Alfred “Fritz” David Schulz, Sr., joined his loved ones with the Lord in heaven on Friday, November 18, 2016 at Cloverleaf Terrace in Birnamwood under the care of his family. He was 85 years old.
He was born September 20, 1931 in Phlox, son of the late Alfred Frederick and Martha (Magewske) Schulz. He married Patricia Marie Powell on December 12, 1952 in front of the Justice of the Peace in Rhinelander. The marriage was later blessed in the Catholic Church.
Mr. Schulz attended Red River Grade School and Peace Lutheran School, where he was confirmed. While riding the bus to school, he met Patricia. He went on to attend Concordia High School and College in Milwaukee.
Though he started Phlox Radio and Television in 1953, he primarily came home from Concordia College to help his father in the family business, A.F. Schulz Creamery, Inc. which was founded in 1911. He also operated Schulz Dairy in Antigo, Merrill, Rothschild, and Rhinelander.
Fritz excelled at making cheese, and he had won several awards at the State Fair. He particularly enjoyed working with the farmers who sold their milk to him. Perhaps best known as a champion of small farmers, in 1968 he formed a bulk tank sales and service business to assist the local farmers. He even elected to close his business rather than have his farmers wait for their money when the bank refused to honor his checks despite having sufficient money in the bank to pay them. He was unwilling to allow the farmers to wait several weeks for the Department of Agriculture to distribute their hard-earned money.
While operating the creamery, Fritz also created Schulz Trucking in 1964 to ship milk and cheese nationwide. He worked with Antigo Refrigeration and Heating, which is now owned by his son Terry, doing business as Schulz Heating. Fritz also owned and operated Pine Hills Country Club in Gresham for 11 years, and he owned and operated Schulz Nursery until present.
From her experience in the businesses, his daughter began D. Eckerman Tax Services. His other three sons own multiple entrepreneurial activities based on the vision handed down by their father.
Fritz was dedicated to the community, serving as the Chairman of the Town of Hutchins Town Board, member of Town of Norwood Town Board, member of the Langlade County Board, serving as chairman for several years, and was a member of the Antigo Unified School District Board of Education serving as president for 9 years.
Mr. Schulz was a past member of St. John Lutheran Church in Mattoon, where he served as a trustee. He was currently a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Antigo, where he had sang in the Choir and was a member of the Men’s Committee.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Darlene (Steve) Eckerman of Antigo; five sons, Terrance (Linda) of Antigo, James (Patricia) of Antigo, Karl (Jil) of Antigo, Tim (Julie) of Colfax, Alfred D. Jr. “Fritzy”, (Angela) of New York, NY; 19 grandchildren, Stephanie (Luke) Piwoni, Patricia (Marlo) Ambas, Steven, Jr. (Brenda) Eckerman, Christopher Eckerman, and Nicholas (special friend Audrey), Jessica, Alex, Nathan, Josiah, Sarah, Hannah, Karleemae, Eden, Jenna, Justin, Leslie, Jonathan, Sofie, and Alfred D. III “Trey” Schulz; eight great grandchildren; a sister, Elizabeth Geidel of West Bend; a sister-in-law, Sophia Schulz; and many nieces and nephews.
Fritz was preceded in death by a grandson, Jeremiah Frederick Eckerman; two brothers, Reverend Aaron Schulz and Daniel Schulz; three sisters, Mildred Clauss, Victoria Hammell and Melinda Kern; and four brothers-in-law, Clarence Clauss, Mark Kern, Clayton Hammell, Raymond Geidel.
Visitation will be held on Monday from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Strasser-Roller Funeral Home with a prayer service at 7:30 PM officiated by Reverend Dean Bertsch. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 11:00 AM at Peace Lutheran Church with visitation at the church Tuesday from 10:00 AM until the service. Reverend David Karolus will officiate.
Interment will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Phlox.
In lieu of flowers, the family will direct gifts toward scholarships in memory of Alfred D. Schulz, Sr.