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Robert B. Shaffer, former Sears executive, dies

Robert Shaffer oversaw the operation of 81 stores in Sears' Southern Division.
Robert Shaffer oversaw the operation of 81 stores in Sears' Southern Division. (Handout / HANDOUT)

Robert B. Shaffer, who rose from being a stock boy to become a Sears regional manager, died April 11 at Gilchrist Center Towson from colon cancer. He was 84.

Robert Bruce Shaffer was born in Baltimore and raised in Govans, the son of Harry Philip Shaffer Sr., and his wife, Francis Carroll Shaffer.

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He was a 1953 graduate of City College, where he was a track and cross-country star, and entered the University of Maryland, College Park, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1957 in business.

After serving in an Army postal unit in France for two years, he entered a Sears, Roebuck and Co. training program in 1959, beginning as a stock boy.

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He moved through the company in multiple managerial positions until finally being named regional manager of the company’s Southern Division, overseeing the operation of 81 stores.

In 1985, in recognition of his work, he was presented the Chairman’s Challenge Cup for operating the highest-performing Sears store in the country.

That same year, his Alexandria, Va., store set a sales record in the U.S. for ringing up more than a million dollars in sales on Super Saturday.

The former longtime Towson resident who moved to Haymarket, Va., in 2017, enjoyed playing golf and was an Orioles and Ravens fan.

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Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Mitchell Wiedefeld Funeral Home, Overbrook and York roads, Rodgers Forge.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, the former Nancy Virginia Darnaby; two sons, Robert Gregory Shaffer of Rodgers Forge and Robert Glen Shaffer of Haymarket, Va.; two daughters, Lisa Carroll Spurrier of Luitherville and Laura Virginia Rubino of Rehoboth Beach, Del.; a brother, harry P. Shaffer Jr. of Towson; and nine grandchildren.

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