Former Wise Avenue VFC Fire Chief Dies

It is with deep sadness and humble respect, The Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company announces the passing of Past Chief and Life Active Member John I. Schaeffer, Sr.

He died peacefully early on the morning of January 7, 2023 surrounded by his loving family.

Chief Schaeffer (affectionately known as Mr. John in his retirement) was our longest serving active member; having joined the company in March of 1960.

In the 1970’s and 80’s he served as our Chief for 12 years, making him our longest serving chief. He served additional years as Assistant Chief.

He served and protected his community for decades. In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s at just about any fire or emergency event you would have been hard pressed not to see John Schaeffer there.

He was a fireman’s fireman. He had a quiet, but deliberate leadership style and was a guide and mentor to an entire generation of our firehouse and to the 3rd Battalion.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years Marlene (Sueck) Schaeffer; sons John Schaeffer, Jr (Sharon).; Thomas (Kathleen) Schaeffer; and daughter Theresa (Richard) Murphy; 8 grandchildren; and many extended family members including his fire department family.

Family will be receiving visitors at the Duda-Ruck Funeral Home at 7922 Wise Avenue, Dundalk on Wednesday Jan. 11 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Services with Full Fire Department honors will take place at the funeral home on Thursday Jan. 12 at 11 a.m.

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