James Lundy Shaffer

James Lundy Shaffer

June 18, 1926 - March 01, 2018
Laguna Woods CA

James Lundy Shaffer

June 18, 1926 - March 01, 2018
Laguna Woods CA


Big Man on the Road. Commander in chief. Beloved father. Published author. These are just some of the many titles acquired over the years by Jim Shaffer. A longtime Laguna Woods resident and World War II veteran, he died at the age of 91 on March 1, 2018.

Born James Lundy Shaffer in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1926, he served as a US Army staff sergeant (1st Cavalry Division) in charge of a radio operator school outside Tokyo. He attended Indiana State College (1946-47) and graduated from Indiana University in 1949 with a B.A. in zoology. A traveling salesman for many years in the Midwest, he eventually settled in Miami and became a regional manager at Ashland Oil and Chemical Company. After retiring, he worked as a substitute teacher in South Florida and Orange County schools.

In 1989, Jim published “Peterbilt to Laredo,” a novel about a desperate driver and a mysterious truck. In addition to writing fiction, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, and essays about modern life, he loved taking photographs, collecting offbeat decorative items, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Since moving to Laguna Woods in 1998, Jim served as commander in chief of American Legion Post 257; president of the Saddleback Kiwanis; and a board member of the Community Civic Association. In 2000, he founded the popular social club TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday), a weekly event featuring live music and dancing still going strong at Clubhouse 2. Jim’s community activism, which also included flipping pancakes for Kiwanis fundraisers and collecting donations for the school at Camp Pendleton, earned him the title Honoree of the Month from the Laguna Woods Historical Society in 2009.

Known and loved for his quirky sense of humor as well as his compassion and civic-minded spirit, Jim liked to send cards and letters with funny lines and poems. The words that will be inscribed on his grave capture a sense of that humor: “See You Later.”

Survivors include his daughters Diana and Gina; son-in-law Julian Spencer; ex-wife Teresa Muñoz Shaffer (a Havana native who inspired Jim’s fondness for Cuban culture); nephews Brent and Scott Shapiro; and girlfriend Judy Di Lallo.

A memorial reception will be held after the services at the Village Greens, 24122 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods.
March 11 is the start of Daylight Savings Time, so please make sure you have the correct time set to make it to the service.


  • Date & Time: March 10, 2018 (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM)
  • Venue: O'Connor Mortuary
  • Location: 25301 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 581-4300

Funeral Service

  • Date & Time: March 11, 2018 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: O'Connor Mortuary
  • Location: 25301 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 581-4300

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: March 11, 2018 (11:30 AM)
  • Venue: El Toro Memorial Park
  • Location: 25751 Trabuco Road Lake Forest, CA 92630 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 951-9102


  • Date & Time: March 11, 2018 (1:00 PM)
  • Venue: Village Greens
  • Location: 24122 Moulton Parkway Laguna Woods, CA 92637 - (Get Directions)

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15 responses to James Lundy Shaffer

  1. We are so very sad to know of Jim’s passing. He made our world a better place with his big smile, his kindness, his writing talents as a published author, his military service as a veteran, and most of all with his loving ways especially towards Gina and Diana, Teresa, and Gina and Diana’s grandmother, and Julian too. Everybody adored Jim! You are a very special family and your Patriarch will be tremendously missed. We can’t imagine that he’s no longer with us, but we do know he earned his Angel Wings long ago. You will each see him again someday. Meanwhile, we know how heartbroken you are during this tremendous loss. Know we care. Love, Patty and Armand

  2. Gina Shaffer says:

    Thank you to all for the beautiful expressions of sympathy for my family.

    It is very warming and comforting.


  3. Fran Masket says:

    I only got to talk to your father once, but what a delightful man he was. And you know, we Hoosiers have to stick together through thick and thin. I was born in Michigan City and raised in both Valparaiso and Hammond, Indiana. Who knows, we might have passed each other on a Hoosier street somewhere.

    Thank you for sending the beautiful and touching the memorial you wrote, Gina., . He had a meaningful life and touched so many lives. See you later, Jim.

  4. Gina Shaffer says:

    Shari Wilson

    Dear Jim,
    I remember all the letters you would write to Gina and Diana when they were staying with me at my apartment in North Hollywood addressed from “Papa Shaffer”. You were such a loving and devoted father to them, and often times a father figure to me as well. You always made me feel like a welcome addition when we all went for pizza at Josephina’s, a nosh at the Sportsman’s Lodge, going to your TGI Friday’s club or you and your sister Jone coming to see my show at The Newport in Miami Beach. Countless holiday and family outings and events with so many wonderful memories! You’d always make Brittany and I laugh with your clever wit and home-spun since of humor, so I’d just like to say……….thanks for the memories ‘Papa Shaffer”!!

  5. I was so very sorry to learn of Jim’s passing. He and I were from the same hometown. We had some great conversations out here in So Cal about Terre Haute, family & friends. My most sincere sympathy to his family.

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