James Christan Schafer came into the world in Bellingham, Washington on April 11, 1976. He was a tiny baby, curious and quiet. He looked a lot like ET, but we loved him anyway.
As he grew and got a lot cuter, Jim was a happy little guy, except when he was sick, which happened a lot. But we loved him even when he cried all night. At Lowell Elementary School he was often the littlest child in his class and always the smartest and always had the greatest friends. He loved to play "batter and pitcher" with his dad, run around the neighborhood with his little buddies and run on the beach with his dog. At Fairhaven Middle School he was still the smartest kid in the classroom, and still had the greatest friends. He learned to ski and play soccer. He was a blue-eyed blond charmer. Sehome High School held challenges; he was expected to perform, and only liked to work on things he enjoyed. Before he was 18 he dropped out of school to work in construction. His life went a bit sideways, but we still loved him anyway.
Joe and Roxanne Melland were his surrogate parents for a couple of years, for which we remain very grateful. He was astonished to become a father to Sicoya with Jennifer when he was just 19. Next, he met a pretty girl, Sarah, with dreadlocks and they jumped trains and hitchhiked through Central America. They ended up in Cuba where he learned to play conga drums, studying with Ibrahim Ferrer of the Buena Vista Social Club. When he returned to the US he auditioned his way into the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Eventually they ended up in Seattle where he had another son, Che, who was joined by his older half brother in the family; Jim loved them all fiercely. He settled down and went back to working construction and then to school. They moved to California and added a daughter, Rio, to the family. Jim did well in school, earning a degree in architecture from UCLA when he was 36 years old. But again his life went sideways and he ended up divorced and alone.
With the help of his friends and family, who still loved him anyway, plus a lot of hard work on his part and counseling, he put his life back in order. In the past year he landed the job of his dreams, being a project manager at Synergy Construction. He was recently engaged to his beloved Jannet Terrado of Renton. His three kids were doing well and he was excited about his new exercise program. On January 30th he set out for a morning bike ride before work ... and somehow his heart stopped, and his short life ended. He left behind his fiance Jannet and his astonishing children - his first son, Sicoya James Forrest Clyde Bellis, his second son, Che Henry Schafer, and his prima daughter, Rio Isabella Schafer, all of Seattle. He also left his loving sister Karen Elizabeth Hogue and her husband Landon of Missoula, Montana, and his bereft parents, Charles and Barbara Schafer of Cascais, Portugal. We still love him.
Visitation will be held at Columbia Funeral Home, 4567 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle 98118, on Friday, February 10 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 at St. James Cathedral on Monday, February 20, 804 9th Avenue, Seattle 98104, reception following. Parking will be available next to the Cathedral or in the Cabrini Parking Garage.
Jim wasn't really a flowers kind of guy; in lieu, please make a contribution to St. James Cathedral or a cause of your choice.
(As written by his Mother)