Cover photo for Ceona M. Schafer's Obituary
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Ceona M. Schafer

May 22, 1942 — March 14, 2024

Ceona M. Schafer

Ceona M. Schafer, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 14, 2024, surrounded by family and loved ones.

Born May 22, 1942 in buffalo, she was a daughter of the late Maynard C. and Alice (Newton) Groves. She was the loving wife of Richard Schafer. A homemaker most of her life, she raised a family of five children. She also worked for many years as an office manager for Hibbs-Schafer Dental Lab in Buffalo and the family’s other business ventures.

Always one to lend sage advice and to watch over her loved ones, Ceona was a true matriarch and pillar of her family. Whether it was bailing out a family friend or housing various family members and friends over the years, she was always willing to help anyone in need. Ceona was more than just a mother and grandmother, she was a confidant and friend with the patience of a saint. She was a voracious reader and she loved to chat; her phone never stopped ringing. Ceona had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. She enjoyed being social and going to different shows and events, camping, and loved listening to Elvis and gospel music. Ceona was the glue that held her family together and will be greatly missed.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Richard in 2000; and her infant son, Scotty Monti.

Left to cherish her memory are her five children, David (Arlene) Monti of FL, Dennis (Saundra) Monti of Medina, Suzanne Schafer-Bobbit of Gasport, Diana Schafer of Barker and Richard Schafer of SC; fourteen grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; her brother, Wayne (Dawn) Groves of E. Aurora; and several nieces and nephews.

All are welcome to join the family for a Celebration of Ceona’s Life held on Thursday, March 21 from 3-7PM at Riff City, 166 Chandler St., Buffalo, NY 14207. Private interment will be in Acacia Park Cemetery, N. Tonawanda. Arrangements are in the care of Cooper Funeral Home, 215 W. Center St., Medina. 

Written by J Monti, Grandson

Ceona Maxine, The Fighting Machine.  Matriarch, Diva, and Master of the curse word.  Tough as nails - a mother of six, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother to seven.  She was the glue that held our family together, and the person I was closest to on this earth.  She was my hero, my confidant and the best woman I've ever known.

I learned more about the way this world works from grams than I have anyone else.  She shot it straight and she shot it true - she had absolutely no shame.  There wasn't a room she walked into that she didn't leave an impression on everybody in it.  She taught me to be bold and to ask a lot of questions.  She taught me to always be kind and the power of listening.   Sharp as a tack, *nothing* ever got past her -  and if we ever thought we got away with something, it was only because she let us..... She always knew.  She taught me that no one is perfect, lean into your strengths and learn from your mistakes.  And I learned from her and all of her imperfections what a truly perfect person is.

I couldn't possibly count all the times I've watched her stop to help a total stranger or bail out someone she barely knows who's in a bad situation.  Over the years she took in and housed all sorts of people:  foreign exchange students, family friends down on their luck, my friends, animals and pets, and even me and my folks a couple of times.  Anyone who didn't have a place to go on holidays was always welcome to come to our family gatherings, and come they did.... I don't even know how many dozens of people over the years, all honorary members of our family.   She is the kind of person who would give away her last dollar to a stranger, and she often did.  I'd always say, don't feed the pigeons grams or they'll keep coming back.  But sure enough, next time someone came to her needing help, she'd be right back to it.  Truly a heart of gold.

She loved Elvis, and gospel music, shrimp, sponge candy and midnight trips to the kitchen for toast.  She was a voracious reader and she loved to chat, her phone never stopped ringing.  She never did quite get the hang of cell phones though, believe me when I tell you, some of the butt dials and accidental FB posts were pretty epic. One of her favorite things to do was get all dolled up and get out there and mingle with the world.  She'd get her hair done religiously every week.  And she had this way with people, it was impossible to resist her charms.  Before her health started slipping, she was my favorite dinner date.   

I was so unbelievably lucky to grow up with her in my life.  Because of her I got to experience so much of this world.   I got to grow up on farmland - with horses, dogs, cows, fields, barns, tractors, etc etc etc.  They took me camping and to the beach and trips to the big city. Shows, plays, movies, sporting events - all of it.   She spoiled us all rotten, and lucky me, being the first-born grandchild, cause I got the best of it.   The hardest I've ever laughed in my entire life was with my grams and my best bud Bob watching Dumb and Dumber at the movie theatre in Lockport.  Roaring laughter, tears, and stomach cramps the whole way home.  She just knew how to life, she was really really good at it.

She was our fierce protector, we never had to worry about anything growing up, grandma and grandpa took care of everyone.  You never can truly appreciate this as a child, but looking back I was so freaking lucky to have them in my life, we all were.  She devoted almost all of her years to taking care of our family - four generations of people, all with lives full of ups & downs.  She is the kind of lady that'd spring across the entire country at a moment's notice whenever any of us needed her.  And we did, too often.  We were all so lucky to have her.

She had the patience of a saint - if you think I can be a handful now, you should've seen me as a kid.  Holy hell did I test that woman's patience, lol.  I stole her car a few times, knocked over their motorcycles blamed it on the dog, and decided it'd be a good idea to destroy thousands of dollars worth of hay in their barn.  One time I even smashed a Westminster 'Best in Show' Crystal trophy at her best friend's house - a priceless artifact, and she still loved me afterwards.  

About three years ago my grandma pulled me aside, for what seemed like a totally out-of-the-blue conversation.  Looking back, she knew what was coming before any of us did.  She said, "Jake, when I'm gone you're gonna have to take care of the family.  I don't know who else is gonna do it"  and she spent over an hour articulating exactly why, and believe it or not, it was super hilarious.  Only my grandma could have a conversation about her impending demise and make me laugh at the same time she's delivering a heavy message.  

I'm not gonna lie, those seem like impossible shoes to fill grams, especially cause everyone in our family is at least a little crazy, but rest easy knowing I'll do my best.  Thanks for showing me the way.  No more suffering, you can be at peace now.

We Love you Forever and Always.

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Past Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, March 21, 2024

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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