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.