Dr. Joseph  Schaefer
Dr. Joseph Schaefer, an expert in severe thunderstorm meteorology and former director of the N.O.A.A. National Weather Service (N.W.S.) Storm Prediction Center (1995-2010) passed Thursday November 14, 2019 in Oklahoma City. He was 76.
Joseph was born to parents Margaret and John Schaefer, on October 23, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Family members preceding Schaefer in death include his parents and sister Margaret Schaefer.
Joseph is survived by the following: wife, Sharon, brother Christopher and sister in law Helen of Illinois, son Christopher and daughter in law Patty of Oklahoma, son Thomas and daughter in law Shanna of Florida and son John and daughter in law Shelly of Missouri. Beloved grandchildren include Ryan, Sayre, T.J, Brianna, Morgan and Lucas.
A Wisconsin thunder snow event in childhood inspired Joseph to study meteorology. He received his bachelor of science from St. Louis University and worked for the St. Louis weather bureau while earning his PhD in meteorology. In 1973 he moved to Norman, Oklahoma to work at the National Severe Storms laboratory as a research scientist. In 1976 he acquired the position of head of the research unit for severe storms forecast center in Kansas City, Missouri. He then became director of the Weather Training Center. In 1996, he returned to Norman, Oklahoma as director of the storm prediction center.
In 1998 he was elected president of the National Weather Association and in 2003 he received the presidential rank award for exceptional long term accomplishments.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday November 19, 2019 at Primrose Funeral Service, Norman, OK. Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday November 20, 2019 at Primrose Funeral Service Chapel. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery, Norman, OK
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or a personal charity of one's choice.
Arrangements entrusted to Primrose Funeral Service, Norman, OK. Sign the online guestbook at www.primrosefuneralservice.com
Published on November 16, 2019


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Showing 10 of 9 posts

George Frederick
Nov 18, 2019
Joe was a great guy and great meteorologist. Always thoroughly enjoyed his presentations and his friendship. condolences to his family and friends.
Tom Adang
Nov 17, 2019
What a huge loss for our weather community! We worked closely together in collaborative efforts between Air Force Weather and Storm Prediction Center as well as National Weather Association—Joe succeeded me as NWA President and did a great job promoting the value of operational meteorology. Others have noted his amazing humor and it was infectious. I will miss him as will the entire national weather community whom he impacted in such a profoundly positive manner.
Paul/Bev Kastner
Nov 17, 2019
We are very saddened by the news of Joe's passing. Our prayers are with the entire family.
Dan Berkowitz
Nov 17, 2019
I have known Joe for approximately 40 years. He was warm and always supportive of my own work both in Kansas City and in Norman. His humor was infectious and was guaranteed to get others to laugh.

My office has been notorious for stacks of papers on the desk top. Joe always had me beat by stacking papers on the floor as well as on top of his desk. However, he was always able to locate one quickly no matter where it was located. He was very modest about his own work, but his research was influential. Most importantly, he encouraged others (like me) in doing research that was applicable to operational meteorology. He will be sorely missed.
Richard Vogt
Nov 17, 2019
Joe was a valued friend and colleague as we worked together to implement new technology and facilities in the Norman weather community. I always enjoyed Joe's down-to-earth approach to challenges and his broad smiles and hearty laughs. A genuinely nice man to be around. He will be missed.
Bob Allen, Col (USAF Ret)
Nov 17, 2019
Condolences in Joe's passing. I treasure memories of both my personal and professional relation with Joe during my tenure at the Air Force Weather Agency.
Bernard L. Spittler
Nov 17, 2019
I worked with Joe in Central Region Headquarters. He frequently left a trail of coffee around the Headquarters. That's how you could find Joe. There are many stories about Joe as many of use remember him. I was sorry to hear of his lose.
Nov 16, 2019
Medium Dish Garden was purchased for the family of Dr. Joseph Schaefer.  Send flowers
Steve Byrd
Nov 16, 2019
Rest in peace, Joe, up there above those storm clouds. I will always remember Joe for his big smile, and the pleasure of visiting with him on trips to KC. One incident I remember best was passing y a class he was conducting at the Training Center on Hardesty he invited me in. Joe introduced me to the class, and made me feel like a VIP guest. This is a memory I will always keep. He was a good man, indeed!