Schaffner, Charles John

Charles John Schaffner January 1, 1931 – September 11, 2020
Written by ECA Review

Charles John Schaffner
January 1, 1931 – September 11, 2020

Charles John Schaffner was born the fifth child of Katherine and Michael Schaffner on the family farm in the Lauderdale district northwest of Castor. 

He lived 89 years, eight months, and 10 days.

Growing up with seven siblings on the farm, Charlie learned at a young age to work hard and his strong work ethic led him through life.

Charles attended the Lauderdale School for Grades 1 – 9, walking to and from the one-room schoolhouse which was about two miles away. When he left school at the age of 15, he moved to Calgary where he lived with his Aunt Annie and worked at Burns Packers. 

From there he worked on a large dairy farm west of Calgary. 

His next endeavour was to go back home to help farm in the summer and work on both oil rigs and seismic crews during the winter.

   However, the draw of the land was always with him and he was able to finally purchase his own farm at Halkirk in 1953. 

Having found the love of his life, Catherine Spady, at a Saturday night dance in Alliance in 1954, Charlie and Cathy were married three years later on July 22, 1957 in the Alliance United Church. 

This was the beginning of a loving 63-year marriage. 

In preparation for his new bride, Charlie built a house at his farm in 1956 with the help of his father and brothers. 

Today this house remains the home of his son Brent and his family. 

This house may have seen many renovations and additions over the years, but the love put into that home remains strong to this day. 

Family was always very important to Charlie, so it wasn’t long before they started a family of their own. 

In 1962, Brent Charles entered the picture and then in 1964, Nola Ann arrived to complete their little family. 

He loved to be surrounded by his family and nothing brought him more pleasure than his six grandchildren who were, of course, perfect in his eyes.

Charlie loved his sports, whether it be curling in the winter or ball in the summer. 

He played baseball with the Lauderdale Wheat Kings for a number of years, as well as fastball in Halkirk. 

When he turned 55, Charlie played senior slo-pitch with the Castor Legion team for 20 years. 

He loved travelling every weekend, camping with the team and playing in tournaments all over Alberta. 

Many long-lasting friendships were made during these years as it was a great social group to travel with.

Throughout their marriage, Charlie and Cathy loved to travel whether it be with the ball team or abroad. 

Over the years they travelled throughout the United States, across Canada, around Europe and the Caribbean. They enjoyed many cruises, bus tours and road trips through 10 provinces, 41 states, and 30 countries. 

These excursions brought them many wonderful experiences and gave them many cherished memories throughout the years.  

Charlie also enjoyed playing cards. He and Cathy played bridge in a couple’s club, and he also played in a men’s club right up until two years ago. 

As well, Charlie was an active member of the Halkirk Elks Club for a number of years. 

In 1996, Charlie and Cathy retired, moving to their new home in Castor. Although Brent had taken over the farm, Charlie was never far. 

He continued to go to the farm every day for a number of years after moving to town. 

The draw of the land was always there, whether he was helping with fencing, fixing machinery, or just hanging out in the fields or with the cattle.

Charlie has left to cherish his memory, Cathy, his loving wife of 63 years; his son Brent (Ellyn); daughter Nola Fletcher (Dwayne); grandchildren – Justine Potter (Landon), Brittany Fletcher, Steven Fletcher (Becka), Taryn Fletcher (Derek), Max Schaffner, and Jillian Schaffner. 

He is also survived by his sisters – Violet Turre, Madeline Bouma, Amelia Rogers (Gary); his brother Tom Schaffner (Shirley); brother and sisters-in-law – Tom Spady (Margaret), Roger Spady (Betty), Verleen Spady, and Cindy Spady; and numerous nieces and nephews.  

Charlie is predeceased by parents Katherine and Michael; sisters Eva Gale (Byron) and Elizabeth Heslop; brother William Schaffner (Dilys); brothers-in-law Don Bouma and Henry Turre.

Funeral services were held at Knox United Church, Castor on Sept. 16, 2020 with Rev. Barbara Zimmerman officiating. 

Charlie was laid to rest at Castor Municipal Cemetery. 

Condolences may be sent to the family at Memorial donations can be made to the Knox United Church Memorial Fund.

Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. 403-882-3141.

Card of Thanks

Our family is so grateful for the wonderful support we received from family and community during Charlie’s illness and our bereavement.  

Special thanks to Dr. Hanton for always being there for us and to Paula, Josie and all the Home Care staff for their competent, kind and respectful care.  

To Dean, Verna and staff, our sincere thanks for all they did to ease our burden during this difficult time.  

Thank you to Rev. Barbara for her support and for the beautiful funeral service.  

A special thank you to friends and family for their prayers, cards, phone calls, food, flowers and visits.  

What a wonderful community we live in!


Cathy Schaffner

Brent and Ellyn Schaffner

Nola and Dwayne Fletcher 

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