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Published: Wednesday, 12/28/2011

Donald Shefferly, 1929-2011: Shipping firm owner had passion for baseball

BY GABRIELLE RUSSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Donald Shefferly, 82, who loved baseball and ran his own shipping business out of the Port of Toledo for more than 15 years, died Christmas Eve in Toledo Hospital.

Mr. Shefferly of Toledo had been diagnosed with lung cancer and also had problems with his heart and kidneys, said his wife of 42 years, Marilyn Shefferly.

"He was an all-around great guy," she said.

Mr. Shefferly, who was born on St. Patrick's Day, 1929, grew up in Detroit.

While in his 20s, he joined the Army but was stationed in the Las Vegas area and did not see combat, his wife said.

In 1956, he moved from Detroit to Toledo to work for his uncle's shipping business.

He left the job to become a vice president at another shipping company, Trans-World Shipping Service Inc. There he would meet his future wife, who was an import/export specialist, in 1968. They married the following year.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Shefferly ran his own company, Shefferly Overseas & Lakes Shipping Corp., that represented New York and Canadian grain companies sending goods to the Great Lakes and overseas ports out of the Port of Toledo.

He checked on the ships' crews to see if they were sick or needed anything and made sure the cargo was properly documented before the ships left the port, his wife said.

Mr. Shefferly's real passion was sports, a love he developed from living in the Motor City and going to Detroit Tigers baseball games with his dad.

A father of three boys, Mr. Shefferly took his own children to a handful of games at the old Tiger Stadium every summer.

One year in the late 1980s, he went to the Tigers fantasy camp in Lakeland, Fla., and played with members of the 1968 World Series championship team.

Besides sports, Mr. Shefferly enjoyed time on his family's boat on Lake Erie.

He was a longtime member of the Regina Coeli Church in Toledo.

Surviving are his wife, Marilyn, sons, Steve, Michael, and Timothy, brothers, Bob and Paul, sisters, Winnie Trombley and Brenda Clausing, and four grandchildren.

Visitation is to be from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ansberg West Funeral Home. Funeral services are to be at 10 a.m. Thursday in Regina Coeli Church. Memorials can be sent in Mr. Shefferly's name to the church or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

Contact Gabrielle Russon at: grusson@theblade.com or 419-724-6026.



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