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STEVENSVILLE — In the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 1, Nita left this earth and went wherever loveable, spunky little mamas go. She was born July 24, 1937, in Kokomo, Indiana, the only child of Marcus and Naomi (Durham) French. When Nita was eight, the family moved to Denver, Colorado. Nita would stay close to her parents, living nearby, taking family vacations, and eventually moving together with her family to the Bitterroot Valley of Montana.

She attended Westminster High School in Westminster, Colorado, where she met Paul Henry Schaffer. After getting engaged on her 18th birthday, they were married on Oct. 9, 1955. They remained happily married until her passing (forever). After getting married, Nita worked at the First National Bank of Denver. She worked there long enough to get her first Christmas bonus, used it to buy furniture for the house, then spent the rest of her life as a loving homemaker, wife, and mother to her two children. All of which she did impeccably.

Nita enjoyed collecting animal figurines and pocket knives (yes, she had a switchblade). She maintained her girlish figure by keeping active camping, hiking, bowling, and A LOT of dancing. She also loved taking trail rides on her ATV. She and Paul took many hikes in Glacier Park to Sperry and Granite Park chalets. One of their hiking buddies called her “shuffle feeta Nita”. She would shuffle her way down a trail, leaving the rest of the party in the dust. She loved all kinds of dancing including tap, clogging, square dance, round dance, ballroom, rock & roll, dutch hop and polka. You name it, she could do it.  Going to the Five Valley Accordion events was something Nita and Paul would enjoy up until the last year of her life. She could still dance like a 30-something. To see Nita and Paul doing the polka was a real treat! They were the stars of the dance floor.

Nita was predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Paul; son Wayne Schaffer and his wife Terri of Snohomish, Washington; daughter Vicki Wicks and her husband Ernie of Hamilton; grandson Scott Schaffer of Snohomish, Washington; step-grandchildren Geoffrey Wicks and his wife Heather of Bozeman, and Shannon Doherty and her husband Nick of Missoula; four step-great-grandchildren, Xirae and Kwinz Wicks of Bozeman, and George and Saylor Doherty of Missoula.

There will be a celebration of Nita’s life at a later date to be announced.

The family suggests memorials to the Bitterroot Humane Association, PO Box 57, Hamilton, MT 59840.

the life of: Juanita (Nita) M. Schaffer
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