-grandchild, Payden Gene Schafer-Ulrich; and a brother, Victor Schafer (Susan Taylor), of Monticello. He is also survived by a multitude of cousins, nephews and nieces.
He is predeceased by his parents, Ben and Etna Schafer, sister, Darlene Sitton of St. Louis, Mo., and brother, Vernon Schafer (Nila).
Services will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 10 a.m. in the LDS North Chapel at 347 North 200 West in Monticello.