On July 14, 2021, Chief William J. “Billy” Shaffer made the ultimate sacrifice while operating at a fire in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey. At the time of his death, Billy was recently reappointed as an assistant chief after completing his term as chief of the department. Chief Shaffer was a lifelong resident of Hillsborough, son of the late William and Lillian Shaffer.
He graduated from Hillsborough High School in 1987 and went on to obtain his first job at ShopRite Supermarket, where he worked for over 36 years. Billy was the manager of the non-foods department; he was well known and respected by store management and his coworkers.
On February 28, 2019, he, along with two other individuals, saved the life of a ShopRite employee and was recognized by Wakefern (parent company of ShopRite) and Hillsborough Township for his heroics. Billy was very dedicated to his work family and continued that by being a great employee and friend of many at ShopRite.
Chief Shaffer joined Hillsborough Volunteer Fire Company #2 in 1983 at age 16. From the very beginning, he gave countless hours to the community in a volunteer capacity. Billy was the top responder in the fire company for 34 of his 35 years of service. He served in every rank of the fire company and served as chief of the department for calendar years 2018 and 2019.
Chief Shaffer was named Firefighter of the Year twice during his career. He went to daycare centers and schools to teach children about fire prevention and attended local events to support the community youth athletic programs. Chief Shaffer was always looking to expand his knowledge and skills in firefighting/rescue, taking courses and attending drills on a wide range of topics. He faithfully and unconditionally served his community 24/7, 365 days a year. His knowledge and experience were second to none.
Chief Shaffer touched many lives through his involvement in the fire company. He did random acts of kindness every day, both at his job and as a firefighter. Billy was always professional, caring, and showed compassion to those affected by loss and adversity. He never put himself ahead of anyone else and never wanted to be the center of attention.
Billy is survived by his wife, Marian, the love of his life; they were joined in marriage on August 1, 2009. He is also survived by twin daughters, Rebecca of North Carolina and Stacey of Hillsborough; his son, Thomas, of Hillsborough; and his beloved dog, Molly.