Donald Schaefer Profile Photo
1966 Donald 2023

Donald Schaefer

August 4, 1966 — November 20, 2023

Donald "Don" James Schaefer, 57, passed away on Monday, November 20, near Sidney, Montana.
He was born August 4, 1966, at Castle Air Force Base, California to Merlyn and Audrey (Schauman) Schaefer, later settling in Minot, North Dakota. He married the light of his life, Melita "Lynnette" Cooper on September 27, 1986, in Step Rock, Arkansas.
Don enlisted in the United States Army as a mechanic, working across the U.S. as a mechanic or as a trainer after his service. Don and Lynnette settled in Arlee, Montana, in 2007, and it quickly became home. Most recently, Don worked at both the family business, Bulls Eye Wear, and Northwestern Repair with his good friend, Justin.

Don was a beloved husband, devoted father, doting grandfather, and loving brother. He was fair and gentle, honest and kind. Many would say he was their best friend because he was the best friend you could have. He loved all those around him fiercely, but if you asked him who his best friend was, he’d say Lynnette every time. He spoke fluent sarcasm and had a quick wit.

Don was an avid outdoorsman, hunting, fishing, camping, boating, and berry-picking all alongside Lynnette and his family. Together, they spent thousands of miles riding their side-by-side four-wheeler through the mountains near their home. Don lived life with love and laughter right up until his passing, bagging the largest muley of his life the day before while hunting with friends, Gary and Tom.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 37 years, Lynnette, of the home; daughter Lindsey (Mark) Bogner of Odin, Kansas; two sons, Robart (Alexandra) Schaefer of Columbia Falls, and Donnie (Mikee) Schaefer of Arlee; bonus daughter, Verena Fath of Columbia Falls; six grandchildren Zoey Bogner, John Schaefer, James Schaefer, Otto Bogner, Roo Fath, and Evie Fath; brothers Mike (Louie) Schaefer of Avoca, Michigan, John (Ellen Horther) Schaefer of Guerneville, California, Glenn (Helga) Schaefer of Karlsruhe, Germany; sister Karen Schaefer of Ronan; and many others whom he loved. He is preceded in death by his parents, Merlyn and Audrey.

Friends and family are welcome to a memorial service held at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula on Friday, December 1, at 3:00 p.m. His ashes will be scattered in a private ceremony at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the funeral home to help cover final expenses. If anyone would like to send photos or memories of Don to the family, please email or text 620-617-5169.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Schaefer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, December 1, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory

1705 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808

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