Gertrude Goldie “Tudie” McKinney Shaffer

Gertrude Goldie “Tudie” McKinney Shaffer, 99, of School Street in Grafton, lately of the Bridgeport Health Care Center, died Friday, June 19, 2020 of natural causes.

Tudie was born at the McKinney homestead on Rt. 310, near the former town of Hammond, Marion County, WV on September 18, 1920. She was the daughter of the late Dennis Luther and Rebecca Ida Henderson McKinney.

She was the last surviving member of her immediate family.  She attended Marion County Schools at Glady Creek, Valley Falls, and East Fairmont High School.

Mrs. Shaffer was employed as a clerk at the Grafton Ben Franklin Store and as manager of the Grafton Health Mart. Following retirement, she enjoyed doing food demonstrations for the Supermarket Selling Service of Pittsburgh and was beloved by many members of the community as the “demo lady” at Greene’s Plaza Foodland.

She was a member of The Church of the Good Shepherd, United Methodist in Grafton where she served over the years as a member of the Board of Trustees, Administrative Council, and Membership & Nurture Committee. She was instrumental in establishing the Nu2U Shop and was the founding chair of the Crisis Committee. She was a member of the United Methodist Women, Circle #4 for over 50 years.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Ralph Vincent Shaffer on Nov. 8, 1988. Also preceding her in death were four brothers, Forrest French McKinney, Robert Haymond McKinney, John Ledrue McKinney, and James Dennis McKinney; and four sisters, Roxanna McKinney Sayre, Agnes McKinney Nuzum, Marjory McKinney Henderson, and Iva Jane McKinney Hostutler, along with the spouse of each sibling. She was also preceded in death by an infant brother.

She is survived by her niece Marjory Henderson Ballard, whom she loved and raised as a daughter, and husband Jim of Grafton. She is also survived by a son, Gary Ralph Shaffer and wife Kathy of Huntington, and daughter, Winifred Shaffer Proudfoot and husband Chuck of Grafton. She is further survived by four grandchildren, Andrew Shaffer of Huntington, Kristin Shaffer of Hurricane, Chad N. Proudfoot of Grafton, Amy Shaffer Rumbaugh and husband Chris of Mooresville, NC. Also surviving are three great- grandchildren, William Shaffer and mother Kristye Shaffer, Connor Rumbaugh, and Quinn Rumbaugh; as well as one sister-in-law, Hallie Mae Shaffer Williams, of Quiet Dell, Marion County. She is also survived by special friends that she considered family, Kathy Green and Christine Schulz, along with many loving nieces, nephews, extended family, and countless friends who loved her dearly. In 1993, she was chosen by the Church of the Good Shepherd as “Mother of the Year” and also selected for the same honor by the International Mother’s Day Shrine in 2013.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Shaffer were members of the Greatest Generation. While Ralph served in World War II, Tudie served at home, working on the family farm and helping to raise many of the McKinney grandchildren. After the war, Ralph and Tudie moved to Grafton where they enjoyed participating in church and community events. Both were loyal Democrats. Tudie was an avid WVU football fan.

Tudie was a wonderful cook and baker. She enjoyed sharing the products of her talents with others. Many people will remember receiving her delicious apple dumplings and blackberry cobblers.  She loved life, and could always be counted on for her energy, feistiness, sense of humor, and constant ability to have a good time – always lighting up a room whenever she was present.

For the past three years, Tudie received wonderful care from the staff of the Bridgeport Health Care Center who treated her like family.  These women and men helped to make her final years special, full of joy, and loving interaction with everyone.  The Shaffer family is eternally grateful to these amazing healthcare workers, as well as to her long-time physician Dr. James Malone.

Friends will be received from 9:00–11:00 a.m., on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at the Donald G. Ford Funeral Home, 950 George Washington Highway, Grafton. Services will follow at 11:00 a.m., that day at the funeral home, with Rev. Matthew Dotson officiating.

Due to the current pandemic, all visitors are asked to please wear a mask, and to follow recommended social distancing guidelines. 

Burial will take place at Woodsdale Memorial Park in Grafton immediately following the funeral service.

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