Martha Schafer

Martha Schafer, age 86, of Olivia, MN passed away on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at the Olivia Hospitalsurrounded by family. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, December 11 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church with Rev. George Schmit as celebrant. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be on Sunday, December 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.

Martha Marie Schafer was born on May 31, 1937 to Stanley and Irene (Goblish) Houdek on the family farm in Henryville Township, Renville County. She attended District #59 country school through eighth grade and graduated from Danube High School in 1955. Later in life, she furthered her education at Willmar Vo-Tech college, where she studied accounting. This led her to become a bookkeeper for various businesses, including the Trojan Seed Company, Olivia Feed Mill, RCCR, and Triad Construction. She also worked as a waitress at various local establishments. On October 2, 1971, Martha was united in marriage to Eugene Schafer and they made their home in OliviaTo this union, they each brought 4 children. They completed their blended family with a son and daughter, together. Martha enjoyed card playing, especially snozzle; and dancing the Waltz and Polka. She was a devout Catholic and faithful member of St. Aloysius Catholic Church, where she was very involved with the CCW. Her love of cooking and serving others didn’t end in the kitchen at church; her potato salad, often times, made by the gallons, was enjoyed by numerous community members. At large family gatherings, Martha was notorious for having a plate of ham sandwiches ready to serve, immediately following the main meal. Her strong work ethic was admirable, and she passed it down to her children teaching them “do things right the first time so you don’t have to do it again.” Martha was very proud of her family and enjoyed the time she spent with them. Following her stroke in 2010, Martha became fiercely independent; she lived her life with the mindset “if you do this for me, I will lose the ability to it for myself.” This led her to live with determination to complete all of her tasks, no matter how much her physical ability challenged her. Her strong will, generosity, and caring soul will be dearly missed.

Martha is survived by her children: Debb Balcer of Redwood Falls, Scott Balcer of Cedar Park, TX, Troy (Gayle) Balcer of Edina, Jason (Jennifer) Schafer of Crosby, and Vonnie (Kyle) Schaufler of Olivia; her 16 grandchildren: Kayla Balcer, Anthony Gerdes, Chris McCormick, John Balcer, Madeleine and MacAllister Balcer, Tyler Gettel, Corbin, Logan, Chloe, and Natalie Schafer, Katherine Schafer, Logan Egge, Gavin and Ava Hammerschmidt, and Weston Schaufler; her siblings: Margaret Meuhlberg, Marie Revier, Henry Houdek, Rita (Charlie) Healy, Diane (Dick) Haney, Dottie (Jim) Elfering, Rosemary (Michael) Woelfel, and Don Houdek; and many other relatives and friends. Martha is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Eugene; daughter, Mona Balcer; brother, Ed Houdek; sisters-in-law, Lorraine Houdek-Kohout and Mary Houdek; and brother-in-law, Ronald Revier.

Blessed Be Her Memory