In Memory

Kim Schafer (Astroth)

Dr. Kim Schafer Astroth, 67, of Normal, passed away Monday (Sept. 4, 2023), at the University of Chicago.
She was born Nov. 10, 1955, in Kankakee, the daughter of Donald H. and Elsie Mae (Kempen) Schafer.
Kim graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She earned a master's degree in adult health nursing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in Nursing Science from St. Louis University. Kim completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral nursing research from the Indiana University School of Nursing.
Kim most recently taught nursing at Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) at Illinois State University where she was the graduate program director. In that role, she initiated the BSN to DNP and BSN to PhD doctoral programs. She also oversaw the development of the psych-mental health nurse practitioner post-master's certificate and the nursing leadership and management sequence in the doctor of nursing practice program. She was an experienced critical care nurse.
She was recognized for her research and had over 50 articles published in professional nursing and medical journals; and co-authored five textbooks. Kim presented at numerous professional conferences, nationally and internationally, including in Ireland, Australia, South Africa and Puerto Rico. She received several awards, among those are MCN's Nurse of the Year, Outstanding College Researcher, Nephrology Nursing Journal's Research Writing Award and the Illinois Board of Higher Education's Nurse Educator Fellowship Award.
Kim was dedicated to her profession and to MCN and worked tirelessly to improve nursing education and patient care delivery. She was highly respected and loved by her colleagues and students. She touched the lives of thousands through her nursing and her teaching.
She was a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and an active member of Kappa Delta Sorority. She enjoyed traveling and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.
Surviving are two sons, Luke Astroth (Morgan Quick), of Bourbonnais, and Seth Astroth, of Phoenix, Ariz.; one daughter, Erin Astroth, of Normal; three sisters and two brothers-in-law, Dianne and Terry Schaafsma, of Bourbonnais, Judy Schafer Torres, of Lindale, Texas, and Ann and Keith Jensen, of Clifton; three brothers and three sisters-in-law, David and Suzie Schafer, of Kankakee, Dennis and Barb Schafer, of Chebanse, and Dean and Elizabeth Schafer, of Chebanse; three grandchildren, Liam Astroth, Louis Belt and Cedric Belt; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceding her in death were her parents; and one sister, Dawn.
Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home in Bourbonnais. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at Saints Mary and Joseph Catholic Church in Chebanse. The Rev. Vern Arseneau will celebrate the Mass. Interment will follow in Saints Mary and Joseph Cemetery in Chebanse.
Memorials may be made to the Illinois State University Foundation Kim Schafer Astroth Graduate Student Support Fund.
Please sign her online guestbook at

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09/11/23 09:21 AM #1    

Scott Sweeney

It was so good to see Kim at our 50th. Like many of us, we met in 1st grade and went to CCD together at St. Mary&Joseph's in Chebanse. A life well lived with a passion for learning, teaching, and service. Kim came from a wonderful family. I can still picture her grandparents sitting with the Shafers in church on Sundays. 

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