Karl Frederick Schaeffer on September 22, 2007 was elected the 57th Commander-in-Chief of the MOLLUS at the 122nd Annual Congress held in Annapolis, Maryland in conjunction with the U.S. Naval Academy Symposium. There have been three other Commanders-in-Chief from the Ohio Commandery; Brevet Major General Rutherford B. Hayes February 9, 1886 to October 20, 1886 and 1888 to 1893; Commander William C. Duval, USNR 1953 to 1957; and, Gordon R. Bury II 2001 to 2003.
Karl was born October 26, 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of the late Karl W. and Cecilia G. (Bleistein) Schaeffer. He attended St. Barbara's Parochial School, Class of 1944. Karl was an altar boy from age nine through his educational years and military service. He graduated from St. Thomas More High School, Class of 1948. He graduated from Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Class of 1953, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He played one year Junior Varsity and three years Varsity basketball, is a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity, and an active alumnus.
After graduation, Karl served with the U.S. Army taking his basic training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. He was assigned to Ordnance School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland and was trained for two ordnance programs and cleared for top secret. He received orders to report to Ft. Lewis, Washington and then embarked for Korea on the USS Marine Phoenix from the Port of Seattle. He served in the 226th Ordnance Base Depot in Pusan and then was transferred north to the 24th Infantry Division for nine months. He returned home safely on the USS William Mitchell through Ft. Lawton, Washington (Seattle) and was discharged at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois.
Karl married Teresa A. Schmids in Philadelphia on February 16, 1957. She was the daughter of the late Alfonso J. and Helen (Vanyo) Schmids. Teresa was born November 2, 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died December 30, 1983 in Massillon, Ohio. She is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lebanon, Pennsylvania. They were blessed with six children. He later married Rosemary (Dulaney) Morris, daughter of the late Archie Lee and Rose (Brehm) Dulaney, on May 11, 1985 in Tallmadge, Ohio. His children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law and grandchildren are Rosemarie T. (James), Teresa and James McIntyre of Middle Island, Long Island, New York; Barbara A. (Richard), Andrew DeLaat and Corey Cavanaugh of Medina, Ohio; William C. (Janet), Tyler, Sean and Alex Schaeffer of Mechanicsville, Virginia; Kathleen C. (Daniel), Austin and Daniel C. Knight of Nicholasville, Kentucky; James T. (Kelly), Allison, Madison and Meghan Schaeffer of Oswego, Illinois; and, Mary K. (Dimitrios), Michael and Nikolas Passaris of Clearwater, Florida.
He retired from Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. in Akron, Ohio on September 1, 1991 with 33 years service in Sales, Merchandising, and Management. He also held comparable positions with the Seiberling and Dayton Divisions of Firestone. From 1967 to 1989, he attended 23 consecutive National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association Annual Conventions. Rosemary and Karl combined had 75 years of service with Firestone.
Karl became a Companion of the MOLLUS by joining the Ohio Commandery in 1994 through contact with Companion Jason Hurd Moore, Jr. of Southington, Ohio, and Past Commander-in-Chief Gordon R. Bury II. During 1997 - 1999, he served as Ohio Commander and rose through the national ranks to Commander-in-Chief. Karl had a number of Civil War ancestors in his family serving both sides during the war and joined the MOLLUS under the service of his great-grandfather, Isaac Bowman, who fought in the 130th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company H and as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 210th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company A. Since that time, he has found additional Civil War ancestors and coauthored with his cousin, Russ Ottens, from Tifton, Georgia, a book entitled Captain Enders Legion on the 162 Civil War veterans in the Enders Family. One of the ancestors identified in the book was Brevet Brigadier General Thomas Hamlin Hubbard who later became the 19th Commander-in-Chief of the MOLLUS.
Karl has been very active in many organizations over the years, including the V.P. Drexel Alumni Varsity Club (1958 - 1960), Past Director of Pottstown, Pennsylvania Jaycees (1960 - 1962), and Eucharistic Minister in the Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio Diocese (1976 - 2004). He also has been active in the Enders Family Association and Reunions in Enders, Pennsylvania since 1984 and has served as the Enders Tri-Historian (1993 - 2007). He produced a book on the Bleistein Family (1815 - 1988) with his wife, Rosemary, and started and chaired the "Bleistein Family Reunion," in Lebanon, Pennsylvania (1986 - 1997). He is a member of the Summit County, Ohio Historical Society; Firestone Retirees Monthly Meeting, and the Cuyahoga Valley Civil War Round Table in Peninsula, Ohio.
Karl was an active bowler in the McNeil League (1967 - 1979); Merry Mixers (Mixed League 1968 - 1979) serving as its President nine years; and a member of the Firestone Country Club (1969 - 1979). He played softball in the Akron City League for Seiberling (1968 - 1972); and was a player and player/manager in the Akron Silver Softball League (1992 - 1997) where he was on league championship teams in 1994 and 1996 and, with much pride, wore Lou Gehrig's Number 4. He remains active in the "Drexel University Sport Fans of the 50s" Reunion since 1990 for male and female athletes during the late 1940s and 1950s.
He is a member of the 40/8 Voiture No. 10, Stark County, Ohio and a Life member of American Legion Post 221, Massillon, Ohio where he was a recipient of the Legionnaire of the Year Award (1994), Executive Committee Member (1996 - 1999); and Chairman or Co-Chairman of three major projects (1993 - 1997): (1) Renamed the old Lincoln Way Viaduct, "The Four Chaplains Memorial Viaduct" - a nine-month project; (2) Co-founder, co-chairman, and co-curator with Legionnaire Brother and Post Historian, John Tsocheff, the Post's "Post Memorial Museum and Library" (1994), and (3) Chaired "Our Beacon of Light" outdoor lighting project (1997). He also is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9795 in Canal Fulton, Ohio and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) McClellan Camp No. 91 in Alliance, Ohio (Commander 1995-1996); General A.C. Voris Camp No. 67 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Department of Ohio Camp Organizer, National Headquarters Staffing Committee member; and the SUVCW's Sons of Veterans Reserve 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (Third Military District). He is a member of the Aztec Club of 1847 and the Sons of the American Revolution, Harris Ferry Chapter, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Karl is an avid historian, genealogist, and a collector of memorabilia; namely, Civil War, Korean War, Enders Family, Firestone, Baseball, and John Wayne artifacts, which are displayed in his 1800-square foot home museum. His wife, Rosemary, has been the National President of the Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States since October 2004.
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