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Grandson carries on grandpa’s 65-year legacy

Staff writer

Tony Schafers has been a fixture in Marion for more than 65 years with the success of Tony’s Plumbing.

His grandson is continuing the Schafers tradition as he takes over the business.

Tony recently moved to St. Luke Living Center. He is celebrating his 89th birthday today.

Schafers and his wife, Tillie, moved to Marion from Stillwater, Oklahoma, a day after they were married on Sept. 12, 1953. They were married in a double wedding ceremony that included Tony’s brother, Victor, and Tillie’s sister, Madonna.

The brothers were employed by St. Luke Hospital as maintenance men. The hospital was run by nuns.

Tony Schafers oversaw construction of a nuns’ residence, now St. Luke Medical Clinic, and a chaplain’s home, now Marion County Home Health.

His brother moved away, but Tony remained at the hospital. He got his start in plumbing when Bus Hassinger of Hassinger Plumbing, asked him to work part-time for him.

Schafers spent 35 years at the hospital, remaining there after it became a taxpayer supported private hospital in 1968.

He did maintenance for the U.S. Post Office in Marion for 30 years before retiring in 1991.

After Hassinger died in 1977, Schafers got his first plumbing license and established Tony’s Plumbing. He was required to get six hours of continuing education every year to renew his license. After 42 years in business, he has a stack of license certificates, the last one for 2019. Tillie has been his bookkeeper.

Schafers was known for being sensitive to his customers’ ability to pay and for providing reasonably priced service. He often donated his time and labor when needed. He provided free plumbing services for St. Mark’s Catholic Church.

Tony and Tillie also built seven houses in Marion.

Tony’s grandsons, Jason and Travis Schafers, helped him when they were in high school. Travis is a maintenance worker for the city of Marion. Jason spent 20 years in the military and decided to become a plumber. He has a license to operate in Marion and is continuing the service his grandfather started.

Well wishes may be sent to Tony at St. Luke Living Center, Room #401, Marion KS 66861.

Last modified July 11, 2019

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