Family of Donnivan Schaeffer Finds Peace

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-The past couple weeks we’ve focused a lot of our coverage on Charles Rhines and his execution. However, now we want to focus on someone else: Donnivan Schaeffer. Ed and Peggy Schaeffer waited 27 years to see justice for their son’s murder. Now they just want to focus on remembering him. They shared memories of their son at the media briefing after Monday’s execution.

“We were so blessed to have this young man in our family and in our life,” said Peggy Schaeffer. 

Every day Peggy and Ed Schaeffer miss their son Donnivan who was taken from them too soon.

“The boy who loved his family, fiance and friends. The roller hockey champion, the state archery champion, the guy who drove that old red pick up,” said Peggy. 

His loved ones say he was an intelligent man set to graduate from Western Dakota Tech. Donnivan also had a fiance, Sheila Pond Jackson. They had been together since the 8th grade. 

“Donnivan loved to hunt and fish, spending time with his family and playing practical jokes on anybody and everybody, always willing to lend a helping hand, there for you when you needed him,” said Jackson. 

Although his life was cut short, loved ones say the 22-year-old touched so many people’s lives

“The guy who would give you the shirt off his back and go out of his way if he knew he might be able to help you out,” said Peggy. 

Donnivan would have been coming up on his 50th birthday.

“He also was worried about having arthritis when he was older and he never found out whether or not he had that,” said Jackson. 

Although he is gone, his family will hold on to these memories of him forever. 

“Remember him today. Talk about Donnivan. He is missed and he is loved and he will never be forgotten,” said Peggy. 

Donnivan’s family witnessed Rhines taking his last breath. They said it was a day filled with sadness and grief, but also a day of relief and justice. 

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