Joseph Shafer age 87, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, passed away peacefully surrounded by his friends on June 3, 2016. He was preceded in death in 2008 by his loving wife, Dorothy Brannan Shafer. He is survived by many loving friends and four sisters-in-law, Polly Brannan Judd, Jeanne Brannan Paglee, Nellie Carol Brannan, Malinda Brannan and their families and countless people and organizations that he helped during his lifetime. He was born to Joseph Ernest and Willie Young Shafer in Lilburn, Georgia and graduated from school there. He began working at Sears, Roebuck and Co. in Atlanta in 1945 and retired 43 years later as Warehouse Manager. He was a Master Mason for over 60 years and Shriner for 50. He served on the board of Gwinnett Hospital Authority for 12 years, continued volunteering and now has left the largest single gift ever received to the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation in honor of his wife Dottie. With her he also established the J. Floyd and Eunice Brannan Scholarship fund, which supports college scholarships for graduates of Gwinnett County Public Schools. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Lawrenceville. He was also known for the beautiful gardens he established in his yards in Lilburn and Lawrenceville and he was generous with the fruit of the harvest. He loved life and helping people and his legacy will live on through his charitable gifts. The service celebrating the life of Joe Shafer will be held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. at Wages and Sons Funeral Home, Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville. Interment will be held in the First Baptist Church of Lilburn Cemetery. The visitation will be held on Monday, June 6, 2016 from 3:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at the Wages and Sons Funeral Home. According to Joe's wishes, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Greater Atlanta Telangana Society, 454 Satellite Blvd. #300, Suwanee, GA 30024, that supports health and education related activities in India. Joe was a great guy and he will be terribly missed by many.

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  1. Joe was a neighbor and I will miss him. He would always stop when he saw me working in the yard and we would have the most interesting conversations. He was a good and decent and generous man. He is with his beloved Dottie again.

  2. Joe and Dottie were my Godparents, and my parents best friends. My daddy and Joe grew up together in Lilburn, and I was fortunate to have known him my whole life. Anytime I came to Atlanta I would have to see Dot and Joe along with my parents. I loved them both dearly and feel like I’ve lost one of the last people who have always been in my life. My daddy is still with us, living here in Florida, and I know he has lost his oldest and dearest friend. Uncle Joe will be missed by everyone who was blessed to know him, but I know he’s in heaven with Aunt Dot and we will be reunited again one day.

  3. Dottie Shafer was my loving older sister. we shared a happy life and celebrated a double marriage on March 21. 1952 with Joe Shafer and Don Judd. at the Lawrenceville Baptist Church. Many happy years of family celebrations were enjoyed by our family. We celebrated our 50 th Anniversary with a week long trip to Puerto Vallarta , Mexico . Dottie and Joe attended all three of our children’s weddings and many other great occasions. Our family will miss them terribly.

    Happily together again.

    Polly Judd

    Polly Judd .

  4. I am pretty sad, as I lost my dear friend Joe Shafer. I know he is in a better place with the love of his life, Dottie. I met Dottie and Joe in 1989 and fell in love with them both. They became family to me even before I married Dottie’s brother, Jimmy Brannan. Joe was like a brother to me after Jimmy passed and offered much needed advice. My children looked forward to seeing Joe whenever we had a family gathering. He helped a lot of people in many ways and his generosity was unending for those in need. We will miss you Joe.

  5. You were always there to talk and remember the family for me I will truly miss you. I know Aunt Willie and Dottie are waiting with open arms.

  6. I will miss you Joe. You have always been a part of my life for graduations, holidays, my wedding and plenty of other occasions (i.e. UGA games). You are my honorary uncle and family and It says so on your Burns family adoption certificate. I will hold you in my heart always as my cheerful, sweet uncle that always had a frozen margarita ready for my on the 4th of July. I love you!

  7. Joe and Dottie both were incredible people who helped our Gwinnett County grow and did so with such class and honesty. My Father was priced a lot next door to our home when we bought our home on Dogwood Drive. After over 15 years Joe sold my family the lot for the price he quoted when we bought the home. I had incredible respect for Joe and Dottie and I am sure they are holding hands in Heaven with Jesus.

  8. Joe was my boss at Sears(on ponce ) in my 44 years of work I have never had a better boss than Joe. We worked in mail order shipping dept 170. I worked with him in 1963 thru 1965. I new then he was a great guy.

  9. We were driving through Lawrenceville one day and saw a nice looking gentleman working in his beautiful yard. We stopped and asked him about any future homes coming up for sale on the street and to make a long story short, because of Joe, we ended up being across the street neighbors. Joe was so special and kind and always talked about the love his life, Dottie. I only wish that we could of known Joe longer. He will certainly be missed. Ron and Jacque Westbrook

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