Suzanne (Suzi) Schaffert passed away at her home on August 7, 2018, after a valiant four month battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Hazelton, Pennsylvania on August 25, 1954, Suzi was the eldest of Pat and Jack Gildea’s five children. She grew up in the Bay Area, and graduated from San Carlos High (Class of ’72) and the College of Notre Dame (Class of ’79) with a degree in Biochemistry.
Suzi served on the Monte Rio Rec and Park District for a decade, and wrote “Monte Rio Musings” for the Sonoma County Gazette.
Suzi is survived by her husband of 38 years, Don Schaffert, her mother, Patricia Gildea, her siblings, Ray Gildea, Nitzi Gildea-Phillips, Skip Gildea and Mikee Gildea, nine nieces and nephews and a myriad of cousins and friends.
Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Guerneville on August 25, 2018, where she was a long time parishoner and served as a CCD leader; wake immediately following at the Monte Rio Amphitheater.
Suzi married the love of her life, Don, in their Villa Grande front yard in 1979. In the last 40 years, Suzi enjoyed all that the River has to offer. She and Don hosted “Camp Schaffert” for her nephews and nieces each summer. Camp Schaffert included camping, fishing, and playing at the beach, as well as teaching the children to say the Rosary daily – a tradition she and Don continued until her death.
In 1992 Suzi and Don purchased and revamped the Rio Theater, and established Don’s Dogs Cafe. Suzi provided more than just jobs for local kids: she rewarded good grades with pay raises, instilled a sense of responsibility, and acted as a loving surrogate mom.