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Billy Dean Shafer, 85, of Natural Bridge was born March 17, 1934, at his home place on Plank Road in Natural Bridge. He gained his angel wings Dec. 31, 2019, at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with his family by his side.

He was the son of the late Jerry Bryant and Louise Letcher Shafer. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Bryant S. Reid, and his three brothers, John B. Shafer, B. Jack Shafer, and Robert “Bob” P. Shafer.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory his loving wife of 64 years, Reba Jane Shafer, and sister Esther Pennington (Lloyd) of Natural Bridge Station; four children, Brenda Shafer, Cathy Ayers (Lewis “Pistol”), Gary Shafer (Tracy), Allen Shafer (Deneise); and a special grandson, Chris Shafer (Beth), along with nine other grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, another on the way; and many nieces and nephews.

He built houses for 13 years with “Leck” McDaniel and was the building and grounds supervisor at the Natural Bridge Correctional Center for 31 years. He continued his love of building and wood working skills for many years, serving and helping in his community. He was an honorary volunteer fireman with the Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department, president of the Rocket Club at Natural Bridge High School, played USSA softball, and was a Boy Scout leader. He was a devoted member of Beth Horon United Methodist Church for many years. He was an active member of the AARP and loved to travel.

He dedicated a lot of time to the community by helping others and volunteering at the food pantry. He loved the outdoors. He enjoyed sports, working in the garden, playing horseshoes and corn-hole, but most of all, he loved spending time with his family and friends.

The funeral was conducted Saturday, Jan. 4, at Harrison Funeral Chapel by the Rev. Lucy Hughes and the Rev. Thad Decker. Burial followed at Rockbridge Memorial Gardens.

Arrangements were by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.

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