Schafer Stories

Schafer Stories as told by Randy Hatzenbuhler – President of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation


  •  Met the Schafers in 1988
  • Became President of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation in 1997


Interviewed June 19, 2017


“When you ask about my most immediate recollections of Harold, I almost always think of my first memory and my last memory.


The first memory is the “Man, we’re cranking it out!” memory, but the last memory is equally as important to me:


He was dying. He knew he was dying. He was in the hospital.


My wife and I were visiting Harold and Sheila there and he was having what you would call a good day, because he was sipping from the straw on his own, holding the cup.


Randy Hatzenbuhler

He kept leaning forward, shifting in the hospital bed. He would kind of grimace so you knew he had some discomfort, some pain.


Now Harold’s favorite word was “wonderful.” So as he is shifting around, Sheila asked,
“Are you okay, Harold?”
“Wonderful.  Everything’s wonderful.” It always was that way with Harold.


At one point, after grimacing and this exchange with Sheila, he leaned forward and he looked at Sheila—now remember, he’s going to die. He knows it. We all know it.


But he’s 89 years old and he looks at his wife, and my wife and I were sitting around the bed, and he smiled at her and he whispered, “you’re very pretty.” And he melted her, he just melted her.


He was that way. He made you feel good. Everybody who was around, he made them feel important. And on that day, it was like she was the only person in the room at that moment when he talked to her, and I’ll never forget that.”



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