John Henry Schafer



NORTHEAST HARBOR – John Henry Schafer (“Jack”) first arrived by sailboat in Northeast Harbor as a young lawyer on a summer sailing trip. His love of the island began that day and lasted almost 60 years. Jack died Jan. 19, 2017, at the age of 90, after a long and fulfilling life.

Born in 1926 in Montclair, N.J., Jack went to Williams College and to law school at the University of Virginia. He was a partner at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where he also took on many pro bono cases. He argued for abortion rights before the Supreme Court and against the death penalty in Alabama. He was active with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights.

In Northeast Harbor, he was locally famous for taking, and reading, the New York Times on picnics and for his endless work on his house, where he spent decades dapping and painting in a vain attempt to thwart the east wind. He also loved the game of golf and the Northeast Harbor Golf Club, where he was a longtime board member and served as the club’s president. He worked hard to preserve the club’s open space from development. He was a member of the Pot and Kettle.

Jack is survived by wife of 55 years, Edith Nalle Schafer; three children, Alison, John and Nancy Schafer, and five grandchildren. A memorial service will be held in early August.

Know when to pay your respects.