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Tracy Kent Shaffer

December 21, 1956 May 17, 2020
Tracy Kent Shaffer
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Obituary for Tracy Kent Shaffer
Tracy Kent Shaffer (age 63) of Valleyford (Spokane) WA, unexpectantly passed away of pneumonia Sunday May 17, 2020, at Sacred Heart Medical Center. He entered into this world on December 21, 1956 in Sunnyside, WA as the son of the late Gary W Shaffer and Darlene M Bailey.

Above all, Tracy was a kind and gentle man who loved the Lord and his family. He had a brilliant mind, a kind spirit, and was an amazing woodworking craftsman and artist. He loved viewing the heavens with his self-made 12” Dobsonian and his Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. He excelled at teaching and loved to share his knowledge of Physics, Astronomy, Math, Biology, and Chemistry with not only his students, but with anyone who showed an interest.

Tracy graduated from Lacrosse High School in 1975 where he excelled academically and athletically. He loved all sports and was known to watch ANY sport on TV or in person. His favorites teams were the WSU Cougs, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Seattle Mariners and Seahawks. Following high school, he graduated from Spokane Community College in 1977 and worked in architecture, where he gained the skills to build his current home. Because of his lifelong love of learning he returned to college and completed a Bachelor of Education in 1993 and a Bachelor of Science in Physics in 2009, which allowed him to pursue his true passion of astronomy. He taught both high and middle school for Spokane School District 81 part time until his death.

In his spare time, he was an accomplished woodworking craftsman, amateur astronomer, Boy Scout Master, telescope enthusiast, oil painter, and musician. In his role of philanthropist, he grew heirloom tomato plants from seeds and gave them to anyone who was interested and traveled to work as a carpenter for areas struck by disaster on church mission trips. He also enjoyed gardening, hiking, kayaking, camping, fishing, and reading. He was an active member of Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church (HPPC), where he and Cathy Ann Schmidt were married in 1987. At HPPC, he was an elder for buildings and grounds, crafted fine furniture, and installed the four-foot stained-glass window, which he and Cathy built.

Tracy and Cathy Schmidt Shaffer were married for 32+ joy filled years and still considered each other best friends. He was an amazing stay at home dad for their only child Jacob Shaffer while building their home on 20 acres with Jacob at his side. All animals loved his kind spirit, and he adored his current grand-dog Kepler. He was beloved by his mother Darlene M Bailey of Lacrosse, WA, his sister and brother-in-law Mina and Gary Dorman of Touchet, WA, his sister and brother-in-law Sheri Hatley and Roger Hager Oakesdale, WA, and all of his nieces, nephews, and their children. In addition, he was loved by Cathy’s family and all their friends. The world was a much better place because of him, and his acts of love and kindness and his knowledge touched many lives. The incredible woodworking and artwork he did for himself and others will live on as monuments to a life well lived.

Tuesday May 26 from 9:00am-1:00pm there will be a public socially distanced viewing at Heritage Funeral Home, 508 N Government Way, Spokane, WA 99224. On Wednesday he will be privately interned in an outdoor mausoleum at the top of Greenwood Cemetery, facing southeast toward his home, surrounded by the beauty of nature, and next to a large cross overlooking the city, symbolizing his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

A celebration of his amazing life will be held at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Park Church in the fall, when large gatherings are safe.
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