Cover photo for Fred J. Shaeffer's Obituary
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Fred J. Shaeffer

December 20, 1952 — November 13, 2016

Fred J. Shaeffer

Fred J. Shaeffer, 63 passed away peacefully on November 13, 2016 at his home in Norman, OK. Fred was born on December 20, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Marie Zickefoose Shaeffer and Fred Shaeffer. He was raised in the old town of Keystone, now under Keystone Lake. He attended the original Keystone School which had one teacher and two grades per classroom. He played basketball as center on the conference championship team his eighth grade year and was valedictorian of the Keystone graduating class. He then chose to go to High School at Sand Springs. He was elected President of his junior class and was active in school politics. He was valedictorian of his 1971 graduating high school class. He started work at Plough’s grocery store at age 15. He received 90 cents an hour until he was hired at Safeway for $2.10 an hour. Fred felt he was rich.

During high school, Fred met his first wife, Deborah King. They married and moved to Norman, where he attended the University of Oklahoma and later built his law career.
Fred worked at Safeway from 1969 until 1979, even after he was a full time Assistant District Attorney. During law school he worked at least two jobs and sometimes three. The last year of law school he worked 40 hours a week at both Safeway and the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to his parents and sister, Susan Shaeffer, he has always been indebted to John Wehr, manager at the Norman Safeway, who hired him and made him night crew manager for five years, and then third man at the store where Hastings is now located; Preston Trimble, former District Attorney and District Judge; and Reginald Gaston, First Assistant at the District Attorney’s office and later Special Judge. All gave a kid with no contacts a chance to prove himself.
In 1978, Fred fell in love with Cindi Ford, and they were married within six months. Their relationship lasted for fifteen years and produced three children, Fredrick, Crystal and Joe. Fred valued Cindi’s parents, Mary and Jack Ford and considered them the finest in-laws any man could ask for.

Fred and his third wife, Laura McClain, were married for 19 years and from this relationship came two sons, Benjamin and McClain (Mac) Shaeffer.

Fred tried over 500 jury trials, was a former Assistant District Attorney and Associate Municipal City Judge. He loved helping the poor and those who were between a rock and a hard place. He often commented, as in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” how many lives would be different had he not lived. Fred practiced law for 38 years and won well over ninety percent of all his jury trials. He thanks Todd Kernal and Heather Cook for their devotion as his partners and leaves his clients and the citizens of Oklahoma in their hands to carry on.
He is preceded in death by his father, Fred Shaeffer. He is survived by his mother Marie Shaeffer, and sister Susan Shaeffer of Sand Springs, OK; his five children, Freddie Shaeffer of Austin, TX; Crystal Harkness and husband Jonathan of Norman; Joe Shaeffer and wife Chelsea of Norman; Ben and Mac Shaeffer of Norman; and grandchildren Cody Shaeffer, Jade and Miah Harkness, and August Shaeffer; his Aunt Grace and Uncle Sam Zickefoose of Sapulpa, OK; Lisa Provenzano, Cheryl Frazier, Beverly and Steve Bailey, Charles Swart and numerous other cousins.

Funeral Services will be 2:00 p.m., Thursday November 17, 2016 at Chapman-Black Funeral Home in Cleveland, OK with interment to follow at Sinnett Memorial Cemetery. A Memorial Service will begin at 11:00a.m., Friday, November18, 2016 at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, OK. Local arrangements are under the directions of Chapman-Black Funeral Home in Cleveland and Norman arrangements are under the direction of Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman.

Family requests that memorial donations be made to Norman Public Schools in Fred’s honor.

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

Past Services


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

10:00am - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, November 18, 2016

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church

419 South University Boulevard, Norman, OK 73069

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Sinnett Cemetery

, Cleveland, OK 74020

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