In loving memory of

Benjamin "Ben" J. Schafer
January 1, 1986 - May 9, 2023

Benjamin J. Schafer, 37, died tragically at home on May 9, 2023.

Ben was born January 1st, 1986 to Mark and Anita (Sheda) Schafer in Granite Falls, Minnesota. When Ben was 8 months old, his family moved to Rochester. Throughout Ben's childhood, he enjoyed and excelled in football and baseball.

After high school, Ben joined the MN Army National Guard and would ultimately serve up until the time of his passing. He served with Bravo Company 2-135th Infantry Regiment based in Rochester. Near the time of his enlistment, he married Nicole (de Vera) and they became parents to Giana, Bella, and Wyatt Schafer.

Nicole and him later divorced, and in 2017, Ben met Elizabeth (Love) and they married. They built a family with Taylor and Haylie, Liz's children from a previous marriage.

As an adult, Ben was passionate about family, his country, and working to build the family business, Pulver Towing. Ben continued to play baseball throughout his twenties, loved being silly with his kids or really anyone else who would listen. His dad jokes, storytelling, and celebrity impersonations will never be forgotten.

Ben made those he loved feel safe and protected, including his brothers in arms he served 3 tours with both as an Infantryman and later a Squad Leader. Ben was never afraid to roll up his sleeves or get dirty to do what needed to be done, acts of service is truly how he expressed his love for his family, country and those around him. As Matthew 9:37 reminds us, Jesus said "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few". Now that his work on Earth is completed, there is not a single to-do list in heaven that stands a chance.

Ben is survived by his parents Mark (Gwen) Schafer and Anita Beier (Sheda), children Giana, Bella, and Wyatt, siblings Josh (Bethany) Schafer, Amanda Schafer, Sam Schafer, Max (Katie Campbell) Schafer, and Izzy(Mason Zill) Schafer, grandparents Barb Schafer, Shirley and Bob Watts, former spouses Nicole de Vera and Elizabeth Love, step-children Taylor and Haylie Raymond, so many dear friends, and several beloved extended family. He is preceded in death by his grandfather's Daniel Schafer, Orlo Andrist, and Dave Sheda.

Visitation will be on Thursday, June 8, 2023 from 5-8 pm at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home, 5421 Royal PL NW, Rochester, MN. A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Friday, June 9, 2023 at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home. Burial will be at the State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, MN.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be serving the Schafer family; to share a special memory or condolence, please visit


James Letsos wrote on May 25, 2023:

"Ben was my best friend growing up. We would always have a great time playing baseball in our back yards or riding our bikes. We meet up again years later at Bravo company and served in Kosovo together. I could always trust him with anything. He was truly one of a kind. I will never forget our friendship. - James letsos "

Ann Janvrin wrote on May 22, 2023:

"Mark, Gwen, Max & heart goes out to you all, my deepest sympathies & my thoughts are with you."