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Jack William Schafer, 66, passed away March 30, 2018 at his home in Ravenna, Ohio.
Jack was the son of Jack Junior Schafer, a Ravenna businessman, and Neva June (Trexler) Schafer, a school teacher. After graduating from Ravenna High School in 1970, he entered the University of Cincinnati School of Architecture, receiving his Bachelor of Architecture in 1975. He spent one year of his architectural studies as a student intern working for an architecture firm in Leeds, England. He also started working in 1972 in the summers for the Historic American Building Survey, a recording project of the National Park Service. Among his HABS assignments were recording projects in Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Maine and Santa Clara County California. He met his life partner, Robert Bruegmann, in 1977 during the first year of the two- summer project in Santa Clara County.
Following the second summer of the HABS project, Jack moved to San Francisco where he got a job as a preservation architect in the firm of Charles Hall Page and Associates, one of the country’s premier preservation firms. While at this firm he was responsible for numerous architectural and planning projects across the western United States, for example restorations at the Palace Hotel and Ferry Building in San Francisco, the Federal Building in Los Angeles, and planning for downtown Alhambra, California and San Antonio, Texas.
In 1991 he returned to Ravenna to help out with the family business, the Trexler Rubber Company, a manufacturing firm founded by Jack’s grandfather, William Trexler in 1936. The company originally made rubber tires for model airplanes, but after World War II moved into the production of dipped latex bags used by manufacturing companies in the cold isostatic pressing process. Intending to stay only briefly and return to his architectural work in San Francisco, he ended up taking over the leadership of the company. His cousin, Tom Trexler, succeeded Jack as President in 2017. Jack continued to work at the company as president emeritus and was particularly helpful in designing new products and in trouble shooting.
In recent years Jack played a prominent role in efforts to revitalize Ravenna. He spearheaded the successful campaign to restore the Ravenna Flagpole, served on the Ravenna Planning Commission, played a key role in the creation of Main Street Ravenna, was a charter member of Ravenna's Core Team, and most recently was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Ravenna United Fund. He was particularly interested in the preservation of Ravenna’s remarkable architectural heritage and its importance in the city's economic rebirth, and was active doing research, preservation, tours and articles for the Record Courier.
Jack was diagnosed with amyloidosis in Dec. 2017. He is survived by his sister Pat Schafer Harper and nephew Jordan Harper of Long Beach, California, and his life partner Robert Bruegmann of Chicago.
Memorial Services will be held at the Ravenna Elks Lodge #1076 at 776 N. Freedom Street in Ravenna on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 10 am. Arrangements have been entrusted to Shorts Spicer Crislip Funeral Home Ravenna Chapel.
Donations in Jack’s name can be made to Main Street Ravenna, PO Box 444, Ravenna, OH 44266 or the Ravenna United Fund PO Box 426, Ravenna OH 44266. Condolences and memories of Jack may be shared at www.sscfuneralhomes.com.