This is the obituary for Mrs. Valentine Shaffer who opened Shaffers' Nursery with her husband Joe in 1950, two to three years before I went there as a 5 and 6-year old. My dad stayed in touch with them via letters and Christmas cards until 1975 when he died in an auto accident.
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Valentine Shaffer, educator, dies at 86
In 1950, she co-founded Shaffers' Nursery and Kindergarten in Gulfport. It closed in 1983.
By CRAIG BASSE, Times Obituaries Editor
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 17, 2002
GULFPORT -- Valentine H. Shaffer, a co-founder of Shaffers' Nursery and Kindergarten, a Gulfport fixture for more than three decades, has died at 86.
Mrs. Shaffer, the nursery's cook, counselor and disciplinarian, died Friday (April 5, 2002) at Northside Hospital and Heart Institute after a brief illness.
She and her husband, Joe, began the school in their home in 1950, caring for children daily and weekly and boarding some. In the early 1960s, they added after-school care.
On Dec. 9, 1983, the school held its final class.
Last year, nearly 50 former students attended Shaffer Nostalgia Day at Scout Hall to celebrate the founding of the school more than a half-century earlier.
Born Valentine Hadjiry to Greek parents in Vladivostok, Siberia, Mrs. Shaffer studied in British public schools in Shanghai, China, and Istanbul, Turkey, and taught English in Athens, Greece.
She met her husband, an Oberlin College graduate, at Athens College, where he taught. After their marriage, they lived for 10 years in his hometown of Lima, Ohio.
Seeking a more Mediterranean-like climate, they decided on Florida and settled first in Tarpon Springs in 1945. They moved to St. Petersburg in 1948 and to Gulfport in 1950.
Her husband died in 1984. Survivors include four daughters, Joan V. Hammill, St. Petersburg, Pamela M. Lanning, Gulfport, Megan W. Lechlitner, Venice, Fla., and Wendy J. Pearson, West Palm Beach; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Gulfport Memorial Funeral Home, 5601 Gulfport Blvd.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Gulfport Public Library Foundation, 5501 28th Ave. S, Gulfport, FL 33707, or All Children's Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 3142, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-3142.
-- Information from Times files was used in this obituary.