Dr. Lawrence Bruce Shaffer, 85, of Lebanon, IN, died peacefully Saturday, July 1, 2023 surrounded by family. He was born Oct. 14, 1937 in Delta, OH, the middle son of the late Bruce Herbert and Wilma Lois (Hatfield) Shaffer. He spent his childhood in Delta, and graduated from high school in Beatrice, Nebraska. He achieved his Eagle Scout award before graduating. Lawrence met Saralee Teets at the Indianola Christian Church college youth group, and they were married on Jun. 28, 1959, in Springfield, OH.
Lawrence graduated from Ohio State in 1959, earning a B.S in Physics. He then went on to receive his Masters in Physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1960, along with a Ph.D. in 1964. Lawrence worked as an Assistant Professor in the Hiram College Physics Department from 1963-1970, and was a distinguished Professor and Chairman in the Anderson University Physics Department from 1970-2000.
The most important things in Lawrence’s life were his faith in God, his love of his family, and then his career as a professor and researcher. He adored his children and grandchildren, and his never-ending support for them through any endeavor they chose was unparalleled. He also never met a stranger that he didn’t enjoy talking to. Whether he was playing trombone in marching band, consulting for NASA, or serving as Deacon and then Elder at the many churches he attended, his outgoing & friendly personality would always draw people to him for in-depth conversations. He loved to travel and visited many countries, but his heart was in Germany, which he visited many times, including living there for a year with his family. While he could have worked for an elite corporation or the government, he chose to be a professor at a small Christian university so he had the freedom to impart his incredible knowledge to his students, consult with government labs such as the Oak Ridge and Brookhaven National Laboratories, while also having summers free to spend time with his family camping across America. He served as a board member for many years at both Minnesota Bible College and Emmanuel Christian Seminary. Later in life, Lawrence played the Gut Bucket in a band with a group of his fellow research buddies at several science conventions. His love of music has trickled down to his children and grandchildren. His mind was incredible and he loved nothing more than to solve an intricate equation in as many ways as humanly possible, which drove his desire to spend his life doing research on God’s universe. However, Lawrence’s many achievements, acknowledgements, recognitions, and adventures around the world couldn’t have been accomplished without the selfless support of his beautiful wife Saralee.
Survivors include his loving wife of 64 years, Saralee Shaffer of Lebanon; children: Cindy (Bret) McQuinn of Plymouth, MN, Scott (Jeanne) Shaffer of Tucson, AZ, Michelle (Steve) Byrum of Kokomo, and David (Sarah) Shaffer of Pittsboro; sister, Jan (Sonny) Smith of Auburn, AL, brother, Roger (Phyllis) Shaffer of Ruffin, NC; 16 grandchildren: Kelan (Lauren), Bryce (Megan), Jared, Madison, Megan, Ethan, Emma, Christina, Aidan, Eliza, Ella, Andrew, Isaiah, Adeline, Abraham, and Isabelle, and two greatgrandchildren Evelyn and Hadley.
Family and friends will gather Monday, July 17, for visitation from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Lebanon Christian Church, 610 W. 250 N., Lebanon. A funeral service will be held Tuesday, July 18, at 11 a.m., with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. at the Church. Lawrence will be laid to rest at South Union Cemetery in Kokomo.
Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to Anderson University or the Lebanon Christian Church where he was an active member.
Final care of Lawrence has been entrusted to the Strawmyer & Drury Mortuary, 2400 N. Lebanon Street, Lebanon.