Kevin Brian Shafer
– to know you is to love you –
Kevin Brian Shafer, “Shaf,” 64, was received into the arms of God on Friday, May 20, 2022. Kevin was born September 26, 1957, in Mason, Michigan. He married the love of his life, Kieran McGee, on November 7, 1998. Their daughter Audrey was Shaf’s pride and joy. He always considered her his greatest accomplishment in life. Kevin would share countless stories outlining Audrey’s achievements from birth through her loving care of him during his final days.
Kevin began his Meijer career more than 37 years ago where he started by working in the Lansing stores. He spent the majority of his career in the corporate office holding various human resource training and operation positions. Kevin thrived on being of service to others. Whether it be helping fellow colleagues, customers, family, and friends; he was always ready and willing to help by giving a part of himself to serve others. Shaf’s endearing laugh was contagious while his quick wit, inclusiveness, and kindness was ever present.
Tennis, golf, and Spartan tailgates were just a few of Kevin’s joys in life. His frequent trips to Traverse City were filled with laughter, food, drink, and unending fun with the McGee Clan. He was an integral and welcomed part of the McGee family.
On October 27, 2021, Kevin was unexpectedly diagnosed with an incurable cancer. From that day forward, he fought the fight courageously while undergoing numerous and varied chemotherapies. His fight continued at MD Anderson, Houston, TX where he underwent two trials in attempts to reach remission. While the trials were unsuccessful, Kevin continued his legacy of service by donating all he could to assist with medical advancements in cancer research for others.
While in Texas, Shaf periodically journaled his thoughts. “I never knew a person could love another person as much as you love me! Again Kieran, I love you more today than ever.” “Audrey is flying into Houston… Can’t wait for her hugs and kisses… I’m going for a walk… I first have to wipe my tears of joy… My family is back together again… feeling good.” In the last months of his life, Kevin shared his new insights and appreciation for what is truly important in life with family and friends. He took great steps to let everyone know they were loved by him, and they made a difference in his life. Because of this, Kevin will live on in the better parts of us all.
Kevin was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore, and Margaret (Bond) Shafer; uncle, John Bond; aunt, Jan Harrington; his oldest brother, Michael; and sister-in-law, Debbi; his sister, Coleen; best friend, Jeff Erickson; and in-laws, Bill and Bernie McGee of Traverse City. He is survived by his brothers, Pat, Tim, and Jeff Shafer, Bill Taylor; aunts, Jenny Bond, Kathryn Downing; uncle, Carl (Carolyn) Bond; and cherished nieces and nephews. In addition, he is survived by the McGee family: Kathy (Bill), Kevin (Ann), Patty (Mike), Dan (Janet), Mary (Fran), Tom (Alessandra), John (Neva), and Bill (Staci), along with their wonderful and caring children to include his goddaughter, Helen Cullen; as well as his Meijer family too numerous to mention.
Shaf was known for wearing vests to work daily so we encourage all to wear vests at the visitation in remembrance of him. Visitation will be held at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 on Friday, May 27, from 5:00-8:00pm with 7:00pm prayers followed by a celebration of Kevin through storytelling by those attending.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00am with visitation one hour prior on Saturday, May 28, at Our Lady of Consolation Church, 4865 11 Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The mass will be live streamed on the Our Lady of Consolation Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ourladyofconsolation/ for those unable to attend. A luncheon will be served immediately following. Interment will be held at a later date at Oakwood Cemetery, Traverse City, MI. In lieu of flowers, please send your memorial gifts to the American Cancer Society (ACS) Hope Lodge, Houston, TX 77054 in memory of Kevin Shafer.
The family would like to offer our deepest gratitude to the many doctors and staff who cared for Kevin, to include the Cancer and Hematology Center, Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, MD Anderson, ACS Hope Lodge, Houston, and Hospice of Michigan. Our love goes out to Mary and Fran Cullen for their compassionate care of Kevin, Audrey, and Kieran during Shaf’s final days. Kindly share thoughts and memories online at http://gerstfuneralcare.com.
Kevin: Loving husband, father, brother, uncle, and faithful friend we thank you for your selfless heart, service to others, kindness, and generous spirit. You fought the fight; the race is done, and heaven welcomes your humble soul. We love you always.
Sending love and comfort to yoall. Kevin was always so kind to his young cousin when I would come to Michigan. I will always remember his laugh, smile qnd sense of humor as well as his kind heart.
I had the honor of working with Kevin when I began my career with Meijer 36 years ago in Lansing. When he went to the corporate office, we still reached out to each other to test programs and for Kevin to answer some of my training questions for our team members. Kevin was always my “go to guy”. He will surely be missed not only by his family members, but by his Meijer family members as well. My deepest sympathy for his family and friends.
What a beautiful obituary for Kevin♥️
I never had the pleasure of meeting him but what an incredible Son, husband , Dad, friend and Colleague!
Celebrating his Life will keep your memories close for a lifetime ♥️♥️
What a beautiful life story. Kieran you are ever in my thoughts and prayers. It’s been a most difficult journey. May you find peace and comfort in beautiful memories
Thank you Kevin and Kieran for your wonderful friendship while we were both at Hope Lodge. I so enjoyed our little senses of normalcy-like having dinner together at the Hope Lodge kitchen while the guys watched sports. Jay and I talk about both of you every day. Kevin’s laugh puts a smile on our faces quickly. I can’t wait to hear how Kevin comes to visit you and Audrey-whether it’s through many dreams, a beautiful butterfly, a rainbow or other special ways you talked about together before he left this world ,
Jay’s tough journey continues…and we will “always” have you in our hearts. Audrey, thank you for sharing your Dad. He’s the most caring person I’ve ever met!
WeI are so sorry to hear this sad news. We will keep you and your family in our prayers.
Kieran , I am so sorry for your loss, and so happy Kevin is no longer suffering. I can only imagine the greeting he received in heaven. So much loss recently…. I know only the good die young ,but I know how much he will be missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers . You are so abundantly blessed with love and family to help ease the pain. We love you!
As I sit in sadness for what the world brings to all of us, I don’t want to even imagine the sadness that has been thrust upon you and Audrey. I am so sorry for your loss and yet I know your love and memories will bring you comfort. May you and your most precious Blessing. . . . Audrey, find your smiles that rest with Kevin.
Kieran, so sorry to hear of your loss. I never met your husband but it sounds like he was a great man, you are in my thoughts and prayers!
Costco Pizza–who puts that on a bucket list?! I’ll tell you who……Kevin Shafer, a man who made EVERYone smile, by his words and his actions. I barely knew him, but the little I knew of him, I knew he was a man of great compassion, a man who love love loved his family, and a man who made the world better. He positively impacted me, and thousands of others. Kieran, my condolences, and may our God watch over you and hold you and Audrey closely during this time. Love from Indy,
Although we only got to meet and become friends for a short time we already miss talking and enjoying the time we spent together. He has assured us that he was going to a better place. The short time we got acquainted with Kevin and the conversations we had he not only showed us how to live but how to die. It was our pleasure to have known him and a treat to have him and Kieran….
A good man gone too soon. Kevin was a pleasure to work with off/on for 30+ years at Meijer. He will be missed. Condolences to the entire family, and may he Rest in Peace and watch over you all.
Kevin, or as I called him for some reason “Uncle Shafe”, was one of those people you work with over years who always kept things positive and enjoyable. I probably smiled every time I looked at meeting notices and saw Kevin was invited.
I knew Kevin only at Meijer, but what a likable, respectful person he always was. We need more Uncle Shafes in this world!
Kieran, Audrey, and family, we are with you in spirit today and in the difficult days to come. This season comes to us all—thank God we don’t bear it alone. May his peace be in your hearts and may your memories bring you comfort.
I will truly miss Kevin. Going back to our days at Meijer #24 that he would never let me forget! What a great person and friend. Always doing the extra for who ever or what ever needed to be done. Our thought and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.
Kieran, It was crazy seeing you and Kevin at the Lemmen-Holton building in January. Thank you so much for getting my attention and saying hello. I was so sad to learn of Kevin’s cancer. He and I chatted a little while he was getting blood drawn that day, it was nice to catch up with him after so many years. I have thought of you two often since then and just found out today June 3rd, that he passed away. My heart goes out to you and your family at this most difficult time. ~Lar