Earl V. Shaffer succumbed to cancer at approximately 2:45pm on May 5, 2002, after a brief illness and hospitalization. He was 83 years old. David Donaldson ("The Spirit of '48"), his hiking partner from 1998, was at his bedside. Earl had last spoken with Dave the previous Saturday and they had talked about their times together on the anniversary hike. On Sunday Earl was no longer able to speak. On Tuesday I was able to question Earl and he answered by nodding his head either yes or no. On Thursday he was unable to communicate at all but was resting peacefully. I visited Saturday with the same results. David visited him on Sunday afternoon. Shortly after Dave arrived, Earl passed on, ending his journey. Earl finished his life as he finished his anniversary hike ... with one of his newest and closest friends by his side. Earl is being cremated according to his wishes and interred in the Shaffer family plot in the York, Pennsylvania area. Graveside services will be held for family and close friends, by invitation only. Later this summer, a memorial celebration of Earl's life will be held for his York area friends and members of the hiking community. Details of this public celebration will be announced here at a later date.
for the family and the Earl Shaffer Foundation Inc.