Janet M. Schaffer Alderman, 73, of Westerville and formerly Elyria, passed away Thursday morning at Ganzhorn Suites after three years with vascular dementia. She was born in Elyria, the daughter of Carl and Margaret New Schaffer, and younger sister of Sue with whom she shared a life-long admiration and friendship. Jan graduated from Elyria High School in 1968. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Bowling Green State University. While at BGSU she was a member of Delta Zeta sorority. She had a 30+ year career as an elementary school teacher and junior high school guidance counselor. She was passionate about her students creating a peer mediation program and becoming a guardian ad litem. When her father was diagnosed with dementia, Jan advocated tirelessly for him, started the first caregiver support group in Lorain County and co-founded with her sister an endowment fund with the Lorain County Community Foundation. She was named a Hero by the Cleveland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in 2000.
Jan loved traveling, visited all 50 states, and particularly enjoyed trips to England, her mother’s birthplace. She quilted and cross-stitched and looked forward to working on projects with her friends at WAR. A long-time member of First United Methodist Church of Elyria, she sang in the choir for many years. She also served as the Ohio coordinator for Home of the Brave.
When they were both 17, Jan went on a first date with Larry Alderman. That began 56 years of partnership and adventure, including 51 years of marriage. She is survived by her beloved husband Larry; her son Andy Alderman and his wife Sara; her daughter Cari Schultz and her husband David; five grandchildren (Owen, Libby, Will, Bennett, and Elliott) and her sister, Susan Green of Babcock Springs, FL.
The family would like to offer a special note of thanks to the teams at Ganzhorn Suites and Capital City Hospice for the loving care provided to Jan.
Visitation hours, at Hill Funeral Home 220 S. State St., Westerville, will be on Wednesday, September 27 from 10:30am-12:00pm with service to immediately follow at 12:00pm. A private burial service will be held at Cheshire Cemetery in Berlin Township.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association chapter of your choice.