The Spring Valley community is in shock and mourning after Spring Valley Fire Chief Terry Shafer died suddenly on Saturday, February 25, 2017. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
The Spring Valley community is in shock and mourning after Spring Valley Fire Chief Terry Shafer died suddenly on Saturday, February 25, 2017. Photo by Paul J. Seeling

SPRING VALLEY, WI – The Spring Valley community is in shock and mourning as the word has spread that recently retired Spring Valley Fire Chief Terry Shafer died suddenly last Saturday, February 25, 2017.

While on a weekend trip with his brothers, it was reported that retired Chief Shafer had a fatal heart attack while playing cards. (See his full obituary via the link below this article.)

Terry Shafer was a tireless leader who contributed countless hours for his community in countless ways. His passing will be felt all over the area with sadness, and a deep sense of loss, but also with gratitude for all that he did and the honor of having known him.

Terry Shafer did things humbly, never looking for extra remuneration or recognition going about his tasks with a soft spoken and respectful manner. Simply put Terry Shafer was a real gentleman, a leader, a worker. He was someone you could rely on time and time again, year in and year out.

Terry Shafer volunteered with the Spring Valley Fire Department in 1979, and served on the Spring Valley Area Ambulance for 20 years. Shafer was elected to serve as Spring Valley Fire Chief in 1986. Chief Shafer proudly wore the white hat as chief for 30 years (for a total of 37 years as firefighter) as noted in the January 12, 2017 Sun-Argus article about his retirement.

It was just barely over a month ago, at the January10 Spring Valley Village Board Meeting, that Village President Marsha Brunkhorst presented retiring Chief Shafer with a beautiful engraved plaque and thanked him on behalf of a very thankful community for his 30 years of service as Chief, in addition to his service as a Spring Valley Fireman. The plaque with the Fire Department logo reads, “Presented to Terrence E. Shafer, for your dedicated loyalty and commitment to the Village Of Spring Valley while serving as Fire Chief From 1986 to 2016. Your selfless dedication and support are truly and gratefully appreciated. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!”

It was also at that meeting that his friend and fellow fireman, Trustee Andy Vorlicek, began the presentation proceedings by eloquently describing that Chief Shafer was his inspiration to become the youngest certified volunteer firefighter in the state of Wisconsin at age 17. That led him to be a firefighter for his stint in the US Air Force and now to his Captaincy in the St. Paul, Minnesota Fire Department where Trustee Nick Falde is also a firefighter who was also inspired by Chief Shafer.

Deepest sympathies are extended to Terry Shafer’s family, and his family in EMS. Our hearts are aching as we realize that a friend and leader has left us. May he rest in peace knowing how honored we were to have shared some time with him.