Crossed the Bar

It is with sadness that I report the Peter Joseph Schuffels Chief Engineer Officer with the Military Sealift Command crossed the bar on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 in Knotts Island, North Carolina USA aged 74. Pete will be remembered by we older ones for his time as an exchange officer with the RFA in the early 1990. My thanks to Mel Watmough and Rex Cooper for the heads up

On behalf of the RFA Association I offer our sincere condolences to his wife Zenaida and all his family.


Peter Joseph Schuffels, the third child of Henry Conrad Schuffels and Catherine Duffy, was born on May 18, 1943, and entered eternal rest on October 23, 2018.

Peter grew up in Lancaster, Massachusetts. He went to school at Lancaster Elementary and Lancaster High School. He and his family attended Immaculate Conception Catholic Church where he received his sacraments. Peter served four years in the United States Army as Tank Crewman and was stationed in Germany. He had a long and distinguished career at sea with the Military Sealift Command, from March 1979 to March 2005. He retired from MSC as a Chief Engineer.

Peter’s long and memorable career as a merchant seaman started at Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship, where he met his wife of 43 years, Zenaida. He worked through the ranks as an engineer for MSC. He served as Exchange Officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, where he and Zenaida spent two years in England. Upon returning from England, he served as Port Engineer for MSC in Norfolk, Virginia. From 2005 to 2011 he was employed by American Systems as Deputy PM-Mariners Affairs. He switched gears again in 2011, serving as the government fleet representative for the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA), until his retirement in 2013.

In retirement, Peter and Zenaida resided in Knotts Island, North Carolina. They were parishioners of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church and were very much involved in several church ministries. As a career in retirement, he worked at St. John the Apostle Catholic School cafeteria, as we good-humoredly call him as the “Lunch Lady.” He enjoyed this position very much, most especially, interacting with the school children. Peter could not help but be involved with his community. Being an avid motorcycle rider, he was a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. He also had a keen interest in history, especially combat warfare and historical campaigns which led him to become a docent at the Military Aviation Museum where he assisted in coordinating the military displays at the “Warbirds Over the Beach” air shows.

Peter, Uncle Peter, Pete, Chief, ChEng, Mr. Pete was loved and will be missed.To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Peter Schuffels, please visit our Tribute Store.