July 11, 1921 - September 9, 2014


Surrounded by her family, Marie (Galama) Schaefer, 93, joined her siblings on “the top shelf of Heaven” on Tuesday, September 9th at the St. Cloud Hospital. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11am on Saturday, September 13th at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Rev. Peter Kirchner and Deacon David Lindmeier will officiate. A visitation will precede the funeral service, beginning at 10am at St. Paul's. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, St. Cloud.

Marie was born July 11, 1921 on the Galama farm outside of St. Joseph, Minnesota. She was one of eight children (brothers, Herbert Galama, John Galama, Richard Galama, sisters, “The Big 5”, Theodora (Teddy) Sis, Leona Meinz, Louise Otremba, Ann Nierengarten) born to Dominic Galama and Anna (Rennie) Galama. She grew up on the farm in the days preceding electric lights, interior plumbing or central heat. Small in stature, but mighty in determination, Marie enjoyed working outside bringing in hay, hoeing the corn rows, and milking the cows. She remembered the day electricity came to the farm one Holy Saturday, as the kids ran from room to room turning the lights on and off. She was part of the first class attending the “new” St. Joseph's Parish Elementary School, where she and many of her classmates spoke German only. She graduated high school in 1939 as salutatorian of her class at St. Benedict's Academy, St. Joseph. She attended the College of St. Benedict for two years, and earned a secretarial degree. During WWII she joined the War Rationing Board, working in Wausau, Wisconsin. After WWII she worked at Raymond Bros. Trucking of St. Cloud in charge of payroll administration. She then met Gerald (Jerry) Schaefer of St. Cloud on a blind date arranged by mutual friends Polly and Ed Kujawa, where she was struck by her date's nice smile. Marie and Jerry were married on November 25th, 1948 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in St. Joseph, and settled in St. Cloud. Together they raised three children Jan, John and Julie. Marie enjoyed meeting with friends for dinner and dancing, her 500 group, and her flower garden. She was an energetic house-cleaner and kept an immaculate home. After the children were a bit older, she was able to resume working from home, as a typist for a court reporter. After the kids were grown she and Jerry enjoyed traveling to Texas for a bit of winter sun, and she made several trips with her sisters and brother Herbert to Germany and Holland, exploring family history, as well as catching up with her son John's family during several visits to the UK. She had tickets booked for Indonesia but John moved back to the US just before she was due to leave! After retirement, she pursued her interest in genealogy and traced the Galama family back to the 1400's. Marie was devoted to her faith, and lived as an example of Christ's teachings. She volunteered at St. Paul's delivering Holy Communion to the home bound, and over 2600 hours at the St. Cloud Hospital where she worked in the gift shop, and eucharistic minister.

Marie is survived by her husband of 66 years, Jerry and children Jan Strommen, St. Cloud; John (Carole), Perth, Australia; and Julie, Fountain Hills, AZ; grandchildren Josh and Sarah Anderson, Scottsdale, AZ; Anne Strommen (Luke) Keene, Woodbury, MN; Luke Schaefer, Seattle, WA and Daniel Schaefer, State College, PA. She was preceded in death by her siblings and son-in-law, Paul Strommen.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Maria Mallory for her care and affection for Marie and a special thanks to the staff of SPCU and Surgical Unit 2 at the St. Cloud Hospital who cared for her with much skill and with so much heart. You were a blessing to us.

Memorials are preferred to the Poor Clare Sisters, Sauk Rapids and the Friends of Chimbote, P.O. Box 717, West Fargo ND 58078.