John A. Sheaffer

John Andrew Sheaffer, 92, of Shippensburg, passed away on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at the Chambersburg Hospital.

He was born on July 1, 1927, and was a son of John A. and Mary C. Mellot Sheaffer.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Helen Hudak Sheaffer; two sons, John A. Sheaffer III of Shippensburg, and Steven C. (and wife, Celeste) Sheaffer, of Apopka, Florida; two grandchildren, John V. Thompson of North Carolina, and Rebecca Sue Thompson of Tennessee; and one great-grandson, Christopher J. Thompson, of Tennessee.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Laurie Ann Thompson, in 2010; one brother, Reuben M. Sheaffer; three sisters, Rebecca J. Wingerd, Mary C. Wilson, and Evelyn M. Kutz; and one half brother, Bruce Huntsburger.

At the age of 4, John entered the Hershey Industrial School (orphanage for boys), now Milton Hershey School, from which he graduated in 1946.

From a very young age, John was an avid sportsman. Throughout his high school years, he participated in football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and boxing. He was selected as first team right halfback and first team defensive safety of the 1945 Dauphin Company All-Star Football Team. He received the Milton Hershey School Community Service Award in 2003, where his name remains in the Rotunda in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

In 2010, John was inducted into the Milton Hershey School Athletic Hall of Fame. John also played football for the Chambersburg Cardinals, the very first charter Cardinal football team.

After graduation from Milton Hershey, John was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the occupation of Japan in the 24th Infantry Division. Following his honorable discharge from the Army, he was employed by the G.C. Murphy Co. His work took him to Washington, D.C., Stamford, Connecticut, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He then moved to Shippensburg and was employed as an engineering department inspector for the SKF Co.

John attended Penn State Satellite School of Engineering in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

In 1956, he returned to Stamford, Connecticut, and worked in the engineering department of American Cyanamid Co. Keeping true to his sports, he coached the American Cyanamid Girls Softball Team for two years, and won the city’s Industrial Softball League Award. John then joined Dorr Oliver Co., also in Stamford, and began a 26-year tenure as an engineering designer. He finished in a managerial role covering operations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. He also traveled to Europe to train colleagues abroad.

John holds several U.S. patents with reference to Dorr Oliver equipment. He also attended the University of Connecticut Satellite School for Engineering. In January of 1985, at the age of 57, he retired from Dorr Oliver and returned to Shippensburg, making it his permanent home once again.

Continuing his lifelong love of sports, he joined the Shippensburg Area Athletic Association, sponsors of the Shippensburg Stars baseball team. After two years on the board, John was elected President and served in that role for 23 years.

John was a lifelong member of the Durff-Kuhn VFW Post 6168 and the Oscar M. Hykes American Legion Post 223, both in Shippensburg. He was also a member of the Shippensburg Investment Group and the Shippensburg Fish and Game Association. He was a past member and two-year president of the Optimist Club, where he started the Shippensburg High School and Shippensburg University MVP Awards. Over the years, John had great pleasure of presenting approximately 1,300 of these awards.

After seven years, the VFW Post 6168 took over financing the trophies.

John loved people and was loved by so many in return. He cherished his life and through his 92nd year, remained enthusiastic, energetic and young at heart.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at Our Lady of the Visitation Catholic Church, Shippensburg, with the Father Dwight D. Schlaline officiating.

Family will receive friends immediately following the services at the church. Military honors will be conducted by the Oscar M. Hykes American Legion Post 223 Minutemen.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 600 River Ave., Suite 400, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15212.

Online condolences may be expressed at:


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