Obituaries

J. Donald “JD” Shaeffer, Jr., 61

July 10, 2022

Retired Police Sergeant, J. Donald “JD” Shaeffer, Jr., 61, of Lancaster, passed away unexpectedly on July 10, 2022 in Millsboro, DE. Born in Lancaster in 1960, he was the son of J. Donald Shaeffer, Sr. and the late Bernice (Groff) Shaeffer. Together since 1987, he shared 35 years with his loving wife, Ingrid M. (Saunders) Shaeffer.

JD was an honorable man, filled with integrity; that people don’t encounter frequently. From a young age, he knew he wanted to spend his life helping others and serving his community. He served active duty in the United States Army for 3 years and then continued serving with the PA National Guard for another 5 years. His civilian public service career started with serving more than 10 years with the Lampeter Fire Company, where he was the Assistant Fire Chief. His career in law enforcement started in 1991 when he joined the Lancaster City Bureau of Police, following in his father’s legacy. During his time, he held many roles including patrolman, Field Training Officer, VASCAR Technician, Bicycle Officer, Mounted Unit and finally, Sergeant in 2007. In August 2016, he retired but it was too soon learned this retirement would be short lived. Public service was his calling and his drive returned him to law enforcement as a part-time patrolman with the Millersville Borough Police Department, as well as an adjunct professor with Harrisburg Area Community College assisting in the Police Academy with EVOC driving. He also recently began working as a Security Officer at the LGH Health Pavilion with many other fellow retired officers. He was especially proud when he learned his daughter would follow in the family legacy by becoming a 3rd generation police officer, serving with the Northwest Lancaster County Regional Police Department.

His true happy place was the great outdoors, where he really could get his hands dirty. He loved hunting—whether it be archery, muzzleloader or rifle–, fishing and four wheeling. He was also an avid gun collector and firearms enthusiast, collecting many over the years and would talk for hours about them to anyone willing to listen. He loved telling stories, whether it’d be about past calls with work, hunting or moments from his younger years at camp 407 in Snowshoe, PA. Having a mind for fixing things, he was very intelligent and skillful with a wrench—especially with cleaning carburetors which was his frequent diagnosis when things stopped working.
JD will be sorely missed by his wife Ingrid; their daughter Abigail Shaeffer-Bell, wife of Mitchell Bell of Elizabethtown; his father, J. Donald Shaeffer, Sr., husband of Bobbie Shaeffer of New Providence; a sister, Gynith Shaeffer of New Providence and brother, David Shaeffer of California, and his 5 faithful canine companions, especially his beloved Harper Ann who he adored and was always by his side and will be forever looking for her daddy to come home again.

Having begged for grandchildren for the greater part of 10 years, JD was especially overcome with pure joy when he recently learned he would receive a new role in his retirement; becoming a grandfather in February of next year.

Guests will be received on Thursday, July 21, 2022, at the Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA 17543, for a viewing from 5 PM – 8PM.

Suicide can impact even the strongest of people. You never know what others are going through until it’s too late. Keep your family and other brothers and sisters in blue close. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, know there is help out there. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to BlueHelp.org to help honor, educate, lead and prevent other officers who suffer with mental health issues or to COPLINE.org where cops understand cops.

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Condolences to the Family

July 25, 2022

I am deeply saddened to learn of JD’s recent passing. We once worked together on the weekends and I just loved him. He always had a story to share and often spoke of his family, dogs, granddogs, his big grill and the outdoors.  I think my favorite memory of him is helping a young girl. She had a little beat up car barely holding together and when she left her appointment she couldn’t get it to start. She was from out of the area and could not reach any of her family.  JD got his tools from his Jeep and went to work. It wasn’t long he came back with a big smile. He got the car running and the young girl headed back home. I will surely miss my friend. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family.

July 21, 2022

Ingrid and Abby I am so sorry for the passing of father/husband- grandfather. I remember his presence at fire school and when I delivered to the police station in the city. Spider always had a smile and his humor was up lifting for me. He is going to be greatly missed.
 
Robert Witmer Office Basics, Bausman Fire Company

July 21, 2022

Dear Ingrid: I was very sad to hear of your husband’s passing.  From reading his obituary he seemed like a wonderful and most extraordinary man. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.  May his memory be a blessing.

July 19, 2022

Whenever I was having one of those days at work he would come in and say ” There’s Trouble!” I would look up and see this officer standing there waiting for me to have my usual response of ”Where?” Those two words and a snicker from him was all I needed to start my day in a better direction! I thank him for that and for signing that pad and making sure we at the Millersville Branch we’re ok! He will be missed very much and anytime I look and hear the words There’s Trouble I will think of officer Shaeffer and the part of my day he made brighter! Thank you for that! And to his family my thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Shavone Frank

July 19, 2022

To the family of this wonderful man. My heart hurts for you guys tremendously. He was my neighbor for years until I grew up and moved away from home but I frequently ran into him through out the years in Lancaster when he was on duty and he never seem to forget who myself or my family was. Please know that your husband/father/friend has made an impact in so many peoples lives over the years he will surely never be forgotten nor will the help he provided or even the words of encouragement he has spoken. Bless you all during these hard times 
Amanda Stonesifer

July 19, 2022

Ingrid,
I am so sorry! Donny was a factastic guy that I got to be reunited with at LGH. He was always so happy and wearing a smile that would make me smile. I can’t imagine your pain but know we have been thinking of you everyday since we heard of this tragady. You all are loved and I know Donny is watching you and Abby and still taking care of you both and grand baby to be!!
Melanie & Ronald Munro

July 19, 2022

I am so very sorry for your loss.  JD is already greatly missed around here.  We were always so glad when he was on duty!   
Dottie Young, MBPD

July 19, 2022

Dear Ing / Abby. I am truly lost for words. Like both of you I am having great difficulty processing this in my head. JD was a great friend and brother to me. I loved him with all my heart and soul and will forever miss him and will never forget him. We spent so much time together over the years riding around Lancaster Township, doing Emergency Management work, talking about life, hunting, fire services and just about anything that came into our heads. I will miss getting together with him and fishing on the river. The memory’s and story’s are priceless. His passing has left a huge void in my heart. JD & I visited Moe in the hospital the night before he passed. When we were leaving Moe grabbed my hand and said “Mike, take care of my partner for me”. I promised Moe I would. JD would always remind me of the promise I made to Moe. I can’t help but think I broke that promise. I would have done anything for JD just as he would have done for me. I can only pray that JD is with Keith Rankin & Moe Rodriguez now and they are smiling and laughing with one another after being reunited. I am in Idaho this week and will miss my dear friends service. Both of you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Ing & Abby we need to touch base with one another when the time is right. My cell phone is 717-587-6454. Call me with anything either of you need. I love both of you just as JD loved my family in return. I am here for you. God Bless…Love you both! Be strong!
Mike Pickard

July 18, 2022

JD was always a bright light and a wonderful role model. He will be missed and rembered forever.

July 18, 2022

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. We are here if you need a neighbor to lean on when we’re down! Praying for you.
The Wierzbicki Family, site 987

July 18, 2022

We were partners for years in Lancaster Township. I remember the stories…..the coffee talks, your expression of love and how proud you are of Abby. You always sought the good in people and not their mistakes. You are a true brother to everyone!!  A true gentleman. We love you brother.
Mark & Willie

July 18, 2022

Such a sweetheart you were always, in all ways. Just can’t believe we lost you. I’m sure everyone is saying that. Spider, I’m stuck remembering an afternoon several years ago when, in our pain, you reached out to reassure us that you understood. We were stuck in our reality and I never reached beyond to check in on yours. I will never allow that to happen again. I’m sorry. I’m sorry about your grand baby; it would/could have changed everything if you had just stayed a little while longer. Oh, 🕷 Spider/Buck/JD, I know the Light is waiting, but there’s not a person you knew who was ready. You were such a special kind of special. Rise, hon; y’done good!!
Claudia and John Helman

July 18, 2022

J.D. you were a friend to everyone who had the privilege of meeting you.  I will miss you.
Gary L. Strock (Retired Manor Twp. Police)

July 18, 2022

I am truly heartbroken for you. My hope is that you will be comforted by the lifetime of beautiful memories you have together that will always be in your heart. 
Kelly Labiak

July 17, 2022

I’m so sorry for your loss. Prayers to you and your family in this difficult time. 
The Kieffers, neighbors at Holly Lake

July 17, 2022

JD was a good friend and a great guy and will be missed.  Sadly I cannot attend as I will be out of town.  But my condolences for all of the family.
Dick Jeffries

July 17, 2022

As a city employee who worked in police records & treasury, I got to know JD on a personal basis. He was so friendly, easy to get to know, was interested in everyone, and one of the best liked officers on the force.  So sorry to hear of his passing, hard to comprehend. Wish much sympathy to his family, he will be sorely missed by so many people.
Jean Miller

July 17, 2022

I have had so many encounters with JD or as I knew him most as “Spider” though I never knew why he was called that. Between me running fire and EMS, whenever he was around, I knew I was safe. He always had a smile and a quick joke. Years ago when he was patrolling in Lancaster Twp, he would contact my husband and I about roadkill deer. We filled our freezer many times with his help. There are so many funny stories of situations he found himself in that were funny.  May he have found the peace that he needed and deserved. Thoughts to his wife, daughter and the rest of his family and friends. He will be sorely missed. 
Irene Fitzkee

July 17, 2022

Prayers for Ingrid,Abby and family. We are so sorry for your loss. Our family hurts for all of you. Prayers for strength for all of you.Love, Donnie,Robin,Amanda and David. 

July 17, 2022

A long time ago I was Donald’s English teacher at Lampeter-Strasburg High School.   School was not one of Don’s favorite things.  I remember one day he came to me with what was called a “sign out sheet.”   It meant he was quitting school and each teacher had to sign it to verify that the kid had turned in all his books, etc.
I told Donald that I wasn’t going to sign it.  I told him that he clearly had the potential to succeed and that even though he wasn’t setting the world afire in HS English, that he and I would make sure he passed.   I was delighted that he stuck it out and eventually graduated.  He was just a quiet good kid who like so many kids in HS lacked confidence in his capabilities.  Well he sure turned that around, didn’t he.
Donald and I had lost touch over the years, but I do remember running into him and his horse one time down in Lancaster city.  He was a proud and confident young man and he seemed delighted to be in service to his community and his fellow man.   I will always think of him with great fondness.
Donald Stewart

July 17, 2022

 Worked with JD @Lancaster Bureau of Police.  Great person, will be missed.  R.I.P.
Ted Makauskas

July 17, 2022

Such a beautiful tribute. I remember days of past sitting in Spider’s back yard with Pappy and other Lampeter FD just laughing and having a great time. I will never forget ALF sitting in his passenger seat. And then his wide smile and hug he gave me when he knew I was having a busy day at the ER. Sending my deepest condolences to Ingrid, Abby and Mitch.   
Jane Howett Groff

July 16, 2022

Donny was a great man. I got to know him in my teenage years as my mom was in the fire co with him. Always telling stories. Very funny. Haven’t seen him in years but he had a great impact on so many peoples lives. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Marie Painton-Acosta

July 16, 2022

My condolences to all your family. You are in my prayers. 🙏🙏.. God Bless You
 
Denise Bair

July 16, 2022

JD will truely be missed. Sending our sincere condolences to the Shaeffer family. 
Ed and Crystal McKinney

July 16, 2022

Don was such a wonderful person!  So sad he will be truly missed.  Sending prayers to his family & friends.
KAS

July 16, 2022

I worked with JD and he was the best Sgt to help me on the streets. His stories with his sense of humor were the best. I pray for peace for his family
Karen Dinkel

July 16, 2022

I went to school with JD and also have known him through Lancaster township fire sept, where my husband once volunteered. What an amazing man. He will be missed by all. Prayers to Ingred, Abby and Mitch and the rest of the family. Embrace the memories. May God wrap his arms around you and keep you
Sheila Bair

July 16, 2022

JD was an amazing man I got to meet years ago. He will be greatly missed forever. May GOD lay his hands on his family and friends as they walk the path of grief. Let them feel the love and support of their community. RIP spider 
Tonya Mckenzie

July 16, 2022

I’m so very sorry for your loss.  JD was a great guy and funny too. Enjoyed working with him at LCPD. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.  You won’t be forgotten JD.
Marge Shope

July 16, 2022

Beautifully written. The imact he’s had on so many is incredible  We are thinking of you all – Ingrid, Abby, & Mitch – and praying for all who knew him to find peace and acceptance of the sad reality that the many questions we all have can never truly be answered. ❤️🙏🏻
Lori & Scott

July 16, 2022

Forever in everyone’s heart JD.
Praying for his Family ♥️
Ed & Lori  

July 16, 2022

I only met with DJ three times. Two of which were police matters. I instantly knew he was a good person. Very kind and considerate. And funny, when it wasn’t a serious police incident. These occasions were many, many years ago, but it left a lasting impression with me to this day. I was just mentioning DJ recently to a friend even though I had not seen him in a long time. That is a special human being. I know DJ will be missed by so many. My sincere condolences to DJs family and friends.
Susan Wisniewski

July 16, 2022

So very sad
Donna speece

Visitation
Thursday, July 21, 2022
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
3110 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA 17543
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