James Edward Shaffer Profile Photo
1929 James 2023

James Edward Shaffer

November 16, 1929 — November 18, 2023


James Edward Shaffer, son of the late Doyt Shaffer and Mabel (Gruber) Shaffer, born November 16, 1929 in Lima, Ohio. He was a graduate of Lima Central High at the age of 16 years old. He attended Bowling Green University on a football scholarship, then on to serve the US Naval Academy.


In the Spring of 1946, he ran track for Lima Central High School as the anchor on the half mile relay team and in field events, he performed in shot put. After many hours of shot-put practice, he discovered a new approach to maximizing speed across the shot-put circle that he called the “Shaffer Shuffle''. This type of motion was using a high velocity kick of the left leg forward towards the intended flight of the shot to provide

significant acceleration of the entire body (and the launched shot). In the fall of ‘46, he would play the entire football season as a 16-year-old at Starting Center and Linebacker, on Lima Central High School’s 1946 State Championship Football Team where he played in the first Ohio High School All-Star Game and was chosen First Team All-Ohio by the Associated Press Center “Linebacker”. He then received scholarship offers from: Ohio State, recruited by Head Coach Wes Fesler; U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis; Notre Dame Coach Frank Leahy; Purdue, Coach Cecil Isabell; Kentucky, recruited by Coach Paul Bear Bryant; Cincinnati, recruited by Coach Sid Gilman (who would become head coach of the San Diego Chargers) and Oregon State University.


During his career, he worked for 55 years as an Aerospace Engineer and an inventor of 46 US Utility Patents for Hughes Aircraft, Lockheed Martin, RocketDyne, General Dynamics Electronics, Sperry, Rockwell-North American Aviation Division Lockheed-Martin in Orlando, Ball Aerospace, and Solar Turbines. He was Published in Machine Design Magazine three times; Mechanical Power Transmission Magazine two times and Design News Magazine two times. He was honored by American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME): with the Leonardo da Vinci Award 1988 for Outstanding Advancement of Mechanisms.


He was an active member of The Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ. Favorite Joke: “Do you know why blind people don’t like to fly?” Answer: “It scares the dog.” Favorite Cheer: “Go! Broncos” (Boise State Broncos, and Denver Broncos football fan). To his family and friends he was best known for his ingenuity and creativity with every aspect of his life especially through his work and storytelling. He loved to write, hunt, history, whistle, tell jokes, give everyone a nickname, and pass on words of wisdom.


He was preceded in death by his parents Doyt and Mabel Shaffer, his sisters Phyllis Weibel and Mary Sanders, and late wife of 31 years, Faye Ambler Loughry Shaffer. He is survived by his beloved wife Marilyn D Shaffer of 20 years; Sue, daughter; James Earl, (son of James and Dee); Scott Richard, son; Ember Frost, daughter; Summer Starr, daughter; Jamie Jo, daughter; Spencer, Ambryn, Colton, Hudson, Arya, Lexi,

Hayden, Audrey, and Gunner, grandchildren; three great grandchildren, favorite nephew Curt and a host of nieces and nephews.

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