We have just learned of the death of long-time ALCM member Rev. Marty Schaefer. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

The Rev. Marty Schaefer (1939-2024)

The Reverend Martin John Schaefer (Marty) was born to Adam and Valda (Norton) Schaefer in San Francisco, California.

A lifelong musician, Marty learned piano at age 6 and played the organ for church services by age 11. Marty graduated from Washington High School in San Francisco and Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma, earning a BA in Music with a concentration in organ performance.

During his junior year at PLC, Marty re-met Barbara (nee Weber, whom he had first met at a childhood church). They shared a unique bond – including the same birthday! – and were engaged in the campus chapel. They married on November 22, 1961, just months into Marty’s first year at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley.

Marty was ordained on May 30, 1965. His first call was as Junior Pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Eureka, California (1965-1969), where his children Pam and Steve were born. He then served as Senior Pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in La Puente (1969-1974) and later at Christ Lutheran Church in El Cerrito (1974-1989). Marty retired in 2004 from his final call as Chaplain at Salem Lutheran Home in Oakland (1989-2004).

At Christ Lutheran, Marty and Barbara completed the previous pastor’s work with the opening of the Senior Center, operating continuously since November 1974. Marty also initiated and led the planning committee for the Northern California Worship Music Conference (NCWM), an annual event supporting worship music for small congregations from 1984-2004.

Marty’s passions included music, photography, and nature, which he shared with his family and church communities. He led backpacking trips for youth and adults, shared tens of thousands of photos and slides, and composed music for church and with family. Marty continued sharing his musical and pastoral gifts even after retirement as a congregation member at Grace Lutheran in Richmond and Christ Lutheran in El Cerrito. His caregivers at Clearwater in Rohnert Park enjoyed his piano-playing into his final months.

Marty is survived by his sister Anne; brother-in-law Ken (Sue); daughter Pam (John); son Steve (Anne); grandchildren Anne (Josh), Katherine (Kevin), and Benjamin; great-grandchildren El, Isaac, and Elizabeth; and many beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother Paul and his beloved wife Barbara.

A memorial service will be held on August 17 at 11am (lunch following) at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Concord, CA. A livestream of the service will be available at gsconcord.com.

A choir will sing one of his hymns. If you would like to sing in the choir, please RSVP to choirformarty@gmail.com including which part you sing. Choir will rehearse at 10am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Bread for the World and the ELCA World Hunger Fund.

Condolences may be sent to the family:
The Reverend Pam Schaefer Dawson
4949 Snyder Lane, Apt 334
Rohnert Park, CA 94928