In Memory

Thomas Carl Schafer - Class Of 1953

Thomas Carl Schafer

Thomas C. Schafer

Dec. 9, 1934 - Aug. 20, 2019

BONITA SPRINGS, FL - Thomas C. Schafer, 84, of Bonita Springs, FL died Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at his residence. Tom was born December 9, 1934 in South Bend, IN, the only child of the late Carl and Alga (nee Villwolk) Schafer. He had been a resident of Bonita Springs for the past 30 years coming from South Bend.

He was a graduate of Central High School and received his Bachelor's degree from Purdue University. While at Purdue, Tom also was a member of the Navy ROTC. After graduating, he served his country for two years in the U.S. Navy.

In 1957, Tom was hired at the Bendix Corporation where he worked for the next 35 years, retiring in 1991 as the company's Group Vice President of Automotive Systems. Tom was a registered Professional Engineer, a long-time member of SAE, and held a patent on automotive braking systems. While working at Bendix, Tom earned his MBA from Michigan State University.

Tom was a former director of 1st Source Bank (South Bend), United Way of St. Joseph County, Memorial Hospital (South Bend), and South Bend Country Club.

Tom was a gifted athlete. At Central High School, he was the Captain of the 1953 basketball team that won the State Championship. At Purdue, he played on the golf team where they won the Big 10 Championship. He also won numerous Amateur Championships, including the South Bend Metro in 1989. Later in life, he played on the Senior Tour for a number of years. He was a member of the Bonita Bay Club and was the Club Champion. He also holds 2 course records at the South Bend Country Club.

He is survived by his loving wife, Loretta M. Schafer of Bonita Springs, FL; three sons, Bryan T. Schafer and his wife Lisa of Cincinnati, OH, Scott A. Schafer and his wife Jeanne of South Bend, IN, and Randy L. Schafer and his wife Carolyn of Seymour, IN; daughter, Renee M. Williams and her husband Buddy of Auburn, AL; 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass to celebrate his life will be held Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 28300 Beaumont Rd., Bonita Springs, FL 34134.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations in his memory be made to Hope Hospice, 27200 Imperial Pkwy., Bonita Springs, FL 34135.

To sign his guest register or to leave online condolences, please visit

Arrangements are being handled by Shikany's Bonita Funeral Home Family Owned and Operated since 1978.

Published in South Bend Tribune on Aug. 23, 2019

08/23/2019 JFC