Blanche Shewfelt Schaffer Walker passed away on August 29, 2022, just 36 days before her 102nd birthday. She was born October 4, 1920 in Selby, South Dakota to James and Mina Shewfelt. In 1936, she and her family moved to Idaho. In 1937, she married Harold “Red” Schaffer and they had five children together.
In 1952 she started working at the Coeur d’Alene Homes as a nurses’ aid. In 1966 she and Harold divorced, and Blanche moved to Spokane, working at Sacred Heart Hospital until she retired.
Blanche was a hard worker her entire life. In addition to a job, raising 5 children and caring for her home, she had a green thumb and always had a large garden and beautiful flowers. She always had to “keep my hands busy”, so she was always making quilts, collecting dolls and making doll clothes, making all kinds of Christmas decorations and doing fancy needlework. All family members and many friends have some kind of remembrance of her handiwork.
In 2004, she returned to Coeur d’Alene and moved into Heritage Place, now The Village at Orchard Ridge, where she adopted the small yard behind the building as her own, taking care of the landscaping that was there and adding petunias and other flowers each year as she saw fit. Blanche lived with macular degeneration for the last 25 years of her life. As her eyesight deteriorated, she still kept doing everything she could until it was just wasn't possible anymore. When she needed more care, she was able to move to The Garden at Orchard Ridge, and we are very grateful for the loving care she received there the last years of life.
Blanche was predeceased by her parents, sisters Dorothy Duff and Verna Hunt, brother Jim “Howard” Shewfelt, and three of her sons, Jack Schaffer (Lydia), and Larry Schaffer (Raynay) both of Hayden, and Tom Schaffer (Coni) of Spokane, son-in-law Richie Ryan, grandson, Tim Schaffer and long-term companion Jack Rountree.
She is survived by daughter Dixie Ryan of Coeur d’Alene, son Don (Judy) Schaffer of Dalton Gardens, 15 grandchildren and too many great and great-great grandchildren to count.
A memorial service will be held Friday, December 2, 2022, at 1:00 P.M. at English Funeral Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of North Idaho or to Companion Animal Shelter.