STEVEN ALBERT SCHAFFER
Steven Schaffer, Sioux Falls, SD, died May 7, 2017, at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls. He was 61.
Steven Albert Schaffer was born June 10, 1955, in Deadwood, SD, to Albert “Ambrose” and Lillian (Volker) Schaffer. He was raised in Lead, SD, where he graduated from high school in 1973. He then attended School of Mines and Technology where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. He later earned his Master degree from the University of South Dakota.
On May 3, 1980, he was united in marriage to Karen Czmowski. The couple made their home in Rapid City where Steven worked at Sanmina SCI in assembly, and later in program management. During this time, Steven also enjoyed teaching mathematics part-time at National College. In 2008, he and Karen moved to Sioux Falls where Steven began working at Electronic Systems Inc. as a quotes administrator.
Steve enjoyed playing chess and had been involved in a number of chess tournaments. He loved reading history, and particularly liked studying the American Civil War. Steve was a long-time member of the Skyline Toastmasters in Rapid City, and was also a member of Toastmasters in Sioux Falls. In 1992, he became a coach with Destination Imagination. Throughout the years, Steve had attended three DI world finals as a coach, and several as an appraiser in Instant Challenge. He also served as appraiser in regional and state tournaments and served as a board member. DI members will recall fondly Steve's penguin hat and his nickname of the "Penguin Man."
Likable, and blessed with a warm sense of humor, Steven had a passion for teaching. He spent much of his life in dedication to helping others learn. In addition to teaching, Steve loved to inspire. Often this inspiration would come to a person serendipitously in the form of a simple tag-line at the end of an email, as he would wish good cheer upon you or bless you with an encouraging quote.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Karen Schaffer. Sioux Falls, SD; daughter, Kristen Schaffer, Tracy, MN; son, Sean Schaffer, Rapid City, SD; sister, Lucinda VerBeek (Kerry), Frederick, MD; and many cousins and other relatives.