Cover photo for Elden "Don" Shafer's Obituary
1943 Elden "Don" Shafer 2023

Elden "Don" Shafer

May 15, 1943 — October 11, 2023



Elden Dean Shafer Jr. (Don), 80, of Cornelius, NC passed away on Wednesday, October 11th, 2023. Don was born in Sioux Falls, SD on May 15th, 1943, to the late Elden Dean Shafer Sr. and Bernice Lorraine Shafer.

Don was a U.S. Air Force Veteran having served in the Vietnam War as part of the United States Air Force Security Forces, Military Police.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Shafer; son, Ron Belardes; daughters, Rhonda Belardes, Jennifer Dean and Stephanie Walsh; ten grandchildren, Jace Walsh, MacKenzie Walsh, Caden Dean, Lilah Dean, Emmy Dean, Hudson Dean, Caitlin Belardes, Jake Belardes, Jessica Demkowski, Alexis Belardes; three great-grandchildren, Jordan Demkowski, Jade Demkowski, Ava Santos.

The family will hold a private viewing together.

On Wednesday, October 11th, 2023, Don left his earthly body and ran home to the Lord. A man of strong faith, Don made the ultimate declaration to the Lord and was baptized on July 10th, 2023.

He was a humble man who worked tirelessly for his family. There was not a job or task too big that he would ever turn down helping his wife or children.

He and his wife Barbara were married for 45 years and had two daughters together, Jennifer Dean of Fuquay-Varina, NC, and Stephanie Walsh of Davidson, NC. Don also had two bonus children, a son, Ron Belardes, and a daughter, Rhonda Belardes, both of San Jose, CA. Don has ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He loved his God and his country and proudly served in the United States Air Force. Art and graphic design were a passion for Don and an occupation he enjoyed for many years before retiring. He left behind several beautiful pieces of art that he was so proud of. Cars brought great joy to Don, specifically his turquoise and white 2-door hardtop 1956 Chevy Bel Air. Don took great pride in his Chevy and enjoyed cruising around town playing reminiscent music from the 1950s and ’60s.

He was a courageous fighter and beat three separate Cancers while in his earthly body. Don was a great man loved by many. Although his presence is greatly missed, his family finds comfort in knowing he is rejoicing in heaven with the Lord and his parents, Elden and Bernice Shafer, whom he deeply missed. His infectious smile, quirky personality, and kind heart are surely missed. 

Luke 23:43 "Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."

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