Amelia Catherine (Peters) Schaefer, 87, died Tuesday morning, Dec. 5, 2006 at Benefis East Medical Center in Great Falls.
Amelia was born Jan. 8, 1919, at Conrad to Charles and Anna (Theis) Peters. Amelia grew up on the Peters’ family farm in the Ledger community and received her early education at a nearby country school. She finished her formal education in Conrad, where she graduated from high school in 1937. She then attended beauty school for a short while. Amelia met her husband-tobe, Lawrence Schaefer, a Minnesota native, when he came to Montana to manage the Gambles store in Browning. They were married June 15, 1942, in Columbia Falls. Soon after, they moved to Chester, which became their home from that time on. In addition to being a homemaker and mother of six, Amelia worked diligently at the Gambles store, a well-known Chester business the Schaefer’s owned and operated for more than 50 years. The Schaefer’s remained in the Chester community following their retirement. After Lawrence died in 2000, Amelia continued to live in their home, where she appreciated her independence and good health. She was active in the maintenance and yardwork at her residence and enjoyed her daily walks to the post office. Last Thursday, Amelia was admitted to the Chester hospital with acute abdominal problems. Amelia was a longtime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chester, where she was very active in the Altar Society and also served as a religious youth teacher. She had volunteered as a Cub Scout den leader when her boys were young. Amelia’s greatest legacy was her unconditional love of family and her role as caregiver. Over the years, she took care of many ailing family members, including her parents, her uncle John, and her husband, Lawrence. Amelia was preceded in death by her husband; parents; sons, Donald in 1976 and infant Gerald in 1957; and brother, Donald Peters. Survivors include her children, Merlin (Joan) Schaefer of Gunnison, Colo., Karen Buck of Denver, Colo., Frances (John) Kammerzell of Chester, Paul Schaefer of Dallas, Texas, and Marcus Schaefer of Charleston, S. C.; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; brother, Lester “Bud” Peters of Ledger; sisters, Helen Frank of Kalispell, Agnes “Dot” Schaefer of Livingston and Rose Pester of Stanford; and many nephews, nieces and cousins. Rosary prayers will be held at 7 p.m. today at St. Mary’s Church in Chester. Her funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the church. Burial will follow at the Chester Cemetery. Undesignated memorials will be given to the “stained-glass window fund” at St. Mary’s Church. Arrangements by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.