Theresa Marie Schafer (Bertsch) died peacefully on December 28, surrounded by her family.
She was preceded in death by her parents Albert and Hilda (Brown) Bertsch, her sisters Mary Ann (Paul) Ott and Rita Bertsch, her husband Peter Schafer, three infant children, and her son Mark Schafer. She is survived by her sisters Jean (Emerson) Keller, Betty (Tom) Adelman, and Anita Bertsch; her children, Br. Francis Schafer, Sharon (Douglas) Mastroianni, Pete (Jean) Schafer, Gerry (Jill) Schafer, and Diane (Steve) Rosiar; as well as ten grandchildren; Andrew Schafer, Kate Spencer, Joe Schafer, Emily (Seth) Elder, Adam (Priya) Mastroianni, Kyle (Lauren) Schafer, Melissa (Bryan) Zeller, Jeremy (Christin) Schafer, Brandon and Claudia Rosiar and eight great-grandchildren with three more on the way.
Theresa was born and raised outside of Bellevue, Ohio. "We didn't have many conveniences," she recalled––including running water. "But we always had plenty of good, home-grown food, and lots of love." She worked at a nearby General Electric plant after she graduated in high school, and later in life she worked at Vanson's Restaurant in Monroeville.
She met Pete in 1953 at a church festival. They married in 1955, built a house on Knob Hill in Monroeville, and began a family. Pete passed away in 2004, and Theresa missed him every day since. We are blessed to know that they are together again.
Theresa was kind, gentle, and loved by all. She was deeply devoted to her family, and she was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister. We still marvel at how she raised six children, all were premature babies and many in diapers at the same time, all of whom loved her dearly. She had a special place in her heart for the "little ones," and her grandchildren would hope to stay home sick from school so they could spend a day at Grandma's house.
Faith was at the center of Theresa's life. She was an active member of St. Joseph's parish in Monroeville, where she started the popular chicken carryout at the annual festival in 1983. She always had a rosary close at hand. Anyone in distress would find their way into Theresa's prayers––if you lived within a 25-mile radius, chances are she prayed for you at one point or another.
Theresa shared her faith as love for everyone. Whenever you were with her, you knew you were loved. You could feel it in her warm embrace, hear it in her words, and taste it in her elderberry pie. She loved quietly, selflessly, and unconditionally.
We are deeply saddened to lose our mom, our grandma, our great-grandmother, a sister, a pillar of faith and a cornerstone of our community. But we are blessed by her memory, the family she raised, and the faith she has passed on to us. You can join us in honoring the memory of Theresa Schafer by making a gift to St Joseph Church, 66 Chapel Street, Monroeville, Ohio 44847 or the Sorrowful Mother Shrine, 4106 OH-269, Bellevue, OH 44811
You are invited to celebrate Theresa’s life by attending a viewing beginning at 9:30 am or participating in a funeral mass at 11:00 am, both held at St. Joseph Church in Monroeville on Wednesday, January 4, 2023.
You can remember her in your prayers, as she remembered so many. And you can live by her simple rule, which she would share whenever you said your goodbyes at the end of a visit: "Be good.”