Robert J. Shafer, a former member of the Avon-by-the-Sea Board of Education, died on Jan. 17. He was 52 years old. 

Born and raised in Brick Township, Mr. Shafer raised his family with his wife of 26 years, Margaret. They raised two sons, Tyler and Ryan.  

Mr. Shafer served on the Avon-by-the-Sea Board of Education, including several terms as president. He graduated from St. Rose High School and Montclair State University, and went on to earn a masterdegree in school administration from Jersey City University. He worked as a teacher and later became the business administrator for the Spring Lake Heights School District. 

Mr. Shafer was appointed to the Spring Lake Heights police department for many years, rising to the rank of captain before retiring last year. He coached the Avon School Boys Soccer Team, as well as the Manasquan High School Freshman Boys Soccer Team. He was a soccer referee for the Monmouth Ocean Soccer Association and Monmouth County schools. 

In addition to his wife and children, Mr. Shafer is survived by his mother, Jean Shafer; father and stepmother Robert and Barbara Shafer Jr.; his brother, Matthew Shafer; sisters, Laura Carpenter-Shafer, Rebecca and Jose de Jesus, Stephanie and Doyle Marsh Hunsinger, and Amy and Gregg Learner. Also surviving are his in-laws Thomas and Florence Killeen, as well as the rest of the Killeen family, including Thomas and Debbie Killeen, Kelly and Dan Fox, Dennis Killeen, John and Bridget Killeen, Maureen and Greg Barrett, and Patricia and Gerry Tibbs. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews. 

His visitation was set for Jan. 20 at the Reilly Bonner Funeral Home in Belmar. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Spring Lake Heights Police Association at 555 Brighton Ave., Spring Lake Heights, N.J. 07762.