Shelley Schaffer passed away on Aug. 25 at age 70 in Cudahy, WI. Services were held Aug. 28 at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Lincoln.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Shirley (Kushner) Schaffer.
She is survived by her sisters, Stephanie and Leslie, and members of the extended Kushner family.
Shelley was born on April 17, 1949, in Pittsburgh, PA. The first-born child of Gene and Shirley Schaffer, she was later joined by sisters Stephanie and Leslie, who were her chief supports and caregivers in her final years. As a teenager, Shelley was actively involved with Jewish youth groups, serving as a local president and regional officer of USY, and as a supportive member of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Lincoln. A graduate of Lincoln High School, and recipient of a baccalaureate and two master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Shelley’s career path took her through the helping professions and the world of nonprofit development, most recently at Milwaukee PBS. She retired five years ago. Shelley’s dear partner of 40 years, the late Claude VanderVeen, enlarged her world with cycling, folk dancing, and their beloved cats. Throughout her life, Shelley was an integral member of the Kushner and Schaffer families, enjoying all the gatherings and sharing in the laughter and fun, as well as the sorrows.
Memorials may be made to ASPCA, Sierra Club, or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research