On Sept. 18, 2014, Margaret Ione Schafer died at the age of 97 at her home in Hamlet House.
Ione was born on Aug. 6, 1917, in Julesburg, Colo., the third of four children born to George Edward Phelps and Iva Sowder Phelps. Her early years were spent in Colorado where she met and married Leonard Schafer. The couple moved to Philadelphia in 1940, and their daughter Carol was born there the following year. Mr. Schafer’s work in the Lockheed defense industry took the family to Southern California, where, following the war, he started a plumbing business and Ione rediscovered her dedication to the public library system. Her penchant for working in the library expanded over the years, and her love for books continued throughout her lifetime. She was an avid reader who always enjoyed discussing her latest reading.
In 1974, Mr. Schafer retired, allowing the couple more time for travel. They then chose Mesa, Ariz., as their home, and later moved to Sequim, Wash., where they lived until Mr. Schafer’s death in 1993. For the next 14 years, Ione lived in Friday Harbor, becoming very involved in her volunteer activities at the Senior Center, Friday Harbor Library, Presbyterian Women’s Guild, Whale Museum, and Historical Museum.
Soon after the Hamlet cottages were completed in 2008, Ione relocated to a cottage on Lopez, where she delighted in being close to her immediate family. She became a resident of Hamlet House after a fall in 2009, receiving loving care there during the last five years of her life.
Ione will be remembered for her constant gratitude, quick wit, grace, and the glint in her eyes. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Larry Hendel, her granddaughter Valerie Green and granddaughter-in-law Elizabeth Landrum, all of Lopez, and by Larry’s children and grandchildren in California.
The family plans to hold a private memorial. They request that gifts or memorials honoring Ione take the form of donations to the Hamlet House, designated as the Financial Assistance Fund, P.O. Box 172, Lopez, 98261.