Wilbert Lawrence Schaefer, 80, of Effingham, IL, passed away at 3:41 a.m. Tuesday, November 20, 2018, in HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital ICU, Effingham, IL.
A celebration of Life Services will be held on his Birthday at 10:00 a.m. Monday, November 26, 2018, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Effingham, IL with Rev. Gary Fortkamp officiating. Burial will be in Arborcrest Memorial Park, Effingham, IL. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 25, 2018, at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Services are in the care of Johnson Funeral Home, Effingham, IL.
Memorials may be given to The Lutheran Care Center or The Effingham County Fair Association both in Altamont, IL. Online condolences may be shared at www.johnsonandsonsfh.com.
Wilbert was born on November 26, 1937, in West Township, rural Mason, IL, the son of John Henry and Beulah Violet (Hinkle) Schaefer. He graduated from Altamont High School the Class of 1956 and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1960. He married Marilyn Joan Smallwood on June 17, 1962, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wheeler.
Wilbert served as Chief Real Estate Appraiser for over 30 years at the Illinois Department of Transportation District 7. After his retirement with the state, he opened his own Appraisal Business and later groomed two of his children in the appraisal business. He served in the Army National Guard. Wilbert was on the Effingham County Fair Board for 25 years where he held many positions and loved to work with food vendors. He also was a 4-H leader for more than 30 years. Wilbert was instrumental in the development of the Lutheran Care Center in Altamont and served on the board for numerous years. He attended St. John’s Lutheran Church in Effingham and held numerous positions on different boards and was certified in Stephen’s Ministries. He also was instrumental in the development of Eagles Nest Preschool at St. John’s. Wilbert’s passions were his four grandkids and their sporting events, agriculture, gardening, rehabbing houses, Cardinal ball games, and experimenting with cooking.
Wilbert is survived by his wife, Marilyn Schaefer of Effingham; children, Kevin Schaefer of Effingham, Teri Schaefer of Effingham, Todd (Michelle) Schaefer of Effingham, and Jenee (Randy) Berg of rural Altamont; grandchildren, Meredith Schaefer, Riley Berg, Ross Schaefer, and Lucas Berg; sibling, Sarah Louise Schaefer of Effingham; mother-in-law, Elnora Smallwood; sisters-in-law, Mary Lou Schaefer, Janice (John) Mette, Karen (Noel) Potts, and Sandy (Rich) Devall; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Johnny Schaefer; and father-in-law, Marion Summers Smallwood.