IN MEMORIAM: Harry Shaefer ‘63


The Rev. Dr. Harry Frederick Shaefer, III, who matriculated and studied at General from 1961-1963 before graduating from Union in 1964, died peacefully in Johnson City, TN on August 28, 2018 at the age of 79.

He graduated from Oberlin College in 1961 after studying Greek, philosophy, history, and literature, and received his doctorate in ministry from Ecumenical Theological Seminary in 1992. Ordained an Episcopal Priest in 1964, Shaefer served churches in New York, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Tennessee.

Since 2000, Shaefer had a very active Sunday ministry often pasturing churches while they were in transition, considering it a blessing that the Diocese of East Tennessee permitted him to continue this ministry in his retirement. Late in his career he returned to his first scholarly love, the study of the New Testament. His book, First Thessalonians: The Hidden History of the Pauline Churches, was published in 2013.

Shaefer was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of the late Harry Frederick Shaefer, Jr. and Dorothea Ellen Reynolds Shaefer. Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Marjorie Moore Shaefer; brothers Robert “Bob” (Polly) and Lewis (Susan); children Erik Shaefer, Tessa Quinones, Jason “Jack” Shaefer (Courtney “Kitty”), Luke Shaefer (Susie); grandchildren Elizabeth, Taran, Caeden, Colton, Bridget and Michael.

Services were conducted at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Johnson City TN, on Thursday, September 6th, 2018 and at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Detroit Mi, on Saturday, September 15.