Cover photo for Virginia Lael Shafer's Obituary
Virginia Lael Shafer Profile Photo
1921 Virginia 2013

Virginia Lael Shafer

July 11, 1921 — August 4, 2013

Services will be held Saturday August 10, 2013 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel - 5500 Fruitvale Ave. Bakersfield, California. Visitation be begins at 2:00 followed by Funeral Service 3:00PM.

Virginia Lael Day was born in Camus, Washington in Clark County July 11, 1921 to Rye Ereal Day and Lottie Genevieve Stanton.. She was born in the farmhouse of her maternal grandparents. Virginia had two sisters, Elvira Genevieve born in 1920 and Donna Louanna in 1923. Grandmother Day took care of the girls when their parents divorced.

Virginia grew up in Camus and Fort Vancouver, Washington. She went to live with her mother at age 6. When Virginia visited her father, he took her to church and had her baptized in Portland Oregon when she was 9.

In 2nd grade, Virginia became very ill with whooping cough and had to miss 6 months of school, so she repeated the 2nd grade. Virginia learned to play the violin, and she played in the Jr. High orchestra. She sang in the choir. Her vacations were spent with her cousins and, once and awhile, with her sisters.

In 1937, Virginia, Donna and her mother moved to Maywood, CA. Virginia attended and graduated from Huntington Park High School in June 1940. Virginia met Dilts Lucas Shafer when she was 18. They lived in same apt complex. They were married in 1940. . December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was bombed. The USA entered WW II. Dilts got his draft notice so he enlisted in the Navy. He reported to Terminal Island, CA.

Virginia worked at the paper company where her mother was employed and earned 40 cents an hour wages.

Baby Sharon was born in 1943. Dilts left for the South Pacific 7 weeks later. He was an Aircraft Mechanic. Virginia lived with her mother while he was away. She stayed at home with baby Sharon. .

Dilts returned home from the South Pacific March 1945. The family moved to Texas for a few months until Dilts was released from the navy, then moved back to California.
They lived in and around the Los Angeles area and, later, Orange County. They moved many times as Dilts restored homes and sold them. After the Navy, he returned to his job with LA Spring and Wire.

Patricia was born in 1946. Virginia stayed home with her girls until they went to school.
When her girls were small, Virginia became active in the church through the Anderson family. They bought some property from the Shafers and then invited the kids to primary. Dilts joined the church in 1954. Dilts and Virginia were sealed in LA temple in 1960.

Dilts went to work at Autonetics as an inspector. He became active in the Union. He was a Committeeman, Unit president and other positions. He ran for Union President but lost. The Shafer family also owned a New & Used Pipe yard from 1953 until 1956.

When the girls went to school, Virginia babysat, and then went to work for a clothing company for a short time. Next, she got a job at Thermador Corp doing electronic assembly work. She was laid off, so she worked for a radio company, then Parson’s manufacturing and Rheem’s manufacturing.

She was hired at Rockwell (North American Aviation) which became Autonetics. She took classes in advanced electronics at Ria Hondo Adult Education in Pico Rivera. At Rockwell, she had top secret clearance and helped to build the NASA shuttles, Intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Laser seekers. Virginia worked for North American Aviation for 26 years until she retired at the age of 60.

At Thanksgiving time 1956 they had a serious accident on their way to Yucca Valley CA-- a head-on/side swipe on Hwy 62. Dilts didn’t work for 2 years. He had a broken back and other injuries. Pat, Sharon and Virginia were all injured. In 1958 they moved to Hacienda Heights (her favorite home). Pat and Sharon graduated from Los Altos High School.

Alexander Phillip Shafer was born in1961. The family was active in the church during this time. Dilts served a stake Mission, and as Sunday School Superintendent. Virginia served in the Primary for many years, and as Sharon’s Mia Maid teacher in MIA (Young Women’s). She was a Ward Missionary in Yucca Valley as well as RS chorister, and librarian in 2 different wards. They housed the missionaries for awhile in the little house out back of their own home in Yucca Valley.

Daughter Pat was married to Bob Davidson in the Los Angeles temple in 1974, with a wonderful little dividend, her son Mark. Dilts retired in 1980 and moved to Yucca Valley. Daughter Sharon was married to Jerry Nelson in 1980 in the Los Angeles temple. He adopted her 2 children, Virginia and James.

Alex graduated early from Magnolia High School and went to BYU during what would have been his senior year. He went to Brazil on a 2 year mission. Alex married Merrilee Holgate in the Jordan River Temple in 1982. They added 9 more grandchildren to the list over the next 19 years.

Dilts became a diabetic around age 45. He had a lot of leg problems. Dilts retired in 1980 and moved to Yucca Valley. He died in Yucca Valley on April 6, 1998 and was buried at Riverside Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Riverside, CA. .
Virginia moved to Bakersfield in 2002. 10 great-grandchildren now call her Grandma Gigi. Her interests included crocheting, gardening, crossword puzzles, real puzzles, reading, old movies, and traveling. She had a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She was lovingly direct and honest and had a great sense of humor. She was lovable, kind, sweet, and friendly.

She was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia in July of this year and passed away Sunday morning August 4th.

Private Interment is scheduled at the Riverside National Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Virginia Lael Shafer, please visit our flower store.


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