James E. "Big Jim" Shaffer, 69, a resident of Dailey, passed from this life Tuesday evening, Dec. 18, 2012, in Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins.
Big Jim was born Tuesday, Oct. 5, 1943, at East Dailey. Jim was raised by his maternal grandparents, Sterl and Vida Gear, who made him the man he became. He was a son of the late Delbert William Shaffer Sr. and Edna Marie Gear Shaffer.
Starting as sixth-grade sweethearts, Jim married the love of his life, Gail Simmons, on March 3, 1967, in Oakland, Md. They had celebrated 45 years of marriage.
Jim is survived by his only daughter, Kelley Marie Shaffer of Dailey; four siblings, Delbert W. Shaffer Jr. and companion, Catherine Griffin, of Dailey, Charles Shaffer and wife, Jackie, of New Freedom, Pa., Robert Shaffer and wife, Patty, of Millersville, Md., and Nancy DuBritton of Pasadena, Md.; several nieces and nephews; and very special friends, Bud and Arlene Hoover, Allen and Lois Vanscoy and Robert Phillips.
Jim was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, who was like a second mother to him, Dixie Simmons.
Jim attended the schools of Randolph County, had worked at Coastal Lumber Co. and for various coal mines. He retired from the West Virginia Division of Highways as a heavy equipment operator. Jim's main passion in life, however, was the Tygart Valley Fire Co., to which he devoted more than 48 years and served as fire chief for 34 years. Jim helped build the Dailey Firehouse and rebuild the Valley Bend Firehouse. He also was very proud of and enjoyed riding his Honda Gold Wing trike with his wife, Gail.
Visitation will be conducted at The Randolph Funeral Home Friday from 5 until 8 p.m. Funeral services will be conducted from the funeral home chapel Saturday, Dec. 22, at 11 a.m. The Rev. Randy Long will officiate and interment will follow in the Brick Church Cemetery.
The Randolph Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been entrusted with the arrangements for James E. "Big Jim" Shaffer. Send online condolences to the family at www.therandolphfuneralhome.com.