Patti Shafer, 58
Patti Shafer, 58, longtime resident of the Georgetown district of Washington, D.C., passed away Tuesday, March 27, 2012, in Bethany Beach, Del., after a valiant fight against lung cancer.
Born April 14, 1953, in Passaic, N.J., Shafer enjoyed dance, gymnastics and swimming in her youth. She was in one of the first bas mitzvah groups at Temple Ahavas Israel in Passaic and graduated from Passaic High School in 1971. She earned a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in finance at the University of Maryland before a long career as a policy and management consultant supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other natural stewardship agencies.
In more than 30 years of service as a manager at the Synectics Group and Roy F. Weston, a vice-president at Marasco Newton Group and an executive at SRA International, Shafer supported national environmental programs and helped improve government efficiency and responsiveness. In the 1980s, she helped design a funding approach to address safe drinking water for communities nationwide. Her work in the State Revolving Fund is still used as a model for many government programs.
Shafer also provided policy analysis and program development support to EPA’s Superfund during its reauthorization in the 1990s and to EPA’s Brownfields program. In her consulting work, Shafer was known for a keen, detail-oriented mind, sharp focus on critical issues, tireless work ethic and customer service. She served as a mentor, adviser and friend to dozens of staff, cultivating high standards of quality and service. While Shafer was a petite woman, she had a strong voice throughout her career. She had recently been awarded a Citation for Career Achievement by SRA International’s chairman and founder Ernst Volgenau.
Beyond work, Shafer lived a vibrant and charitable life. She enjoyed dancing, reading, the beach, traveling to St. Lucia and drinking a well-made cosmopolitan. Most of all, she loved her long-time partner, Art, with whom she shared a special fondness for the Eastern Shore.
Shafer was predeceased by her parents, Louis and Estelle Shafer, and her “niece,” Carolina. She is survived by her partner, Art Achilles of Bethany Beach; her brother, Sheldon Shafer of Clifton Park, N.Y.; and countless friends and professional colleagues.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Newton Marasco Foundation, the Justin Jennings Foundation, Delaware Hospice or Beebe’s Tunnell Cancer Center.