James Louis Shaffer was an electrical engineer, classical composer & pipe organist.
James was born in Akron Ohio to Margaret Jean Brodie & Jack Cleo Shaffer. His father, Jack was a professional basketball player for Akron Firestone in the 1930's and 40's. Margaret & Jack passed away very young & James was raised by his beloved Grandfather Brodie in the California Bay Area.
James began playing the pipe organ in middle school and could also play piano & guitar. He studied electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960's and returned to Akron where he continued to practice engineering his entire life. He had a love of photography & a gift for designing computer systems. He found a niche creating & repairing equipment for many local businesses and hospitals.
James had a passion for music, math, science & literature. In addition to his engineering work he had a variety of other talents. He was an inventor, photographer, science-fiction novelist, web designer & he enjoyed restoring classic cars.
In the 1980's James became the pipe organist for St. Eugene's Catholic Church in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. He dedicated the remaining 35 years of his life to playing music for St. Eugene's including their weekend masses, weddings, funerals & children's Christmas choir. His music was extremely beloved by the parish of St. Eugene's. He was fond of incorporating his original classical & baroque compositions into the masses that he played. His favorite composer was Johann Sebastian Bach.
James had the rare talent of perfect pitch & the ability to both read music & play songs by ear. He could play a song after only hearing it once & could convert pieces of classical music into full orchestral arrangements including 4-part harmony. He loved the music of Cole Porter & enjoyed performing live music with his children at home & professionally.
He is survived by his loving wife, Betty Ann, his two children Morgan & James, his daughter-in-law Sarah, his granddaughter, Riley & his beloved cat, Buddy.
There will be a Memorial Mass at St. Eugenes Catholic Church, 1821 Munroe Falls Ave, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221 on Monday, November 27, 2017 at 11 AM where friends may call from 10 AM until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim's memory can be made to St. Eugene's Church.We would like to thank the nurses and therapists at Summa Hospice.