Jack L. & Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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Jack L. & Bonnie D. (Garten) Shaffer

Bonnie D. (Garten) Shaffer, Jack L. Shaffer, David E. Smith.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.
Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer, Jack L. Shaffer and David E. Smith.
Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

Obituary: Jack L. Shaffer

January 4, 1937 - February 9, 2004

Jack Lee Shaffer was born January 4, 1937 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to Earl and Alva Brummett Shaffer. He graduated from this life on Monday, February 9, 2004 at his home in Aurora, Colorado.

Jack is survived by his wife of almost 38 years, Bonnie (Garten), and his son David. Also surviving are one brother, Richard, of Roanoke, Texas; two nephews: Gerry of Woodland Park, Colorado, and Robert of McPherson, Kansas; 2 grand nephews: Matthew and Nathan of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Gerry’s wife Marilyn and Robert’s wife Tina, as well as many other nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.

A member of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Aurora, Jack will be best remembered as "The Spoon Man". He brought a great deal of happiness to people, young and old, with his playing. Taught to play by his older brother Gerald, he only played for the Lord since his conversion in Amarillo, Texas in 1985. His last time to play was at the request of little Blake Bennett, who came up to him and said "Jack play spoons?" Children were especially fascinated with the spoons, and Jack loved to play for them.

Preceding Jack in death were his mother, father, brother Gerald, sister-in-law Leola, his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Marian and Guy Garten, and his baby granddaughter, Patricia Kathleen (Trish) Smith.

(Jack’s ashes are buried in Graceland Cemetery, Meade, Kansas, where his widow and son now reside.)

Gravestone for Jack L. and Bonnie D. (Garten) Shaffer, Graceland Cemetery, Meade, Kansas.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.
Gravestone for Jack L. and Bonnie D. (Garten) Shaffer, Graceland Cemetery, Meade, Kansas
Bonnie D.: Dec. 7, 1938 - _________. Daughter of Guy & Marian Trotter Garten.
(Married) May 6, 1966. Always & Forever
Jack L.: Jan. 4, 1937 - Feb. 9, 2004. Son of Earl & Alva Brummett Shaffer.
Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

Jack L. Shaffer plays spoons while a group of singers perform at Calvary Baptist Church, Aurora, CO.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.
Jack L. Shaffer plays spoons while a group of singers perform at Calvary Baptist Church, Aurora, CO.
Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

"The group picture shows Jack playing while a group of singers perform at Calvary Baptist Church, Aurora, CO. This was for a 75th birthday celebration for my brother James' mother-in-law, Beulah Bunn. The gentleman at the pulpit is Grover Angell. I tell you this because a rather interesting story came to light in tracing our family's history.

We've traced our family back to the 1600s in West Virginia. While going through the information with my niece, Pat Pass, we found that a Captain William Garton (there were several spellings of the name Garten, but are all the same family) married a Margaret Angell. Being curious, I took the information that I had to church with me one Sunday when I lived in Aurora, Colorado, and asked Grover if he happened to know anything about the lady, as the name Angell was spelled the same as his, and I knew he was from back east. He looked at the information and told me that he could tell me exactly who it was! Seems one of his ancestors married one of my ancestors some 400 or so ago, and Grover and I met at a small church in Aurora about 3000 miles west and centuries later! What a coincidence."

-- Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer, excerpt from an email to Jerry Ferrin, 6 Oct 2005.

I've been reading your website and it's great! Brings back a lot of memories! Our farm was across the road west of the Massey place, and I remember as a child, Dad took us to see the "gusher" when the oil well came in -- don't know if it was the first one or not, but may have been.

Also remember the Saturday evenings with everyone gathered at one of the homes and playing music! I remember Edna Garten Smith playing a ragtime piano (boy, could she play!). It seems all of the Gartens played some sort of musical instrument. Dad played fiddle, as did Grandpa (Bud). Grandma played the pump organ (in fact, that was what I first practiced my "piano" lessons on as a child! It had beautiful wood carvings on it, and behind the carvings was red velvet. We would all gather, either at Edna and Don's place, or Grandma and Grandpa's on Saturday night for a wonderful time.

Jack Shaffer playing spoons. 

Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

At left: Jack Shaffer playing spoons. Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

Edna (Garten) Smith and her husband, Donald, lived in Sun City. She was a daughter of Hal Garten, who was my great uncle. He also played. I had the privilege of hearing, and watching, Edna and my late husband, Jack Shaffer, play together. Jack was a world champion spoon player, and Edna loved to watch him play. Every time we went to see her, she wanted him to play for her, and until the very last time, she would play the piano for him. It's too bad that families don't do things like that any more -- everyone just seems too busy and involved in their own "thing". Back then, there wasn't a lot to do, so people made their own entertainment!

-- Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer, excerpt from an email to Jerry Ferrin, 24 September 2005.

When Grandma and Grandpa (Pearl and Bud Garten) lived on the farm north of our place, we would go visit them, and Grandma was a wonderful cook, as I remember. We could smell the homemade bread baking by the time we got to their driveway, and of course, we would have to have some as soon as it came out of the oven. Their house was a partial dugout, so the kitchen was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Grandma always raised a garden, and did lots of canning. I remember there was always home-made james and jellies on the table. She raised Concord Grapes and made the best grape marmalade. When they moved into town, Grandma took her grape vines with her and continued to grow them in town. They raised everything you could think of -- radishes, lettuce, green beans, peas, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe. She even had her own sage. Dad always liked watermelon preserves, so of course, each summer we would make some for him. I remember helping Mom and Grandma every summer with snapping beans, hulling peas,and helping with the canning.

We kids loved to get into Grandma's cake yeast -- it's a wonder she had any left to make bread with, as we would eat it! They had a pump in the kitchen, so didn't have to draw water from a cistern like we did on our farm.

I remember my third birthday very well, as it was the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Grandma and Grandpa were at our house on the farm, as well as Blanche and Elmer Collins. Blanche and Elmer worked on the Dickerson Ranch south of Sun City, and had several kids. I was born on Thaine's birthday, and they had another son, Denton, who was about a month younger than I. And a daughter, Colleen, who was older. Anyway, Mom and Dad and Blanche and Elmer were good friends and visited often. They were there to celebrate Thaine and my birthdays. I remember after dinner, Mom and put my sister, Vera (who was 6 months old) and me down for a nap in the living room. I could see out through the kitchen all the way to the barn. Mom, Blanche and Grandma were sitting at the kitchen table visiting, and Dad, Elmer and Grandpa were out in front of the barn. Rex Williams, who was working for Dad at the time, came into the house and into the living room. He turned the radio on and got a chair, sitting down with his arms on the back of the chair. He had no more than gotten seated when he heard the news of the bombing and I remember him running out the back door to go tell Dad. That's all I remember of the day, not what else happened at our house or anything.

-- Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer (excerpt from an email to Jerry Ferrin), 26 September 2005.

"I remember Lyle Bullock as our mail carrier. When we lived on the farm, us kids would go barefoot all summer long. We would take turns running down the driveway from our house to the road where our mailbox was. Anyway, I remember one summer day when we were arguing about whose turn it was to go get the mail. Mom (Marian Trotter Garten) finally said "I'll settle it. None of you are going. I'll go get the mail." It's a good thing she did! As she was walking down the driveway, she saw (and recognized) a big rattlesnake coiled in the middle of the road. She was able to get a fence post from the side of the road and kill the snake. It was 6' long! Had it been one of us kids, we would have run down the driveway, barefoot, and probably would have been bitten. Dad (Guy Garten) went hunting that evening and found and killed the snake's mate, and it was also 6' long.

Dad had bought Mom a set of steer horns that had a mirror in the middle, and she kept it up over the door between the living room and kitchen. One summer day I decided to help clean the house, so got up on a chair to dust the horns. Mom was in the kitchen. Anyway, I got up on the chair and started to dust the horns when I heard a rattle! I was off the chair and out the back door of the house and was half-way to the barn before Mom realized what had happened! Unknown to me, Dad dropped the rattles of every rattlesnake he killed, into one of the horns, so when I touched the horn, I thought I'd been "had" and my heart still pounds whenever I think of it! Of course Mom had a good laugh, but I didn't think it was very funny."

-- Excerpt from an email to Kim Fowles from Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer, 24 Sept 2005.


Patricia Kathleen 'Trish' Smith.

Photo courtesy of her grandmother,  Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

At left: Patricia Kathleen "Trish" Smith.

Photo courtesy of her grandmother, Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

Patricia Kathleen "Trish" Smith was born July 5, 1984 to David Eugene Smith and Pamela Kay (Hardy) Smith in Boulder, Colorado. She passed from this life on October 13, 1984, in Denver, Colorado, as a result of crib death. A memorial services was presided over by Dr. James Garten of Amarillo, TX, a great uncle. There was cremation.

Survivors include mother, father, two half-brothers, Rob and Sam DeCamp, all of the home; grandparents Bonnie and Jack Shaffer of Laramie, Wyoming and John and Doris Hardy of Hesperia, California; great grandmother, Marian Garten of Amarillo, Texas, as well as numerous other relatives.

John Henry & Malinda L. (Rogers) Garten, paternal great-grandparents of Bonnie D. (Garten) Shaffer.

Spice H. "Bud" & Pearl Lealure (McBride) Garten, paternal grandparents of Bonnie D. (Garten) Shaffer.

Guy William & Marian (Trotter) Garten, parents of Bonnie D. (Garten) Shaffer.

Dale Guy Garten, brother of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

Glenn Leon "Bear" Garten, brother of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

James Garten, brother of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

White Sands School near Sun City   Photo courtesy of Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer.

Thanks to Bonnie (Garten) Shaffer for contributing the above information and photos to this web site!

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