Isabel Shaffer

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday June 14, 2022 for Isabel Shaffer who passed away peacefully at her Santa Cruz home at the age of 96. Born in the North West corner of the Iberian Peninsula in Galicia, Spain, she was professional flamenco dancer in Europe before immigrating to the U.S. with her husband, Lee Shaffer, an Air Force B-17 pilot. She was raised Catholic in Spain and was an active parishioner and Eucharistic Minister of Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz since 1950.  She raised her three sons as a stay-at-home mom and enjoyed entertaining friends and family with her Spanish cuisine.  She especially enjoyed decorating her home for Christmas, gardening, shopping, and playing bridge with friends.     

Mrs. Shaffer was a founding member of the St. Francis Catholic Kitchen and for more than 34 years, volunteered by greeting those down on their luck with a bowl of soup, eye contact, and a warm smile.  She began serving soup and sandwiches in 1980 at the kitchen’s original Beach Flats location. When the kitchen lost that property a year later, Mrs. Shaffer rode a van around the neighborhood, delivering hot meals. She will forever be remembered not only for enormous heart, but for her frank and motherly advice, she gave to those not properly attired or particularly gracious. She also supported her son Wayne in establishing Siena House Maternity Home by donating her gold jewelry for several auction fundraisers.

Fond memories will continue to be shared of her love for attending Italian Catholic Federation functions and sharing special times with her church family and grandchildren.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law; Wayne and Jo Shaffer, grandchildren; Jessica Smith (Josh) and Ronnie Jo Rodriguez (Erik); great grandchildren Lachlan, Lily, and Dallas.  She also leaves her daughter in-law Rachel and her loving caregivers: Darlene, Clara and Olivia with whom the Shaffer family would especially like to thank for their devoted care and assistance.
Mrs. Shaffer was preceded in death by her ex-husband, Lee Shaffer and sons Ron and Larry Shaffer and her infant daughter Mary Elizabeth. 

A vigil service will be held at Benito and Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel on Monday, June 13 beginning at 6 p.m.  The mass will be celebrated at Holy Cross Church (126 High Street) on Tuesday, June 14 beginning at 11:00 a.m.   Committal service will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Santa Cruz.  A kind act of charity may be made in her memory to Holy Cross Church Raise-the-Roof campaign, or to the St. Francis Soup Kitchen.