William “Bill” Schaffer Jr., passed away on May 22, 2019 in Napa at The Queen of The Valley Hospital, after a lengthy, courageous battle with cancer. He was born on January 3, 1951 in Wayne, N.J. to William and Louise (Lewis) Schaffer.
Bill worked most of his life for Atlas Copco in the oil-free air compressor division, as a Nationwide Parts Manager in Fairfield N.J., then later in Napa, CA. If anyone needed their air compressor repaired or needed parts, Bill would be able to tell them exactly what the part number was without even looking it up. Bill also had just about any tool you can imagine in his garage. Friends would often try to stump him and ask for some unheard of tool or gadget and after a few minutes he would come out of the garage, saying, “Sure, here you go, just bring it back when you’re done.” He was able to travel extensively around the United States and the World and made many lifelong friends. Penny also worked for Atlas Copco and that’s how they met in 1990. In September of 1998, their friendship made a change and they fell in love. In 1999, Bill and his son Billy moved from New Jersey to Napa, CA to start his life with Penny Vavricka and her daughter, Sara Cowan.
Bill enjoyed camping and fishing with family and friends down in the canyon at the Feather River or at the coast. He loved tinkering in the shop. One of Bill’s hobbies was making wine in the garage with Penny and her Uncle Dick. With the help of family and friends, they had lots of fun making “juice” for the past 14 years. Bill wasn’t a wine drinker, but he really liked being our Wine Maker and sending people home with cases of wine. It was a fun hobby that included lots of laughs and good food. Bill was really happy walking his “fru-fru dog” (a standard poodle), Josie on his daily 3 mile walks, especially after she was just groomed. He wasn’t one for attention, but loved to stop and talk with people when they wanted to pet her.
After Bill retired, he drove limos around Napa and Sonoma counties taking people wine tasting. Some of his favorites, the “crazies from D.C.” to put it nicely, would request him year after year. They became really good friends over the years. Sadly, their last trip to Napa in March was Bill’s last job.
Bill was such a giving and loving man and so unselfish. He really loved his family and a handful of good friends. He didn’t need much, as long at the end of the day he could get into his recliner and have his dogs, Josie and Gracie there in the chair with him. Most times, Savanna would be curled up next to her Papa, with Sawyer trying to get to the “coveted favorite spot”. He would spend hours chalk coloring with Savanna and Sawyer in the driveway or having them work on the truck with him or just letting the kids crawl all over him.
Bill is greatly missed by his wife, Penny (Vavricka), daughter Christina (Kevin) Phillips of Peoria, AZ; son Bill III of Boring, OR; step-daughter Sara Cowan of Napa, CA and grandchildren; Mathew, Taylor, Billy, Eilee, Savanna and Sawyer. Also by his sister Kathy (George) Homeyer and Pat in N.J. His Mother In-Law, Dorothy Parnell of Billings, MT; Dick and Madeline Vavricka of Napa, CA. In-Laws Cyndi & Dave Kolp of Thayne, WY; Mitch & Diane Vavricka of Napa, CA and Steve & Samantha Vavricka of Napa, CA. And the “Brats”; Todd, Hayden, Amanda, Matt, Jake, Lexi and Livi. He is predeceased by his parents and his brother Michael Schaffer.
We will have a Celebration of Bill’s Life on September 28, 2019 at 1039 Easum Drive, Napa, CA from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. We want to ask you to please keep Bill in your thoughts. He always said it was important to remember those we love after they die and that’s what we want for Bill….to not ever be forgotten.