Charlie Schaafsma died Nov. 17, 2017, at the age of 97.
He was born Jan. 8, 1920, in Rock Rapids, Iowa, to Sybren and Klaaska Schaafsma. In his early childhood, his family moved to Doon, Iowa, along with his nine brothers and sisters. His family were sharecroppers while they lived in Iowa. He and his siblings attended school in a one-room schoolhouse and often hunted and trapped while walking to and from school. Playing guitars and singing was another favorite pastime. In 1936 the family moved to California. He met Wilma Fisher at the Dutch Reformed Church in Paramount, California, in 1941 and they were married in May 1942. He worked in the shipyards of Long Beach, California before being drafted into the Army in February 1943 and serving in North Africa. When he returned from the war, he and his brothers formed Schaafsma Brothers, designing and building custom homes and dairy farms in the Artesia and Bellflower area of California.
He and his wife moved to Enumclaw in 1954 and purchased and re-built an 80-acre dairy in the Osceola area. They sold in 1963 because he wanted to return to the building business. He designed and built hundreds of homes, stores, and barns around the Plateau, including Melody Park in Enumclaw. He played the guitar, wrote hundreds of songs and in the 1970s held a patent for reprocessing manure into feed for cows. In his later years he continued writing music and kept busy making leather-tooled bracelets.
The couple belonged to Country Bible Church and Wabash Church for many years..
He is survived by Wilma, his wife of more than 75 years; daughter Charlene Felos; sons Ron (Faith) and Dan (Connie); daughter-in-law Alana; sisters Helen Luckenbill and Janet Vander Weerd; seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Sam, three brothers and four sisters.
He was laid to rest at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent. A celebration of life luncheon followed at Wabash Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Plateau Outreach Ministries or a Christian organization of the donor’s choice.
All may sign the online guest book at www.weeksfuneralhomes.com.