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1963 Dr. Keith 2021

Dr. Keith Shaffer

January 12, 1963 — August 7, 2021

Dr. James Keith Shaffer passed away on August 7, 2021 at the age of 58. He was born on January 12, 1963 in Clarksdale, MS. Attending Clarksdale Baptist School until ninth grade, Dr. Shaffer transferred and graduated from Clarksdale High School in 1985.  Dr. Shaffer attended Delta State University where he earned all four of his degrees: Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis in Math (1989); Masters of Education (1989); Educational Specialist (1993); Doctorate of Education (1996).

During his 27 years of educational service, Dr. Shaffer began his teaching career as an instructor of Geometry and Speech. Dr. Shaffer served as an Assistant Principal at Clarksdale High School and a principal at Oakhurst Junior High School until he was elected as the Superintendent of Coahoma County Schools. After he had worked as the Personnel Director of the South Panola School District for two years, he was promoted to the Superintendent of the South Panola School District. There he served until his retirement in December 2012.

At the time of his death, Dr. Shaffer was employed at Cognia, formerly known as AdvancEd, an education accreditation company.   As an involved educator, Dr. Shaffer was a member of several educational associations including the Mississippi Association of Educators, Mississippi Professional Educators, Mississippi Reading Association, International Reading Association, and the Association of Curriculum Development.

Serving as a deacon, choir member, and on various committees, Keith was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Batesville.  He additionally served as a deacon, choir member, and at one time as an Interim Music Minister in Clarksdale Baptist Church. As a dedicated believer in Christ, he also participated in Emmaus Walks. He was involved in several civic organizations including Rotary Club of Batesville and of Clarksdale, and Rotary Club International where he served as a Group Study Exchange Representative to Melbourne, Australia in 2000. While in Clarksdale, he participated with the Clarksdale Community Theater.

Dr. Shaffer is survived by his wife Sarah Dale (Ball) Shaffer, JD, of nearly 12 years and his two children Ryan Alford Shaffer, 10, and Olivia Kate Shaffer, 6.  He also leaves one brother Allen Lee Shaffer and two sisters – Deborah “Sissy” Shaffer Carr (Larry) and Susan Shaffer Trimm (Dewey), all of Clarksdale. He is also survived by his in-laws Dr. David A. Ball (Patricia Odom) of Batesville, MS and his brothers- and sisters-in-law Dr. and Mrs. David W. Ball (Sara Elizabeth) of Tyler, TX and Dr. Patrick A. Ball (Kim) of Olive Branch, MS. He also leaves many nieces, nephews, loving family and friends.

Keith is preceded in death by his parents Tom Allen and Sarah Nell (Bennett) Shaffer and his nephew Allen Lee Shaffer II of Clarksdale, MS.

Funeral services will be 4:00 P.M. Wednesday afternoon, August 11, 2021, at the First Baptist Church in Batesville, MS with the interment to follow at Magnolia Cemetery in Batesville, MS. The family will be receiving friends Tuesday evening August 10, 2021, from 5:00 - 8:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church and also one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.

Due to the recent increase in Covid cases, the family ask that mask be worn to the visitation and service.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Dr. Keith Shaffer are requested to contribute to his children’s education fund at the First Security Bank Trust Department.  Checks can be made payable to the Dr. Shaffer Family Education Fund and mailed to First Security Bank Trust Dept., P.O. Box 1690, Batesville, MS 38606, or dropped off at any First Security Bank branch.



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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Starts at 5:00 pm (Central time)

Magnolia Cemetery

U.S. 51, Batesville, MS

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