Gregory Schaffner

Obituary of Gregory Ketcham Schaffner

Gregory Ketcham Schaffner

1948 - 2022

Greg Schaffner, 74, passed away on Christmas Day from complications following a very long, complex cardiac surgery. He was surrounded with love by his children, their spouses, his granddaughters, and his wife of 45 years.

Greg was born February 22, 1948, in Syracuse, New York. Most of his childhood and teen years were spent in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He moved to the Twin Cities in 1966 to attend Macalester College. With the exception of three years of graduate school in Philadelphia, he lived in either Saint Paul or Minneapolis ever since.

Greg was a man of many creative talents. He was an author, musician, choir member, classical composer, wood worker and carver, and, during the pandemic, was learning to draw via online courses. He typically had a project or two in the works. He had an insatiable curiosity about all things from science to philosophy to the environment to all things quirky and he was forever diving into new areas of knowledge.

Greg will be remembered for his warm, welcoming smile, his contagious, impossible to resist laughter, his sense of humor, and his caring for others. He loved and cherished his family and friends and touched so many around the globe, including many former international students he and his wife hosted over the years. He lived a passionate, generous life and will be deeply missed.

Greg is survived by his wife (and partner in life adventures for over 45 years), Pat Schaffner; his deeply loved children and their spouses Philip Schaffner (Kate Moss), Pi Luna (Hans Bucher); his adorable and adored granddaughters Skylar and Phoebe Schaffner; his loved and appreciated siblings by birth - sister Polly Schaffner, brothers Paul (Irene Chance) and Stuart Schaffner – and siblings through marriage Jim Golden (Kendra) and Max Moon; many cousins, nieces and nephews; his international children Ulf, Santiago, Grace, Sandrine, Fanny, Deniz, Keon, Rustem, Ernesto, Sami, Guillermo, Ximena, and Aziz; and his many loyal and supportive friends from all parts of his life. Greg was preceded in death by his parents, Stuart and Dorothy Schaffner, his sisters-in-law, Nancy Golden and Ann Schaffner, and his two beloved dogs Maggie and Sophie.

A memorial service is planned for March 4th at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church on Lake of the Isles, 1917 Logan Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55403. There will also be an in-person celebration of life that same day and a ZOOM celebration of life the following week for those unable to attend the in-person events. Once they are finalized, details for all three events will be on the Cremation Society of Minnesota website:

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to one of the following two organizations (which reflect two of Greg’s passions: love of music, words, and song; and love and concern for nature and the environment): Source Song Festival ( The Nature Conservancy (

A Memorial Tree was planted for Gregory
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota
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