Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home and Cremation Services

Harry Frederick Shaefer, III


The Rev. Dr. Harry Frederick Shaefer, III, age 79, Johnson City, passed away peacefully at his residence Tuesday, August 28, 2018.

The Rev. Dr. Shaefer was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of the late Harry Frederick Shaefer, Jr. & Dorothea Ellen Reynolds Shaefer.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Marjorie Moore Shaefer, Johnson City; 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.

He was a student of scripture and seeker of truth as revealed in Christianity, an avid singer and teller of bad puns. Harry Shaefer was a man of hard-earned wisdom. He was a source of sage counsel to his children, and a friend and spiritual mentor to many.

He graduated from Oberlin College (1961) after studying Greek (plus philosophy, history and literature). He studied at General Theological Seminary, completed his masters in divinity at Union Theological Seminary (1964), and his doctorate in ministry from Ecumenical Theological Seminary (1992).

Ordained an Episcopal Priest in 1964, he served churches in New York, New Hampshire, Michigan and Tennessee.

Since 2000, he has had a very active Sunday ministry often pastoring churches while they were in transition. He considered 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.

He sang with many choral groups including the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers and the Civic Chorale in Johnson City. He presented a “senior” vocal recital on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday.

Services will be conducted at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 500 N. Roan St. Johnson City TN, on Thursday September 6th at 5:00pm. Reception and rememberances will follow the 5:00 pm service.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites those who wish to make contributions to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnson City.

Services in Michigan: Saturday, September 15, at 10;00 am with reception and remembrances following in the parish hall.

Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Episcopal) 4800 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201 for those who wish, may make memorial contributions to the Cathedral music program.

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Leave an Eulogy or Condolence for Harry Frederick Shaefer, III

Rev. Sally Boelter
Dear Marjorie, Luke & Susie, and all the family, I am so sorry to hear of the death of Harry. He has contributed so much to the life of the diocese both here and in Tennessee. He has contributed so much to showing others the love of Christ. He will be greatly missed. You will continue to be in our prayers. The Rev. Sally Boelter
R Stewart Wood Jr
To Marjorie, Luke, Susie and the rest of the extended family: Know of my prayers for you all and my deep appreciation for the ties that Harry forged with me not only while in Michigan but in retirement as well. I treasure each of you. Stew
Eric Williams
Prayers and blessings to all the family as you celebrate the life and mourn the loss of Harry. So sorry I can't be at the service on Saturday, but will be holding you all in prayer.
Folks at the Democrat Resource Center
We are so very sorry for your loss. Dr. Shaefer had just started attending our Wednesday Issues Group meetings and we were so pleased to have him join us. He seemed the kind and gentle force so needed in our land. Go well.
St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church Jonesborough
Fr. Harry was always there for our church. We appreciated his help very much. He will be missed by all of us.
Steve Bancroft
Harry was a good friend and colleague, he will be missed. Margaret and I send our condolences to Marjorie and the family. God’s peace.
Linda Mavity
My sincerest condolences to the Shaefer family. I'm going to miss you Father Harry. I know I'll see you again some day. Blessings.
The Rev. James C. Rhodenhiser
To a faithful servant we bid adieu. To family who mourn we wish grace and healing and encouragement.
Rev. Ann Webber and Paul Webber
So sorry to hear of Harry,s death. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.
Katherine Beck-Ei
My sincere condolences go to all of you; both family and friends of this remarkable man. I pray God's peace will be with you and you will find strength and comfort from each other. Peace.
Phil Dinwiddie
Dear Marjorie, Luke & Susie, and everyone in the family, I am deeply sorry to hear of Harry's sudden passing. Over the years we crossed paths many times. He was brilliant and eccentric, funny, respectful, and so very learned. I look forward to honoring him and his memory at the service on September 15th at the Cathedral. Know you are embraced in prayer.