Ethel H. Shaffer

Born in Cairo, IL on April 11, 1922

Departed on December 20, 2016 and resided in Hendersonville, tn

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Ethel H. Shaffer – 94 Ethel Hickcox Shaffer, of Hendersonville, TN, an enthusiastic world traveler, passed away peacefully after a brief illness, surrounded by family, at Hendersonville Hospital on Tuesday, December 20, 2016.
Born Ethel Hickcox on April 11, 1922, in Cairo, IL, Mrs. Shaffer, with her parents, moved to Nashville, TN in 1926. Mrs. Shaffer met her husband, James A. Shaffer, in 1940 at a dance, and they were married on October 24, 1942. Mr. & Mrs. Shaffer settled in Nashville, and were expecting their first child, when Mr. Shaffer was drafted in November, 1944. He was called to War, serving in the Pacific Theater, beginning in February, 1945.
Mrs. Shaffer “held down the fort” while her husband served his country. She gave birth to their first child, Margaret, on May 17, 1945. Mr. Shaffer served in the Army with distinction, initially in the Philippines, where he was wounded. He received many medals, including the Bronze Star; and later served as part of the post-war Occupation, Americale Division, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. With the help of her parents, Mrs. Shaffer raised their daughter for 16 months before her decorated husband returned from war.
The Shaffer family settled at Valewood Drive in Nashville, where their second child, Patricia, was born in 1948. They lived on Belvidere Drive, Roberts Avenue, and then Dugger Drive, all in Nashville, where third daughter, Carol was born.
Mrs. Shaffer was very busy raising her young family and was very talented as a seamstress and arts-and crafts-maker, with a keen eye for antiques. She opened her own gift and antiques shop – The Salt Box – in 1972, which she operated through the early 1980’s. Mrs. Shaffer continued to create custom lampshades, which she sold, along with antiques, at the Nashville Fair Grounds each month through the early 1990’s.
An avid and adventurous traveler with her husband, she continued to do so after his death in 1985. Mrs. Shaffer visited all 50 states and the District of Columbia; went through multiple passports with her many journeys to over eighty countries. She embarked on trips to six continents – she felt Antarctica was “too cold!” She sailed five of the Seven Seas on multiple cruises. She took good care of herself and remained very healthy. She was proud of the distinction that, at age 70 she rode a camel in Australia and an elephant in India in 2000 at age 78.
Mrs. Shaffer was a devoted Mother to her children, and received great joy in welcoming her grandchildren and great-grandchildren into the family. She loved to travel with her family, domestically and overseas, taking her three daughters on trips to England, Spain, Scotland and Ireland.
Most eager to share her enthusiasm for travel with her grandchildren, she and her husband took their first grandson, Anthony, to Florida, as his high school graduation gift in 1984. Later she took grandchildren, Robert, Wendy and Melanie to England in 1992, then Allison & Jamie to England in 1995 for their graduation trips. She also visited Western Europe on many trips with her daughter, Margaret, and her husband, Bernie.
Mrs. Shaffer enjoyed photography, and she had a keen eye. She did not need to take a lot of shots to capture that “perfect picture”. Her family teased her that she could travel for three weeks with just one roll of 35mm film. She wanted to share her adventures, and her artistic eye, with the world, so in 2007, for her 85th Birthday, she published a coffee-table book of her world travels. It was appropriately entitled, A Traveler’s View of the World. Five years later, for her 90th Birthday, she published A Traveler’s View, Book II, Homes & Gardens. She also wrote a journal of her life for her children, grandchildren and her great-grandchildren, and has maintained a scrapbook of her lifetime events, to be handed down to her heirs.
A fan of movies, plays, musicals, museums, the Nashville Symphony and gallery exhibits, Mrs. Shaffer was an avid supporter of the local arts at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. She also enjoyed travelling to New York City to take in many Broadway shows and special events. She enjoyed genealogy, crossword puzzles, and making beautiful quilts for each of her children and grandchildren. She had a “green thumb”, and her vegetable gardens, flower beds and house were filled with lovely plants and flowers. She was an accomplished musician in her own right. She played the accordion and the piano, and was able to duplicate show tunes by ear. Her theme song was Twelfth Street Rag, and she played it with gusto until her death.
Mrs. Shaffer gave of herself as a long-time member of the Hendersonville First United Methodist Church. She served the church community in many ministries including teaching Vacation Bible School. She served her Church and neighbors by driving the sick and elderly to doctor appointments; was a poll worker for decades at the election polling locations in Hendersonville. During the 1960’s she served on the Nashville City Council; was as a substitute teacher; and held several officer positions in the Ross Elementary School PTA. She and her husband were members of the Hendersonville High School Band Boosters, accompanying the band to Miami to perform at the Orange Bowl. She was a member of the “Friday Lunch Bunch” and the Home Demonstration Club for many years. She was a charter member of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA.
She is predeceased by her husband, James; her brother, Everett Hickcox; her sister, Nancy Hickcox Latham; and is survived by her three daughters, Margaret Ernst (and her husband, Bernard), Patricia Fowler (and her husband, Rev. Charles Fowler), and Carol Nowlin (and her husband, Wayne). She is the grandmother of Anthony M. Grisham (and his wife, Ruth), Robert Faucette (and his wife, Stephanie), Wendy Nowlin Duncan (and her husband, Patrick), Melanie Grisham Pulik (and her husband, Michael), Allison Faucette Abney (and her husband, Merritt), and Jamie Nowlin Brewer (and her husband, Thomas). She is also survived by great-grandchildren, Samuel and Cecelia Mae Abney; Jackson and Jillian Brewer; Aidan and Addison Duncan; Aria and Chloe Grisham; Michael, Jr. and James Pulik, and many nieces and nephews.
There will be a private graveside service for family on Wednesday, December 28, at Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. A Memorial in Celebration of the Life of Ethel Shaffer will be held at 2:30p.m. at the Hendersonville First United Methodist Church on Gallatin Road, followed by a visitation with friends and family at the Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA, or to the Hendersonville First United Methodist Church, in the name of Ethel H. Shaffer, will be appreciated. Arrangements are being handled by Hendersonville Memory Gardens Funeral Home

13 Comments to Ethel H. Shaffer

  1. Pat and Harry Schaefer
    December 22, 2016 4:08 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, but what an amazing woman! She lived life with gusto and on her own terms. I should hope that I could leave such an impact on my community, family, and friends. God bless each of you!

  2. David and Debbie Parker
    December 22, 2016 8:24 pm

    We are sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. Carrell Rhodes
    December 23, 2016 12:11 pm

    My sincere condolences on the loss of such an amazing woman. So privileged to have met her.

  4. Ben and Lisa Neese
    December 23, 2016 7:49 pm

    What a wonderful life she led. She should be celebrated! She lived such a full and long life and we know that you will miss her. You are in our thoughts and we offer our sincere condolences.

    December 26, 2016 2:51 pm


  6. Jane Headrick
    December 26, 2016 5:07 pm

    I was glad to have the opportunity to be with Ethel in the Friday Lunch Bunch for several years. Ethel was a lady an I know how much my sister ( Ann Newton ) loved her . She was a contribution to life .
    Blessings, Jane Headrick

  7. Amber Flatt
    December 26, 2016 5:39 pm

    Prayers for this family…so very sorry for the loss of such a precious lady.

  8. Ellen B. and Jorge Fernandez
    December 26, 2016 6:29 pm

    Mrs. Shaffer was an amazing, vibrant woman and so dedicated to her family and wealth of friends. She is remembered with such fond memories as we celebrate her life. Our prayers and deep sympathy and love to all the family during this time.

  9. Kaye and Cecil Clark
    December 27, 2016 10:50 pm

    I feel so blessed to have known Ethel all of these years. Her youngest daughter Carol and I have been great friends for over 40 years. So I still remember Ethel and Jimmy in their home on Lake Terrace with so many fond memories of the Shaffer family. She has always been an inspiration to me with all of her world travels and how she was such an amazing true lady with her elegance. Blessings and love to the family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  10. Jimmie Wise
    December 28, 2016 8:45 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. Ethel personified the term Lady.

  11. Edward and Diane Drennan
    December 28, 2016 11:12 am

    Sorry to hear of Aunt Ethel’s passing…I have so many memories as a child of all my aunts, uncles and cousins…Aunt Ethel and Uncle Jimmy…were always a delight to see at The Nashville Flea Market in their later years…We are quickly becoming the older generation with the passing of “The Greatest Generation” before us… Margaret , Patricia and Carol, Diane and I are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers…Love… Eddie and Diane Drennan

    In case you are unaware, Moma (Martha Paradise) is now in an assisted living facility. She is unable to be out very much. She knew of Ethel’s death and asked us to convey her deepest sympathies.

  12. Pam Curran
    December 29, 2016 3:38 pm

    Buddy and I wanted you to know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We remember your Mom from many years ago. She was truly a lovely
    Buddy and Pam Curran

  13. Bobby Wright
    December 31, 2016 7:16 pm

    Margaret, Tricia and Carol
    Sending my condolences to you and your family for your loss. What a wonderful life your Mom had.
    Love, Bobby “Rooster” Wright

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