Former Dean Dr. Lowell Shaffer Dies at 86


posted April 26, 2018

Pitt-Johnstown’s former Dean of Student Life, Dr. Lowell Shaffer, passed away on April 23, 2018. He was 86 years old.

Mr. Shaffer, of Davidsville, PA, received his bachelor’s degree and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and his master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon.

He was Dean of Student Life at Pitt-Johnstown for 30 years.

Dr. Lowell D. Shaffer came to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1968, when he accepted a position as an adjunct instructor in history and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.  In 1970, he was named to the position of Dean of Student Life and served in that capacity until 1994, when he was named Vice President for Student Affairs. 

Before joining the Johnstown campus, Dr. Shaffer was a history teacher and principal at Conemaugh Township High School, Ebensburg, Pa. 

During his tenure at UPJ, Dr. Shaffer received several awards, including the Delta Sigma Chi Roy D. Johns Award and the Advocate student newspaper's Ear-to-the-Ground Award.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for the Lowell D. Shaffer Student-Athlete Award. Mail gift to University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown, PA 15904; or, make a gift online:

Please note your gift as a memorial gift and provide contact information for a family member or friend to be notified of your contribution (if desired).

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; and brothers, Gerald and Clair Shaffer. Survived by daughters, Leslie Yoder married to Wendell; Gretchen Klein married to Steven: grandchildren, Carrie Taylor; Zachary Atwell; Joshua Klein; Hannah Yoder; and great grandson, Jackson Atwell. Lowell served in the Army and was a Korean War veteran.

A memorial service will be held Saturday May 26 at 11 a.m. at Saint David’s Lutheran Church, 401 N Main St, Davidsville, PA 15928.

Arrangements in care of Hindman Funeral Homes & Crematory, Inc. Condolences may be made at