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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dewey Shafer by Charles Mantkus

I asked my uncle Charles Mantkus to share some of his recolections and feelings about my Grandfather John Dewey Shafer. With his permission I share this.

Dewey (John Dewey) Shafer was a man of 'Giving & Sharing' A man that would stand up for you and be there when and if his need was needed.
Betty told me of the caring and his looking out for his family. Back when times were tough and jobs difficult to find, Dewey saw to it that the kids (Betty and Gene) were taken care of first, then his wife (Leona) and if anything was left he would Only then accept it.
Dewey had a gun collection that he had saved for many years and when things were difficult and when work was hard to find, he sold his collection of guns (one at a time) to see that there was sufficient food on the table or that certain items needed were able to be bought.
During WWII when I was in the service, Dewey not only brought Grandpa Ramsey into his home but also Betty and our daughter Joanne. This way he was able to see that they were all taken care of and he didn't have to worry about them.
In case of an emergency Dewey could be counted on to help in any way that he could. I really didn't know Dewey that well until after WWII. I came home to a wife that I hadn't seen in over three years and a daughter I had never seen. I had to get a job to help support my family. Jobs were scarce as all the G.I.'s coming back home at almost the same time made employment difficult to find as positions were taken up all at once. Dewey took me under his wing and got me a job working with him. I knew nothing about Steamfitting nor did I know anything about the repair and installation of heating equipment. Dewey worked with me and taught me all that he knew regarding the complicated electrical systems in the General Electric heating systems. This plus the installation of the large industrial heating equipment for schools and large plants, etc. When I finally learned enough to be on my own as Dewey's assistant; he and I covered Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana. How he did all this by himself on 24/7 was difficult to understand. He was indispensable to General Electric and the company he worked for (Warren-Little & Lund in Spokane, Washington)
There are so many good things about Dewey that are difficult to bring to light with a proper description. Let me just say that John DEWEY Shafer was a kind hearted man that you could trust and depend on. A man that placed his family FIRST. When you needed any help, he was there. He was not only my father-in-law but he was also my friend. A man I was proud to know and proud to be with.

Charles T. Mantkus

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