Lawrence F. SchaafAugust 5, 1935 ~ June 18, 2021 (age 85)
Lawrence F. Schaaf, age 85, of Fairview Heights, IL, born August 5, 1935, in St. Louis, MO, died on June 18, 2021, at St Paul’s Home, Belleville Il.
Larry was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, teacher, and coach. He was raised in North St. Louis County and attended a variety of north county public high schools. At the age of 12, he converted to Catholicism and was a devout Catholic and member of Holy Trinity Catholic Community in Fairview Heights, Illinois. He loved music and singing and was even invited to study at Julliard. However, his family situation led him to a job as a draftsman at Combustion Engineering, where he worked in a variety of positions for 30 years. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1955 and spent a year stationed in Germany. The two years he spent in the Army had a profound impact on his life and world view. He was “directionally challenged” and his children’s favorite story from his time in the military was based on a wrong turn that put him at the border of communist Poland.
After his discharge, Larry returned to work at Combustion and eventually joined the Cathedral Club at the “New” Cathedral in St. Louis. That is where he would meet Mary Sullivan, the love of his life and wife of 57 years. He bonded with Mary’s father over their shared love of playing baseball. A love that he passed onto his sons. He was an active member of St. Philip’s Catholic Parish in E. St. Louis, volunteering his time as a baseball coach, cantor, and President of the Parents Club. He continued coaching baseball and basketball after joining St. Albert the Great Parish in Fairview Heights.
Despite his busy schedule, he continued his education and earned a Certificate in Industrial Production and Management from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis. He transitioned from student to teacher by joining Belleville Area College, now Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC), as an adjunct instructor in the Welding Technology Program, where he taught for almost 40 years. Teaching was his passion, and it was what he missed most after retiring. He retired as a Vice President from Pandjiris, Inc. at the age of 70. It was perfect timing for him to spend lots of time with his three grandsons. Although he did not “officially” become a grandfather until later in life, he had been practicing for the role for years. He honed his grandparenting skills by watching dormitory students from Central Institute for the Deaf climb in the tree in his backyard, having deep conversations with his godson, and teaching any child who wanted to learn how to play ball.
He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Catholic Shrine Pilgrimage, former Chairman of the Welding Technology Advisory Board at SWIC, a member of the American Welding Society, and lifetime member of Knights of Columbus Council 592.
The family would like to thank the staff at St. Paul’s Senior Community and Patrick of Hospice of Sothern Illinois for their outstanding care and support in Larry’s final days.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence F. Schaaf Sr., and Alice Bein, nee Nigh; and his brother Donald Schaaf.
Larry is survived by his wife, Mary Catherine Schaaf, nee Sullivan: his sons Kevin Schaaf and Tim (Kelly) Schaaf; his daughter Karen Schaaf; grandsons, Dalton, Wyatt and Greyson; many loving surrogate grandchildren including Laura and James Simoneaux; and his four-legged buddy, Sully.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Holy Trinity Building Fund, Speak, or St. John’s Community Care.
Visitation will be held on Friday, June 25, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL.
A procession will leave Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 26, 2021, for a 10:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fairview Heights, IL with Fr. James Long officiating.
Burial will follow at Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.
Holy Trinity Building Fund
St. John's Community Care
St. Louis MO