Douglas Schafer

Former Baker City resident, 1944-2018

Douglas Craig Schafer, 73, of Chanute, Kansas, and formerly of Baker City, died peacefully May 31, 2018, at his home.

He was born on Nov. 3, 1944, at Portland to John Walker Schafer and Helen Jean (Richards) Schafer.

Doug was the oldest of four brothers, followed by Bruce, Gary and Kent. The Schafer family moved to Baker City for Doug’s high school years. He was a 1962 Baker High School graduate.

Doug loved cars. He worked as a gas station attendant in Baker City, where he saved enough money to buy a 1957 Chevy Bel Air hardtop. He also rebuilt a Model T, and loved riding his Whizzer motorbike.

Doug went on to graduate from Montana State University in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and in 1968 he earned a Master of Science in mechanical engineering.

As a young man, Doug worked in the computer industry in California. During his employment with IBM he was part of a computer support team that was utilized in the early NASA space programs.

Doug also owned an RV cabinet-making business in Oregon and worked as a loan officer for a Denver bank. He then used these work experiences to become an independent oil and gas operator. During this time of his life he was a rolling stone traveling from state to state.

Doug’s traveling lifestyle would change when he met the love of his life, Kay Coombs, in Chanute, Kansas. They were partners in life for more than 30 years.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy, at home in Chanute, Kansas.

Doug became an important and valuable part of Kay’s family of three daughters and their respective families including: Suki Coombs and partner, Robin Reed, M.D., Lawrence, Kansas; Christi Darnell and husband, Hank, Baldwin City, Kansas, with sons, William and Samuel; and Sally Farrell and husband, John, Lawrence, Kansas, with sons, Logan, Ryan, and Jack.

Doug’s hobbies and interests included computers, traveling, piloting, hang gliding, gardening, photography, running, camping and RV’s. He liked growing berries in his large garden.

He enjoyed photographing them along with natural landscapes, planes, RV’s and of course his beloved Kay and family. He traveled the ALCAN Highway with his brother, Bruce, where the 1,200 miles of gravel road had nearly destroyed the pristine ’56 Chevy he had recently inherited from his grandfather’s estate.

He also traveled through Europe, North Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and much of the Western U.S. and its national parks. He enjoyed discussing history, politics and world events with family and friends.

Other survivors include his three brothers, Bruce Schafer and wife, Susan, of Bend, Gary Schafer and wife, Rhonda, of Junction City, with daughter, Arielle, and Kent Schafer of Wallowa.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity or The Chanute Public Library through Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 64, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Condolences may be sent to the family through