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JoAnn C. Schaeffer

SEPT. 4, 1943 to SEPT. 8, 2012

September 14, 2012
  • Schaeffer

JoAnn Cheryl Schaeffer (nee Blickenstaff) of 206 Mustang Court, Gambrills, Md., passed away at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, surrounded by family. She had just celebrated her 69th birthday.

JoAnn was born to Anna Mary and Joseph Maynard Blickenstaff on Sept. 4, 1943, in Hagerstown, Md. 

She graduated from North Hagerstown High in 1961 and received her undergraduate degree from Frostburg State University in 1965. She also attended University of Maryland and Loyola College for graduate work.

JoAnn was married Aug. 7, 1965, and is survived by her husband, Charles Edward Schaeffer Jr., whom she met in college. They were a devoted couple for more than 50 years.

She was the older sister to and survived by Jimmie Blickenstaff and his wife, Sue, of Big Fork, Mont., and Dr. Jay Blickenstaff, his wife, Carol; and her nieces, Jill Blair, and Erin, Megan and Katelyn Blickenstaff, all of Clear Spring, Md. She is also survived by her daughter, Mary Jo Milligan, and son-in-law, Tim Milligan, of Pasadena, Md.; son, Kurt Schaeffer, and daughter-in-law, Erin Schaeffer, of Smithsburg, Md.; and her five beloved grandchildren, Sarah Milligan, Bradley Schaeffer, Amy Milligan, Zachary Schaeffer and Connor Milligan.

During her teen years, she was particularly fond of the theater, and held special memories of playing the role of Edith in "Little Women," being part of the chorus/choir, and afterschool trips to Eagle Drug Store and Newberry's Five and Dime. While attending Frostburg, JoAnn furthered her love of the theater with her role in "The Bear." During her college years, she was also fortunate enough to travel to Bermuda; and truly enjoyed donuts at the Frostburg Bakery, and meeting lifelong friends.

JoAnn was a science teacher in the Anne Arundel County public school system (Magothy River Middle and Arundel High) for more than 35 years. Her love of biology, zoology, genetics and physiology was unparalleled. Throughout the years, her students much enjoyed her sense of humor and sarcasm, which made learning fun, while she took great joy in learning as much from her students as she did teaching them.

In her later years, JoAnn, known as "Grammy" to her grandchildren, especially loved watching her granddaughters play field hockey and dancing in recitals, loved seeing her older two grandsons play lacrosse, and took pride in watching a love of nature and science blossom in her youngest grandson. Bi-annual vacations dating to 1980 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina were some of the family's fondest memories.

In lieu of flowers, JoAnn requested, and the family is asking for, donations to the Anne Arundel Retired School Personnel Association Scholarship Fund. Forms will be available at her memorial, or you may contact Karlie Everett at AARSPA, 410-286-8656, for more information.

JoAnn also requested that the family hold a festive gathering instead of any of the typical funeral arrangements. A very casual, come-as-you-are event to celebrate and honor her life is scheduled to take place from noon to 3 p.m. at the Blue Heron Center at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Md., on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, where some of JoAnn's favorite foods and desserts will be served buffet style. All of JoAnn's family, friends, former colleagues and former students are welcome to attend. Please mention the event at the park gates in order to receive free admission into the park.

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