Reynold “Rey” Math Schaefer

Published 5:00 pm Monday, April 27, 2020

Reynold “Rey” Math Schaefer


Reynold “Rey” Math Schaefer of Danville, Kentucky, passed peacefully from this earth on April 26, 2020. Rey was born January 30, 1931, in Adams, Minnesota, the son of the late Anna Marie (“Emma”) and John W. Schaefer.

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Rey learned the value of hard work growing up on the family farm in Southern Minnesota, but farm work never really agreed with him. So at the age of 21, Rey journeyed to St. Paul, where he found factory work and embarked on a 37-year career at Whirlpool Corporation. 

It is also in St. Paul that Rey met the love of his life, Judith Anderson, at the Polish-American Club dance hall in St. Paul. They danced the night away to the polka tunes of “John Wilfahrt and the Band Will Play.” Rey could dance! Judy loved that. Rey and Judy married in October 1958, and the two would enjoy 61 years of marriage. 

While working at Whirlpool in Minnesota, Rey studied nights and graduated from the Globe Business School and took additional accounting classes at the University of Minnesota. Rey loved his numbers, and accounting is where he would find his niche at Whirlpool. New Whirlpool plant openings would take Rey and the Schaefer family to Findlay, Ohio, in 1968, and Danville, Kentucky in 1971. Danville was the perfect fit for Rey and the Schaefer family.

Rey was an active member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He will be remembered as a loving and supportive husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved parties, family reunions and visiting with family and friends. He never knew a stranger. He was an avid sports fan of the Kentucky Wildcats and the Minnesota Vikings and Twins. He also loved the game of golf and his golfing buddies.

His survivors include his loving wife of 61 years, Judith Catherine, a daughter Mary (Chris) Conley of Danville, three sons, Brian (Vicky) Schaefer, Danville, Stephen (Mary) Schaefer Minneapolis, Minn, and Joseph (Susan) Schaefer of Lexington, KY; grandchildren, Brittany (Doug) Goens, Herbie and John Lynn, Jennifer Schaefer, Sarah (Riku) Watanabe, Andy and Charlie Schaefer, and Emma, Lucia, and Henry Schaefer; great-grandchildren, Mya, Koy, Price, and Jaxon; and his loving dog, Frannie. He also is survived by one sister, Gladys Miller, Adams, Minn., and a brother, Sylvester (Rose) Schaefer of Adams, Minn. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Jolene May, and his brother Peter.

A private mass will be held and a service of remembrance will be celebrated at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church at a later date. In lieu of flowers, friends may make contributions to Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 117 West Main Street, Danville, KY 40422 or Minneapolis Next, 315 Manitoba Avenue, Suite 310, Wayzata, MN 55391. Hugs from Home and online guestbook available at