The Honorable Walter L. Schafer, Jr. best known as “Skip” by his family, friends and colleague served as chairman of the St. Petersburg College Foundation for two terms and many years as a board director. In 2007, he was presented with the St. Petersburg College Hall of Distinction Award. He also has served as president of Mease Health Care Foundation, treasurer of the Morton Plant Mease Foundation and vice chairman of the Pinellas Sheriff Civil Service Board, president of the Pinellas Executives Association and a member of the Pinellas County Estate Planning Council.
Judge Schafer practiced law in Pinellas County for more than 27 years as a board-certified tax attorney. He earned an associates degree at St. Petersburg College, an undergraduate degree at Florida State University, a juris doctorate degree from Capital University Law School in Columbus, OH, and a master’s in law degree in taxation from the University of Miami.
In 2012, the West Pasco Bar honored Judge Schafer with the Justice Award for his work on the bench in Pasco County at their annual Law Day luncheon. Judge Schafer was admitted to the Florida Bar in November 1977 and worked as a lawyer for nearly three decades, practicing primarily in tax law.
In 2005, former Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Mr. Schafer as a judge to the 6th Judicial Circuit, where he served Pinellas and Pasco counties for more than a decade. He presided over civil cases that covered a range of topics, from companies suing each other to people seeking damages in car accidents. He had specializations in the topics of tax, property and probate law.
“His love for his job and his zest for life were infectious qualities for those who worked with him” said fellow Circuit Judge Keith Meyer.
“He was a man that just held our profession in its highest regards,” Meyer said. “He loved being a judge, loved being an attorney, and he was just a good person and he had a good reputation.”