Joseph Steven Schaeffer was born on December 17, 1987 and was taken from us far too early on May 15, 2018, at the age of 30.
He was the greatest loving father to his two children, Lorita Rose and Joe Jr. His children were his world; his life revolved around them. Everything he did throughout his life was for his children.
He was the son of Stevie Bailey and the late Joseph Schaeffer, as well as his stepfather the late Ronald Reed, who also raised him. He was the grandson of George and Dona Bailey, Heidi Alameda and the late Donna Schaeffer. Joe was the oldest of seven siblings and by far the best brother we could of asked for. He always took care of everyone he loved, by putting them above himself, and providing for them.
Joe attended Hoopa Elementary, Hoopa High, and graduated from Captain John, where he carried his firstborn Lorita down the aisle to receive his diploma. Joe loved sports — throughout his life he enjoyed wrestling, football, basketball, riding motorcycles, hiking, sticks, hunting, fishing and eeling. Joe loved the outdoors. Most of all he loved hunting deer. He never missed a deer within his sight. All who hunted with him knew he could gut and skin a deer faster than anyone. Joe also loved to 4×4 in his Toyota trucks, shoot his guns, run chainsaw, jump in mosh pits and attend concerts.
Right out of high school Joe discovered his passion for firefighting, and became very successful throughout his career. Over the course of his career he acquired approximately 150 certificates for completing firefighter trainings. He began firefighting in the year 2007, at the age of 19, when he joined the Hoopa Wildland Fire Station. He later transferred to the US Forest Service in Orleans for the years 2010- 2013. Later he rejoined the Hoopa fire station for the years 2015- 2018, until he recently rejoined the US Forest Service in Somes Bar on May 14th, 2018.
Throughout his career he completed a total of nine fire seasons. His main goal was to become a smoke jumper. He had the most caring heart that was full of love and kindness. He was the least selfish person you would have ever known. He was also stubborn and quick to let someone know if they upset him. He knew the true meaning of friendship and loyalty. He didn’t just have friends, he had best friends and touched so many lives within our community and beyond.
Words cannot even express the joy and happiness my brother brought this world.
We would like to give a special acknowledgement to his uncle George Bailey Jr., who was his mentor and father figure. Also, Milinda Scott who was one of his longtime dearest friends.
Joe is survived by his children Lorita Schaeffer, Joseph Schaeffer Jr., and their mother Nora “Ashley” Lamebear, his mother Stevie Bailey, his siblings Hunter Schaeffer and Roy Ridenour, Lorence “Woo” Bailey, Jesseca Reed and Les Starritt, Jacob Reed, Andrea Reed, Ronald “Rocky” Reed. His nieces Arleece Albers, Keira and Iris Ridenour. His grandparents George and Dona Bailey, and Heidi Alameda. His aunts and uncles Jackie Bailey and Jamie Melendy, George Bailey Jr., Barri Bailey, Roger and Debbie Bailey, Laura Bailey, Janaye Stevens, Paula and Billy Moon, David and Kondra Schaeffer, and many cousins.
He is preceded in death by his father, Joseph Rodrick Schaeffer, his stepfather Ronald Ernest Reed, his grandmother Donna Schaeffer, his aunt and uncle Cindy and David Sylvia, his auntie Tori Sylvia, his cousins Donald and Derek Howerton, and his good friend Jason Price sr. Pallbearers are Lorence “Woo” Bailey, Jacob Reed, Rocky Reed, Lawerence “Bruzz” Orcutt, David and Darren Howerton, Orico and Chalit Bailey, Dakota Bailey, Clifford Ferris, Stephen Vigil, Daniel “Pon-cech” Ascencio, Deverous Frank Jr., Daryl and Dyani Frank, Roy Ridenour, Les Starritt, Sport Surber, William “Billy Bones” Scott, Sinjin Surber, Frank Surber Jr., Jerry “Scary Jerry” Maddison, Joe Yale, Gary Jury Jr., Jason Marshall, Nick White, Paul Aubry, Arron Williams, Norvin “Norvie” Hostler, Oscar Brown, Billy Moon,Tyler Bates, J.R. and James Bowen, Willie and Alec Lamebear, Marty and Andy Lamebear, Raymond Vader, Daniel “DanDan” McCovey, Vincent “Vinny” McCovey, Lonnie Dean, Herkie and Stanley “Boy” McCovey,Timmy Bussell jr., Brandon and Denzel Bailey, Jorden Allen, Grizzly Robbins, Darren “Blaze” Carpenter, Russell “RJ” Marshall, and Arthur “Shy” Rhoades.
Honorary pallbearers are George Bailey Sr, George Bailey Jr, Roger Bailey, John Bailey, David Schaeffer, Jamie “Jamos” Melody, Mike Bailey, Wes Crawford, Sylvester “Flabs” Brown, Deverous Frank Sr., Clyde Trimble Sr., Albert “Buster” Owen, Frank “Bish” Surber sr., David “Spanky” Marken, Tim Casey, and Arthur “Arty” Jones.
My apologies to anyone I may have missed; Joe was loved by so many people, just know that he loved you.
I would like to give a special thanks to Neil Moon Sr., David Billy Jr., Hoopa Volunteer Fire Department, Hoopa Valley Police and Ambulance, and the California Highway Patrol.
There will be a viewing on Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. at Paul’s Chapel in Arcata, 1070 H Street. His services will be held in Hoopa on Saturday, May 26th, 2018 at the Tish-Tang Campground located on Hwy 96 starting at 12 p.m. Dinner will follow at the Hoopa Wildland Fire Station. Services will be presided by Harold Jones.