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William J. Schaefer, a retired chief officer of U.S. Probation and Parole, died Friday (May 16, 2003) in his Town of Tonawanda home after a lengthy illness. He was 85.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1936 graduate of Grover Cleveland High School. After serving in the Army during World War II, he resumed his education at Canisius College, where he received a bachelor's degree in physics in 1949. He also had a master's degree in social work from the University of Buffalo.

Early in his career, he worked as a social worker at Catholic Charities. He began working as a probation officer in 1956, and in 1975 was named a chief officer of U.S. Probation and Parole.

Schaefer retired in 1980.

He was a dog breeder who raised schnauzers. He also enjoyed gardening.

His wife, the former Anne M. Gambardella, died in 1982.

Survivors include two daughters, Susan of Baltimore and Judi Pierce of the Town of Tonawanda; a brother, Walter of the Town of Tonawanda; and five grandchildren.

Prayers will be said at 9:15 a.m. Monday in Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 in St. Edmund Church, 530 Ellicott Creek Road, Town of Tonawanda. Entombment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.

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