Kathleen “Kathi” Marie Schafer (68) passed away peacefully on August 18th, 2023 at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, with her husband, Stuart, and child, Krí, holding her hands.
Beloved mother, educator, and friend, Kathi was born on August 15th, 1955 in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, IL. She was a gifted artist, chocolate lover, and avid decorator.
To call Kathi a devoted mother is an understatement. She was a doting full-time caregiver to her only child Kristina (“Krí”), and homeschooled Krí from the first day of kindergarten until tenth grade. She relished educational books and would spend countless late nights mastering subjects to ensure her understanding before teaching her daughter the next day. Kathi enriched Krí’s education with music and acting classes, and frequent trips to art museums, historic sites, and science centers, such as Discovery Place in Charlotte.
She taught Krí in every single subject herself.
Kathi’s years were full of adventure, having lived all over the country before settling down in North Carolina. She was always frequently traveling, skiing, scuba diving, boating, visiting family, and gardening. If a disco song came on, she would drop everything and start dancing. She was able to see beauty in the smallest things and leaves a legacy of gratitude for nature, particularly monarch butterflies.
Kathi was a powerful presence and soaked in the world with fierce curiosity. Even in her final days, she never lost the wonder in her eyes.
Though her life was cut too short by stage four cancer, she was initially given only 3 months to live when diagnosed in 2013: instead, she continued to live vibrantly for 10 years. Even with a terminal disease, Kathi always exercised daily, maintained her favorite activities, and appeared much younger than her actual age.
Kathi is survived by many family members and close friends, including her child Krí Schafer (25), and husband Stuart Schafer (67). She was the daughter of lifelong Chicago resident and singer, Corinne Lessner, and granddaughter of her role model, Stephanie Lessner. She joins them in Heaven.
A celebration of life will be held for this phenomenal woman at a future date, in Summer 2024.