Ride in Peace: Dennis Schaeffer, Harley-Davidson Dealer and community leader

ORWIGSBURG, PA – A memorial ride and Celebration of Life service are scheduled Sept. 15 for the Dennis Ray Schaeffer, founder of Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson, who died Sept. 6 at Sutter Health-Pacific Campus in San Francisco, CA. He was 71.

Schaeffer opened the Harley-Davidson dealership in 1967 with his parents, Carl “Pap” Schaeffer and Fern “Nana” Schaeffer. “In a 30×60 ft. one-story building off Route 61 in Orwigsburg, the three of them began selling, servicing and accessorizing Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” the dealership said on its website.

In 2014, Schaeffer and his family opened Schaeffer’s Motor Sports, a KTM and Can-Am dealership. Once this store opened, “Dennis could now share his love of riding with all ages. Whether you are 5 or 105, Dennis could offer you something to ride,” his obituary said.

As part of the dealership’s support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Schaeffer also would give afflicted children sidecar rides.

“Throughout his 50 years in business, Dennis was recognized by various organizations, including the Harley-Davidson Motor Co., The Better Business Bureau, The Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce, the Northeast Manufacturers and Employers Association, Winter Carnival Distinguished Citizen Award, Bombardier Recreational Products, The Boy Scouts of America and many others. Dennis was a founding member of the Schuylkill County Motorcycle Club [and] enjoyed demonstrating his riding skills in local parades with the Schuylkill County Motorcycle Drill Team,” his obituary noted. Schaeffer was named Citizen of the Year by the local Lions Club in 2006.

“He was also a charter member of the Deer Lake Harley Owners Group. Dennis enjoyed ice cream rides and singing ‘Blue Skies’ to his fellow riders. He was a charter lifetime member of the American Motorcyclist Association and he received the 2006 AMA Road Rider of the Year Award.”

Just last month Schaeffer was named Celebrity Tractor Pull Champion at the Schuylkill County Fair.

Schaeffer is survived by his wife, Carol A. Kimmel Schaeffer; his mother; two daughters and sons in law; and three grandchildren.

The Sept. 15 memorial ride will begin at 1 p.m. at Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson and proceed to the Schuylkill County Motorcycle Club for a 3 p.m. service. More information may be found on a memorial page on Facebook HERE.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Muscular Dystrophy Association, 1123 Brick Hill Rd., Orwigsburg PA 17961.