Albert George Schafer

Albert George Schafer, 79 years old, of North St. Paul, MN was born in St. Paul, MN, June 30, 1942, to Albert William and Mildred (Jacobsen) Schafer. He grew up in Maplewood, MN, graduating from Alexander Ramsey High School in 1960. Al went to work for 3M Company in St. Paul, starting out in the factory, where he eventually met his future wife, Eva. He pursued electrician training at Dunwoody Institute, and then worked as an electrician for 3M Company from 1961-1998. Al also served as Financial Treasurer at OCAW Local 6-75 from 1985-1997. After 37 years with 3M Company, he retired in 1998. Al married Eva Manka on August 5, 1968. They moved to North Branch, MN in 1975, where they made their home on a hobby farm and raised their two boys. After Eva died in June of 1990, Al continued commuting to 3M in St. Paul, raised his boys in North Branch, and participated in softball league. His personal faith in Jesus grew significantly, and three years later he found himself on a short-term mission trip to a boys orphanage in Jamaica. On this mission team he met his next future wife, Audrey. Al married Audrey Aldrich on November 13, 1993, in Little Falls, MN. She joined him and his two boys in North Branch, bringing into their life three grown daughters. He was gracious and patient as the new blended family slowly melded together over the next few years. Al and Audrey felt God’s calling to do ministry in whatever way He led, and Al was obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. In 1996, Al and Audrey moved to North St. Paul, and became very active in North Heights Lutheran Church. Al attended Lay Ministry Training Center (LMTC) there, earning a Lay Ministry Certificate in 2002, and served as leader in many small group ministries and participated with numerous prayer teams. He often helped with hosting duties for the annual Holy Spirit Conference at North Heights, and he was privileged to blow the shofar in worship when he participated in the conference. A highlight of his faith journey was having the opportunity to travel to Israel. Al also served as a counselor for Love Lines in the Twin Cities from 1993-2005. Al was an avid softball player, playing in various leagues for more than 60 years, well into his retirement. Even as his body was slowing down and playing was more difficult, he continued to be part of the team for as long as he could. He was a social man and softball was a great place to connect with men from many walks of life. Al spent his life helping others and always had a warm and caring smile. He served his Lord Jesus diligently in the local church, and he made it his mission to graciously point people to Jesus by his actions and words everywhere he went. Al knew what life was like prior to a personal relationship with Jesus, and he wanted people to experience the joy, freedom, and hope that is found only through Jesus Christ. In recent years, Al’s Parkinson’s condition slowed him down some -- he often noted, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” But he always had time for a visitor or friend, checked-in with his sister by phone/Facetime almost every day, and followed up with family members and friends to stay in touch. Even when speaking became winded for him, he still exuded joy and gratitude to his Lord, and love to his family. Following a short illness battling pneumonia and COVID-19, Al was, in his words, “ready, willing, and able” to go home to Jesus, and died peacefully at St. John’s Hospital August 29, 2021. Al was a true family man, a devoted husband, father, stepfather, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle, as well as a loyal and caring friend to so many. He was very loved and will be dearly missed. Al is survived by wife Audrey (Johnson) (Aldrich) Schafer; sons Scott Woolley, Albert (Kristy) Schafer, Jason Schafer; stepdaughters Gayle Aldrich, Jodi (Michael) Greco, Ami (Paul) McKinley; grandchildren Brandon McKay, Hannah Schafer, Benjamin Schafer, Brian McKinley, Colin McKinley, Erin McKinley; sister, Marie Fedor; and numerous, much-loved, extended family and friends. Al was preceded in death by his father, Albert William Schafer; mother, Mildred (Jacobsen) (Schafer) Tofte; stepfather, Tenny Tofte; brother, James Schafer; wife, Eva (Manka) Schafer. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, September 24, 2021, 1:00 pm, at ROCKPOINT CHURCH, 5825 Kelvin Avenue North, Lake Elmo, MN. A time of fellowship/visitation will follow the service from 2-4 pm. A private interment will occur at a later date. Arrangements are with the Mueller-Bies Funeral Home.

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