In Memory of

Don Shaffer

October 16, 1934 - October 8, 2020


Don Shaffer, 85, of Lee’s Summit, MO, passed away on October 8, 2020.

Donald Dean Shaffer was born on October 16, 1934 in Axtell, KS to Clyde and Louise Shaffer and grew up in Cedar Vale, KS. He received a Bachelor of Music Education from University of Kansas and a Master in Music Education from University of Missouri-Columbia. Don was an instrumental music teacher for 32 years in Norton, KS, Moberly, MO, and Center High School, Kansas City, MO. He worked for 13 years in Human Resources for Hallmark Cards/Crown Center.

Don founded the Missouri Lions Band and the Hallmark Band. He was a devoted member of the Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church and Chancel Choir and the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the Lions Club for over 50 years.

Don loved photography, music composition, poetry, travel, gardening, playing the trumpet and piano, singing, being at the lake, the KC Royals and Chiefs, and, of course, the Kansas Jayhawks. He lived life to the fullest, making a new friend at every turn. We lovingly remember one of his favorite phrases, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” He was an inspiration to many, especially his students, and will be greatly missed.

Don is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Shirley; children, Sara Myers, Syd Stansberry (Ed), and Tom Shaffer (Jody); grandchildren, Rachael Myers, Ellie Stansberry, Pete Stansberry (Claire), Madeline Shaffer, Sam Shaffer; great-grandson, Jack Stansberry; sister-in-law, Donna Brown; nieces and nephews and many cousins. He loved his family dearly.

Visitation will take place on October 24, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. with a service at 11:00 at Langsford Funeral Home, 115 SW Third Street, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are required. A private family burial will be held at Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra, or Center High School Band.


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So sorry for your loss. Don was a great cousin and it was always a privilege to be with him and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

My deepest sympathy to your family. Mr. Shaffer known by many loving names to his students was more than a HS Teacher; he was a mentor, honorary parent and the best example of a human being ever. I did not keep up with my music studies but donated my instrument to Band of Angels with many stories of my phenomenal leader to store staff. There are never enough words to describe what a kind man he was. Prayers for your family

Mr.Shaffer went out of his way to help me. Our high school marching band was fortunate to visit Washington DC. My parents didn’t have the money for me to go. Mr. Shaffer paid my way out of his own pocket for me to go on the trip! Now I’m a singer/songwriter and I owe my talent to him. He taught me to give it my best! And that carried on well beyond school. God bless you Don Shaffer. You touched my life.

Deepest condolences to the family of Don Shaffer. He was larger than life and made an indelible stamp on me as a proud member of the Center High School Concert and Marching and Musical Pit Bands, 1979-1983. Mr. Shaffer’s charisma, enthusiasm and deep love of music and his students made him one of the greats. We will never forget him, nor stop feeling gratitude for his huge heart, and the beautiful music he led us to make together.

Mr. Shafer was one of my favorite teachers. He challenged me to do better and be proud of our team. He taught me so much about leadership (and I still remember which way north is based on early morning band practices! Haha). I appreciate him and his dedication so much!

Class of 1983

My boys were in Center High School Band. How fortunate that they got to know you. You were the best. Thanks for your good life.

Sheri and Greg join me in sending deepest sympathy to Shirley and her family. Mr. Shaffer was the ultimate professional in music instruction at Center Schools where he was highly respected. He will never be forgotten. May each of you be surrounded by the love of God, family and friends during these difficult days.
Wanda Baze

Mr Schaefer was larger than life! I didn’t play in the band, but my older brother, Steve, did and thought the world of him! Prayers for his family and dear friends!

Mr. Shaffer was my band teacher at Boone and Center High School. I truly enjoyed band in large part due to Mr. Shaffer. He made it fun. He was a wonderful teacher. I have always remembered his saying, if you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late. That got everyone to performances on time! All his students loved him. His smile will always be remembered.

For all the time he spent teaching us – everything. Important lessons in life and commitment to details. I am grateful for those sacrifices he made, if only to realize them years later in my life. Those lines in the marching formations – straighten them out. That’s a 4 count on that note, not 3 1/2!
Always with a smile even if in frustration!

Thank you all, for sharing him with us. Our time was a take away from your family time. I’m truly humbled.

Peace be upon your families.

Mr. Shaffer was such an inspirational and encouraging teacher. This picture captured his warm smile that I will always remember. I hope happy memories will bring you comfort in the days ahead.

Some of my fondest memories of high school were when I was in Mr. S’ band room. I hope your family finds a small measure of comfort knowing how loved you are by so many. Thank you, Mr. S.

Don was a wonderful colleague at Center, always cheerful and positive, truly interested in his students and serving the whole student body with great half time shows and concerts. I am blessed to have known and worked with him.
My sympathy to your whole family as you work through your separation from your loved one.

I was privileged to know Don at Hallmark and play the clarinet in the band there for 25+ years. Our Tuesday rehearsals were a highlight of my week. I’ll always be grateful that our paths crossed at Hallmark and that I was a part of the band. Great memories.

Mr Shaffer was my hero. He was my band teacher at Boone Elem and then at Center High School. I adored him. He was everything a good role model should be. I am grateful for his example and will always remember his goodness. I am deeply sorry for your loss, but know he is rejoicing in heaven.

I don’t have much new to add after reading all of the previous condolence messages, but I will say that Mr. Shaffer was truly an inspiration for me musically, and I had the great privilege of being directed by him in the Center High School marching, concert, and jazz bands, the Missouri Lions Band (1981), and the KC Community Band. His profound influence on my life will never be forgotten. Wishing God’s peace and strength for the family as you grieve this difficult loss.

Sympathies to the the family on the loss of a one of a kind human.
I so admire and respect Don for his energy, enthusiasm, kindness, loyalty, and goodness that he shared with so many of us.
He is a legend at Center and it was my honor to not only follow in his footsteps in the band program there but to work for many years with him supporting the Lions/Lioness/SGA scholarship for graduating seniors.
I have missed him since moving from the area years ago and will now always miss him but never ever forget him.

I first met Don at Hallmark when I was a new employee in the early 90’s. He was so kind and one of those people who truly made Hallmark special. Years later I joined the Hallmark band and played bass clarinet. One of the highlights of our year was the patriotic concert when Don would direct us in Battle Hymn of the Republic. He loved our clarinet section…even though we barely had it together until the performance itself. He would look straight at me while I was playing with a look like “Come on, you’ve got this!”. Seeing the joy he brought to the podium will always stay with me. It has been a true privilege knowing such a wonderful man.

Mr. Shaffer was definitely one of my very favorite teachers. He was always kind, humble, passionate – his Legacy will not soon fade. Those trumpet player’s dimples, words of encouragement, consideration & smile will be Greatly missed. #RejoiceInGlory. I am sure you have already put a band together …..I love you. THANKS for the Memories.

It was my pleasure to become acquainted with Don through playing in the Hallmark band. His love of music was contagious! He will be missed.

I considered Don a very special friend of
Mine!! I am very sad about his passing!!
I’ll always remember him !! One of the most positive people I ever knew!!! God Bless
His family at this difficult time!!!!
From Diane Helmuth.

This is my high school marching band director. I have told people that I learned more about life from Marching Band than anything else in High School. Mr. Shaffer taught me that if you are on time your late! Mr. Shaffer taught me discipline. I learned that when you practice hard it pays off and if you don’t practice you go to the end of the line. Mr. Shaffer gave me the opportunity to march on the field at Arrowhead Stadium, to march in the Lions Club parade in Arizona and to support my high school football team by performing a half-time show on Friday night. I’m so grateful to have had him for a teacher. My sincere condolences to the family. Sending prayers for the family. Peace.

I will treasure my times with you during my Orchestra days as well as at Hallmark. Always pleasant and always special. Bless you and prayers for your sweet family.

You had such an impact on my life and the music I share today. Without you and Mr. Chronister I may never have pursued music as a career. The ability to share musical gifts in service of others has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. Thank you for putting your heart and soul into so many students. My sincere condolences to your family and friends. You will be missed!

Don was one of a kind. He was a great neighbor and friend. We loved hearing him play taps at night. He cared deeply for family and friends. You will be missed by all and can now sing in the choir and play in the band with the Lord.

My deepest sympathy is with you and your family! Don was a wonderful cousin! We’ll miss him deeply!

I had the honor of playing saxophone in all the bands at Center High School under Don’s watchful and caring eyes. I played in marching band, concert band, pep band, jazz band, and anything else he came up with. He would have a picnic at his house for the officers every year to thank us for our service to the instrumental program. He cared for each student and their success, not just in band but in life. The only teacher with total control of 120 wild youth but the character to make us feel like one big family.

Our world has lost a truly sincere, talented and loving man. He was a one of a kind special man. Our sincere condolences to the family.
Bernie & Judy

My condolences to the Shaffer Family, My 26 years on the faculty of Center Senior High School (1969-1995) were made more pleasurable by the humor of Don.

Dan Creasy

Rest in Peace, brother Don, we had many good times and teaching experiences together as teachers at Center Senior High, in the Red Bridge Lions Club and as friends with our family experiences. Your contributions to your students and to the community were tremendous. Everyone who knew you will miss you very much, and so will I. When we all meet again, I will be happy to take care of any student bus lists that you need. Until then, we will be thinking and remembering, and be thankful that we knew you. Your brother and colleague, John.

Don was one of the teachers who reached out his hand when i arrived in the middle of the year to teach at Center. He always asked me how I was doing with the students and to offer a suggestion or two to help me become a great teacher. I will remember his wonderful smile and his kindness. May his memory be a blessing
Stephanie Fehr ( Behaviorial Sciences teacher Room 309)

Very sorry for your loss, although i never had your father as a teacher, my interaction with him were always entertaining , I always respected him and he will be sorely missed

What a lovely man to know and what a lovely teacher to have! A true inspiration and one of my cherished memories of Moberly. God Speed, Mr. Shaffer. All best to you and yours, Jan Munroe

Don Shaffer was my band instructor beginning with my eigth grade year through my junior year of high school. He was my favorite teacher. Don made me want to excel with my clarinet. He actually made you want to march in the mud, in order to prepare for next week’s halftime show. He made it possible for me to take memorable band trips to Florida and Colorado. Don was always encouraging and motivating. He had an infectuous smile and it was fun to be his student, but he also made us work, to get better. I had the privilege to be in concert, marching and pep band wit h Don. Our pep band made the Moberly Junior College gym rock with our music. I loved to hear him play his trumpet. I remember him throwing an eraser at one of my bandmates that was misbehaving in class. Having Don shaffer for my band instructor was one of the highlights of my highschool days. More importantly, Don was a very good friend to me. I’m sure Our Loving God will have a spot for him in His Heavenly Band. My sincere condolences to Shirley and all the family.

Debbi and I were deeply saddened to hear of our good friend, Don’s passing. Debbi had Don for a band teacher in Moberly. We had both worked with Don and Shirley as active members of the Friends of the Lee’s Summit Symphony. We will do miss Don but we know he is in Heaven helping in any way he can and is blowing his trumpet next to Gabriel. We love and miss our dear friend, Don. Sending prayers to Shirley and Don’s entire Family. God Bless and God Speed.

Don was my very first mentor in my speaking career…adored him and he will be greatly missed! He was a man who provided many “Magic Moments” for so many people.
My love and prayers to his family

Mr. Shaffer as we called him in Moberly when I was in Jr High and H.S. I played Clarinet, not very well. Mr. Shaffer had the patience of Job and worked with me after school. He was also choir director at Trinity UMC where I attended.
I NEVER heard anyone speak I’ll of him. It was my pleasure to have known him. RIP Mr. Shaffer!

Wonderful man. He taught me so much about music and getting along with others in junior high and high school in Moberly. I have thought of his advice and light hearted wisdom many times in my life. Make your happy noise in heaven!

Don Shaffer is bigger than life for all who knew him.
I believe he touched more lives in the Center community and the Center School District than we will ever know. I offer my most fervent prayers for Don’s family and other loved ones.
He leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew him. May his smiles, laughter and philosophies of life he constantly shared with all of us, remain in our hearts forever. ?

Sending our condolences to you and your family, Syd. Thinking about you at this difficult time and wishing you peace and comfort.

Don was a wonderful man in every respect and was to very talented in the music field. Although I wasn’t in band, my Moberly memories of him are positive. My parents thought a lot of Don & your family. Love & prayerful thoughts to all who loved him.

I taught with Don both in Moberly and in Center School District. He was an outstanding music teacher who was admired by students, parents, and colleagues. Don was a friend to all and will be greatly missed.

We are sorry for your loss. Your dad had a full life and it sounds like he touched many.
With sympathy. Jill and Brent

I got to know Don shortly after my husband and I moved to John Knox Village in 2018.He was getting ready to go to Florida for 2 weeks and told me how he hated to leave his darling A-Jay in a kennel. I told him I would keep A-Jay and that was the start of one of my most cherished friendships. I wish I’d had so much longer to know Don. As I read the many tributes to him, I knew I’d been very fortunate to call him my friend. I will miss him so much. May you find comfort in knowing how loved and admired your father was to so many.

So sorry for your loss, Syd. Reading through some of these comments is such a testament to the remarkable man your Dad was. Your sweet family memories will always be with all of you. Savor and share them.

Sorry to hear about your Dad, Syd. Reading through some of these comments is such a testament to the remarkable man your Dad was. Your sweet family memories will always be with all of you. Savor and share them.

I was very sorry to learn of the passing of Mr. Shaffer. He was a friend and a role model and I truly respected his passion for teaching. I owe a portion of who I am as a husband, father and mentor to watching how he carried himself both around his students and his children. He will be missed. May God provide comfort to his entire family.

Don was a very special guy. He was so friendly and always a joy to be with. I enjoyed singing with him in the John Knox Village Mens’ Glee Club, and I was always glad to hear him play his trumpet (especially taps at John Knox). He even taught me how to play the triangle (even though I was not a very good student).

William Wallace from Braveheart: “Every man dies. Few men really live”. Don Saffer had more life in him than most of us put together. He brought passion and energy to everything he did. Mr. Shaffer lived by standards and called the rest of us to them. Every life was enriched by this man. What a gift and an incredible legacy you were.The heavenly band just went up a notch!

Shirley, Sara, Syd, Tom, spouses and grandchildren,
We are so sorry to learn of the death of Don. He was a very special man and will be remembered for his humor, kindness, love and so much more. We are thinking of each of you with our sincerest sympathy.
Family of Bob and Barbara Kessler

To the Shaffer Family – I was fortunate enough to have worked with Don at Crown Center and wanted you all to know how much joy he brought our company on a daily basis. Always smiling, always happy, and always so personable to talk to. His presence when conducting the Hallmark Band was so joyful to watch and his passion for music was infectious. Thank you for sharing you Husband, Dad, Grandfather with all of us.

So very sorry for your loss. Don Shaffer was my band teacher at Boone Elementary. I imagine he introduced many Center baby boomers to band. He enthusiastically helped us select the right instrument and patiently listened to the squawks and wrong notes as we learned to make music. I didn’t continue with band after middle school, but I was in “the musical” at CHS each year. Memories of those high school musicals with Chet Landes, John Chronister, and Don Shaffer working together to harness the energy and talents of a bunch of high schoolers to create great shows…what good times! He always, always had a smile on his face. Condolences to Sara and the rest of the family.

My deepest sympathy to Shirley and family on Don’s passing. Don was a special person to all of us in the community. A treasure in the Lee’s Summit Symphony, excellent photographer, poet, composer, musician and friend. His big smile, vivacious spirit and hugs will be missed so much!

Don was my h.s. Band Director at Center, my Theory Teacher my Senior year and later in life ni friend as Well. He demanded thé beat from his students and I think thats what students respected as he got results out of us and wé learned To demand that from ourselves as Well. Thanks Don for à job Well done in life!

One amazing and delightful gentleman a person could ever know! Always putting a smile on my face as soon as you walked through the door. Caring, loving, gentle and warm! Just a wonderful person I am glad I got to know. Love you Mr! Never forgotten! EVER!

I have a unique perspective of the incredible life of Don.
I knew Don as a Center Student, I worked with him as a fellow
teacher at Center High, and then I worked with him on Special
Projects for Hallmark. He was the most infectious positive person I ever knew. His talent as a musician and teacher
was legendary. I witnessed him as a motivational speaker at
a Hallmark meeting for the upper management of the company,
and the audience was spellbound. The thing about Don was the
consistency of his life at everything he accomplished.
My brother Ted and I both ended up with college music degrees
because of Don and our other music hero John Chronister.
Yes, we will miss this great man, but the warmth, care, and
education Don gave us will live forever. Till we meet again
my friend. You were always ‘on time.’

When Don went into personnel I was the first person to retire under him.I stayed in touch with him.we went to the same church.Always a smile on his face.

To Don’s family, I am so sorry for your loss. I had a chance to know him at Center High school. Years : He was was great teacher and I will miss him. I remember Especially during the multiple drill marches he had us do and going over and over to get the best from us. I will always remember him. My last memory is one where another student and I Skipped out of the last class in the day. The next day I returned to class to find my grade card with a D- I later confessed and he let me have it.
After the scolding I never did it again. Best lesson in High School. I will miss him


Saturday, October 24, 2020
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063


Saturday, October 24, 2020
11:00 AM
Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063