Stephen Roger Shaffer, M.D.

Published 11:06 pm Monday, August 19, 2019

Tryon, NC–On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, Stephen Roger Shaffer, M.D., loving husband, father, and grandfather passed away at age 81.

Stephen “Step” Shaffer was born on October 1, 1937 in Tryon, North Carolina to Roger and Jane (Harwood) Shaffer.

He is survived by his wife of 13 years Cynthia (Bowles) Shaffer. Together they have lived in Charlotte, NC; Bloomington, IL; Longboat Key, FL; and ended up in Atlanta, GA where he spent his last year of life.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Stephen Shaffer was raised in the North Carolina mountains and graduated from Christ School in 1955. He attended Duke University in Durham, where he was a brother of Alpha Tau Omega; and then went on to receive an M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on June 3, 1963.

After completing his residency and hand surgery fellowship at Dartmouth College, Newington Children’s Hospital, and Hartford Hospitals; he served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy during the Vietnam War on the Orthopedic Teaching Staff and as Chief of the Hand Surgery Service at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Shaffer practiced Orthopedic and Hand surgery in Northern Virginia for 20 years and was requested and served as a consulting hand surgeon at St. Luke’s Hospital in Columbus, NC for several years in the mid-1970s.

He returned home to North Carolina and established the Southeastern Orthopedic Evaluation Centers in November of 1993.

Step was honored to serve as: Diplomate – American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Fellow – American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, Lifetime Member – American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Member – Riordan Hand Society, Emeritus Member & Previously Fellow – American College of Surgeons, Member – Philadelphia Hand Group, Member – Washington Orthopedic Club, Member – Alexandria & Virginia Medical Societies, Founding Secretary & President – Metropolitan Washington DC Society for Surgery of the Hand.

He had a passion for medicine, music, the history of the United States and anything UNC – Chapel Hill. His love of stories and adventures could keep an audience captive for hours. Step loved hiking, reading, boating, and photography. He was an avid skier, living in Beaver Creek, CO for 10 years and volunteering as a mountain host from 1999 until 2006. He also was a music lover and played the organ and piano his entire life. Step was known for his kindness to strangers and his interest in representing those less fortunate. In this regard, he served and was proud of his work as a guardian ad litem in North Carolina.

Step was preceded in death by his father, Roger; mother, Jane; and son, Andrew. He is survived by his wife Cynthia; his two children, Roger (Kristen) and Elizabeth (Eric); his brother Scott (Lee) and their children Laura and Jane; his three grandchildren, Andrew, Sophia, and Asher; and his three step-children, Ben, Natalie, and Annie.

His funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, where Step served as an acolyte, 150 Melrose Ave, Tryon, NC 28782 with Father Robert Ard officiating. 

Burial will be at Polk Memorial Gardens in Columbus, NC with military honors conducted by the Polk County Veterans Memorial Honor Guard.

A reception will follow at 5:00 p.m. at Pine Crest Inn in Tryon, NC to celebrate Step’s life.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in his honor to the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, 123 W. Franklin Street, Suite 510, Chapel Hill, NC 27518 –

An online guest register is available at

McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory

Tryon, North Carolina