Big Cedar Lake couple, Kathleen and Harvey Schaefer, married 62 years die hours apart

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June 5, 2021 – Big Cedar Lake, WI  – The wedding vows “till death do us part” did not hold true for Kathleen and Harvey Schaefer who died within hours of each other last weekend after 62 years of marriage.

Harvey and Kathleen Schaefer

The wedding was January 30, 1959 at St. Robert’s Parish in Shorewood. Kathleen and Harvey raised three children and were proud grandparents of four grandchildren.

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It was Sunday, May 30, 2021 when Kathleen died at age 81 and shortly thereafter Harvey died on Monday, May 31 at age 86.

“It was a blessing,” said daughter Mary Jo Quirk.

Kathleen and Harvey met while she was working at Schuster’s department store and he was an ad executive at The Milwaukee Journal.

“She would answer the phone when he called to get the ads,” said Quirk. “They always flirted and connected and went on a date and got married young and had a great life together.”

The Schaefers raised their family in Wauwatosa but summers were spent on Big Cedar Lake.

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“They eventually tore down their cottage, rebuilt about 27 years ago and retired here,” said Quirk. “That’s been their whole life; the lake and family.  As they got older, they spent their winters in Florida but the cottage on Big Cedar Lake was their main home.”

The Schaefers social circle revolved around sailing and the Cedar Lake Yacht Club. “We’d visit with my three girls, Melissa, Holly and Stephanie, and my parents would bring a little table out and there would be Southern Comfort old fashioneds and little snacks and we’d look at the lake,” said Quirk. “It was always a beautiful view.”

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The Schefers died at their home on Big Cedar Lake.

“My dad had a stroke over the years and really got bad this past year,” Quirk said. “We thought he was going to go first but my mom had been sick too. She was on a feeding tube the last year and a half but she was always peaceful and positive.”

Quirk said her mom started failing last week Thursday. “She died on Sunday at 3 p.m. and he just couldn’t take it and he died the next day at 10 a.m.,” she said.

In the final hours, Quirk said her parents were holding hands. “It was beautiful. I’m not surprised they went together,” she said. “They always had a special bond.”

The relationship between “Harv and Kay” was palpable. Quirk said everyone felt it.

“Even growing up when I was in high school my friends said they always hoped for a relationship like theirs; they were always so in love,” she said. “They were so great to each other… their whole life.”

Nice. Kind. Loving are words Quirk has heard as friends and neighbors describe her parents.

“People really loved being around them because they were always so positive,” she said.

Below are the obituaries for Harvey and Kathleen Schaefer.

Harvey and Kathleen

Kathleen “Kay” C. Schaefer (nee Malone) passed away on Sunday, May 30, 2021, at the age of 81 years. She was born on December 19, 1939, in Milwaukee to Gerald E. and Gertrude G. (nee Fagan) Malone. She graduated from Messmer High School Class of 1957. On January 30, 1959, Kay married Harvey A. Schaefer and began her family. She spent many years as a District Sales Manager for Avon. Kay loved her life on Big Cedar Lake and winters in Florida with her family and friends. She was a member of the Cedar Lake Yacht Club, the Landings Yacht and Golf Club and was a devout catholic and parishioner at St. Peter Catholic Church.

Kay is survived by her children Danny, James (Cristina) and Mary Jo (Steve) Quirk, her grandchildren Melissa, Holly and Stephanie Quirk and Jennifer Schaefer, her sister Mary Pat (Bob) Shaw, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, June 4 at St. Peter Catholic Church (200 E Washington St Slinger) with Rev. Richard Stoffel presiding. Visitation will be at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until 11 am. Interment will follow at New St Peter Cemetery.

obituary, phillip funeral home

Harvey A. Schaefer passed away on Monday, May 31, 2021, at the age of 86 years. He was born on December 8, 1934, in Milwaukee to Harvey and Bessie Schaefer and graduated from Washington High School Class of 1953. On January 30, 1959, he married Kathleen C. Malone at St. Roberts Church in Shorewood. Harvey’s entire career was at the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel Company working as an Advertising Executive. He served in the US Army. Harvey loved sailing more than anything and sailed C Scows and MC Scows. He is a past Commodore of the Cedar Lake Yacht Club and founder of the F Fleet. He loved his lake time and winters in Florida with family and friends. He was also a member of the Landings Yacht and Golf Club.

Harvey is survived by his children Danny, James (Cristina) and Mary Jo (Steve) Quirk, grandchildren Melissa, Holly and Stephanie Quirk and Jennifer Schaefer, other relatives and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, June 4th at St Peter Catholic Church (200 E Washington St Slinger) with Rev. Richard Stoffel presiding. Visitation will be at the church on Friday from 10:00 am until 11:00 am. Interment will follow at New St Peter Cemetery.

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