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Pamela Kathryn Shaffer

April 15, 1948 — July 29, 2021

Pamela Kathryn Shaffer


Pamela Kathryn (Schmidt) Shaffer age 73, died Thursday, July 29, 2021, at her home in Hays, Kansas.

She was born April 15, 1948, in Hays, Kansas, the daughter of Felix and Angela (Beilman) Schmidt.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Thomas A. Schmidt; and sister, Phyllis A. Schmidt.

She is survived by her husband, Warren Shaffer, of the home; son, Zachary Shaffer and wife, Jaxinta, of Phoenix, A; daughter, Leah Shaffer and her husband, Benjamin Priess, of St. Charles, MO; sister, Sr. Judith Schmidt; sister-in-law, Doris Schmidt; sister, Marla Staab and brother-in-law, Dennis Staab; sister, Donna Schmidt and brother-in-law, Duane Coyle; grandchildren: Phoenix Muller, Ella Shaffer, Marcela Shaffer, Valentina Shaffer, Benjamin Priess, Jane Priess; goddaughter, Tessa Lindenburger; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pam grew up immersed in farm life among the Volga German community of Catharine. She excelled in academics at Marian High School in Hays. After graduation, she attended Fort Hays State University, then eventually was accepted to graduate school at the University of Arkansas, where she earned her masters and PhD in Medieval English and Linguistics. At the University of Arkansas in 1971, Pam met and eventually married Warren Shaffer, from Philadelphia, Penn., and the two went on to settle into their careers in Hays. Warren, as a therapist at the High Plains Mental Health Center and Pam, as instructor and eventual professor at Fort Hays State University.

Pam received tenure and went on to educate college students in a variety of courses including Intro to Linguistics, Composition and Medieval Literature. She served as a Writing Center director for many years, helping students improve their writing and shaping future tutors.

After 36 years of teaching, she retired and began work on a book of letters from her uncle Monsignor Firmin Schmidt. The book, titled "Letters to Mary: A Missionary Writes Home from New Guinea. 1959 to 63.," was published in 2020, and is available for purchase on Amazon or Hays local bookstores. True to form, she helped edit this obit.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 A.M. Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at St. Catherine Catholic Church, Catharine, Kansas with Father Earl Befort O.F.M. Cap. officiating. Burial will be in St. Catherine Cemetery.

A vigil service will be at 7:00 P.M. Monday, at Clines-Keithley Mortuary of Hays, 1919 East 22nd Street, Hays, Kansas 67601.

Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Monday, at Clines-Keithley Mortuary of Hays and from 9:00 to 10:00 A.M. Tuesday at St. Catherine Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials made payable to: Fort Hays State University Foundation, in honor of Dr. Pamela Shaffer in care of Clines-Keithley Mortuary of Hays.

Condolences can be sent via e-mail to or can be left at guest book at


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