TOPEKA — Edna Shaffer kept her mind sharp.
Despite being 108 years old, the Topeka woman enjoyed playing cards, going on weekly outings with friends and continuing to cook some of her own meals, her son, Ed Shaffer, said Wednesday.
She also liked to take regular naps and have an occasional margarita or glass of wine, he said.
Edna Shaffer died early Monday at Topeka’s McCrite Plaza retirement community. She is thought to have been the oldest woman in Kansas.
Information from her obituary indicates Edna Shaffer was born September 1, 1909, at her parents’ home in Topeka. She spent all her life here except for a few years during World War II when her husband, Eugene “Gene” Shaffer, worked at a bomber plant in Bellevue, Neb.
Edna and Gene Shaffer, who met on a blind date, were married July 8, 1932, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Topeka. He died in 2002 after 69 years of marriage.
They were preceded in death by a son, Eugene Lee Shaffer, who died at age 12 of complications from surgery in 1951, according to a story of her life Edna Shaffer wrote when she was 97.
She indicated in that 17-paragraph autobiography that after Ed Shaffer was raised, she held part-time jobs at Hillmer’s Leather Store and Groll’s Gift and Party Corner, both in Topeka.
“I have so much to be thankful for,” she said in that document. “I always thank the Lord for all the blessings he gives me.”
Edna Shaffer’s faith and family kept her strong, she was quoted as saying in an article about her 102nd birthday, which was part of a 2011 McCrite Plaza publication. The article said she looked and acted 30 years younger than her age.
Edna Shaffer was a lifetime member -- and the oldest member ever -- of Topeka’s St. John’s Lutheran Church, according to her obituary.
Her daughter-in-law, Ed Shaffer’s wife, Carol Shaffer, said she’d never seen anyone who was as dedicated to her Lutheran faith as Edna Shaffer was.
Edna Shaffer was an independent, feisty and frugal woman whose personality was strongly influenced by having lived during the Great Depression, Carol Shaffer added.
“She pinched pennies her whole life,” she said.
In addition to Ed and Carol Shaffer, Edna Shaffer is survived by three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She will lie in state after 9 a.m. Friday at Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel, with the funeral service being held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery.