Marjorie D. (Small) Schaefer, 83

Marjorie D. (Small) Schaefer, 83, of South Bethany, Del., passed away peacefully on June 22, 2018, after a brief illness.

Schaefer was an avid gardener who tended to seemingly hundreds of plants she grew from seed each spring. She was also a talented musician who took immense pride in her piano and organ playing. For 32 years, she was the organist at Ocean View Presbyterian Church in Ocean View, Del., and for the past several years she was the organist at Frankford Presbyterian Church in Frankford, Del. She was also a frequent organist at Melson’s Funeral Services, where she played for many funeral and memorial services.

Highlights of her music career include playing at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., as guest organist and playing for hundreds of summertime parishioners at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bethany Beach as a substitute organist. Schaefer was also a member of the acapella group Sweet Adelines, who performed at the Bethany Boardwalk Summer Concert Series and other venues. Most recently, she sang in a local choral group that performed at community events in the area.

Born and raised in Falls Church, Va., she graduated from Falls Church High School in 1952. Schaefer earned a certificate from Washington School for Secretaries in Washington, D.C., and later worked at the Pentagon. She was also an excellent athlete and a talented catcher for her high school softball team. Her skills were noticed by several area scouts, and she was even offered a tryout with a traveling semi-professional women’s softball team.

Schaefer was preceded in death by her son, Steven Schaefer, 60, and daughter, Debra Lynn Schaefer 56, mother of Andrew and Michael. She leaves her husband of 63 years, Herbert “Joe” Schaefer of South Bethany; her son-in-law, Philip Hoffert, and her grandchildren, Andrew and Michael Hoffert, all of Frankford; several siblings; and her nieces, nephews and their children. She will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at Melson Funeral Services, 38040 Muddy Neck Road, Ocean View, Del., where friends and family may call after 1 p.m. Afterward, there will be a brief ceremony at the columbarium at Ocean View Presbyterian Church. Condolences may be sent online at