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Horace Schaffer '49 January 13, 2017 9:51 AM updated: January 13, 2017 9:53 AM

1515 SOUTH COLLEGE AVE, BRYAN, TX 77801 | 979-823-8125

Horace "Hoss" Schaffer
December 23, 1927 - January 10, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017 | 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Memorial Funeral Chapel
1515 South College Avenue, Bryan, Texas
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Funeral Service
Saturday, January 14, 2017 | 2:00 p.m.
Bethel Lutheran Church
4221 Boonville Road, Bryan, Texas 77802
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Beloved College Station resident Horace "Hoss" Schaffer-teacher, principal, and coach for College Station ISD from 1951 through 1994-died peacefully in his sleep on January 10, 2017. He was 89 years old. Horace's family welcomes friends and former students to visitation at Memorial Funeral Chapel in Bryan on Friday, January 13 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., and to funeral services at Bethel Lutheran Church in Bryan on Saturday, January 14 at 2:00 p.m. Burial at College Station Cemetery will follow church services.

Born December 23, 1927, to first-generation Americans Fritz and Minnie (nee Miller) Schaffer, Horace and his siblings, Clyde and Mary Lou, enjoyed a Spartan but loving childhood on the family's farm in what was then rural Brazos County. A student at College Station schools, Horace cultivated life-long friendships and graduated in 1945 as A&M Consolidated Student Body President. After briefly attending Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, where he played football for Coach Homer Norton but was sidelined after too many concussions, Horace quit school to join the United States Army in March 1946.

He was promoted to Sergeant, Counter Intelligence Investigator (441st Counter Intelligence Detachment) and served a year at 10th CIC Headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. One of Horace's favorite Army stories involves the circumstances of his receiving a coveted assignment with Counter Intelligence: The interviewer asked all three finalists-Horace and his competitors, both officers-if they liked alcohol. The two officers denied ever touching the stuff, but Horace answered that he occasionally enjoyed a beer. Sergeant Schaffer was chosen for the job, because-as the interviewer later said-he was the only candidate who had told the truth.

In September 1947, Horace declined additional promotions within the Army/CIC and returned to the Brazos Valley to complete his education at A&M College of Texas (B.S., 1949) and Sam Houston State Teachers College (M.Ed., 1955). During his career at College Station ISD, Horace taught math and PE, was principal at College Station Junior High (1957-1975), and developed the district's tennis program.

As tennis coach at both the junior high and high schools (1951-1984), Horace mentored state champions who eventually pursued careers in the sport. Among them, Claire Elkins (State Singles Champion, 1964), now in the California Community College Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame, said that Horace "knew just the right words to encourage us and give us confidence" and taught tennis with "the right touch of humor and seriousness." Mike Mills (State Singles Champion, 1968 and 1969) followed in Horace's footsteps by coaching tennis at A&M Consolidated High School (1990-2002), nominated him for Texas Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame (inducted 1991), and said, "Horace's tennis teams felt like family. He was my hero, and I loved him and will miss him." Former student Jody Rush, a teaching professional for 45 years and instructor of world champion tennis players in addition to recipient of his own national and world titles, said, "Coach Schaffer had a love and passion for the game that he passed on to me and that I have tried to pass to many others. In a way, I owe my life purpose to Horace Schaffer, to 'Coach.' I loved him. He will continue to influence me."

While he found immeasurable joy in teaching and coaching, Horace attributed his strength to God and family. On May 30, 1943, he was confirmed at Bethel Lutheran Church, where he was a Charter Member and served as a volunteer and leader throughout his life. On August 2, 1958, he married fellow College Station resident Flo Huff, and the two shared more than fifty summers exploring North America and Europe, often accompanied by their sons, Tom and John. Although Horace's 89 years were filled with enviable adventures and professional accomplishments, they were not without trying times and sorrow: He conquered multiple forms of cancer during the past forty years, and in 2007 he endured his greatest spiritual trial when his son Tom died at only 47 years old. Despite that tragedy, Horace's faith in God's mercy and commitment as His servant never wavered.

In addition to Tom, other family members who preceded Horace in death include his parents and siblings Clyde Schaffer of Anderson, Texas, and Mary Lou (nee Schaffer) Edmundson of Chanute, Kansas. Survivors include his wife, Flo Schaffer; their son John and daughter-in-law, Cheryl Clements; John and Cheryl's daughter, Marlene Schaffer; and Horace's dear friend and former student Mike Lenz-all of College Station. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations in Horace's memory to Building Fund, Bethel Lutheran Church, 4221 Boonville Rd., Bryan, TX 77802; or to Hospice Brazos Valley, 1600 Joseph Dr., Bryan, TX 77802.

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