Richard Fredrick Schultz passed away on January 17, 2020 at the home of his daughter in Lake Stevens, Washington. His death was due to complications following a heart attack on January 1, 2020. A Memorial Service will be held on July 19, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Croxford Funeral Home, Great Falls, MT. Dad will be laid to rest with Military Honors, in Geraldine MT at 4 p.m. at the Geraldine Cemetery, 815 Prospect Ave. E. MT HWY 80. Friends and family are welcome to join this celebration to share their memories with the family.
Richard was born in Great Falls Montana on October 25th, 1930. He was the son of Marie and Emil Schultz. Richard was an avid athlete growing up in Dutton Montana. He was known as “Dead-eye Dick” when he played basketball. In 1948 the “Dutton Dinosaurs”, won the 8-man Football State Championship. In 1947 Dad held the state record for pole vaulting. He also played baseball and was recruited to pitch for the Chicago White Sox, the year he graduated from Dutton High School in 1949. Unfortunately, he was drafted into the Army in November of 1950 and unable to go to Chicago.
Dad decided to join the Navy on Dec. 6, 1950 and was honorably discharged on Sept. 24, 1954. He was a Veteran of the Korean war and served aboard the ship, USS Epping. He was very proud of having served our country. He was a lifelong member of the VFW and spent much of his time volunteering at the VFW post in Big River, CA.
On April 12, 1952, while home on leave from the Navy, Dad married his high school sweetheart, Betty Ella Schultz. They adopted 2 children, Richard F. Schultz Jr. and LaVonne Marie Whittaker. They lived the farming life in Dutton and later moved to Great Falls, MT. They divorced in 1965.
On Dec 1, 1969 Dad married Carla Jean Holien. They lived on Haskill Basin Road east of Whitefish, for the 11 years they were together. The farm is where they raised Jean’s three children, Ronda Thomen, Robin Thomen and Rena Cleland. They loved to dance, and Casey’s Bar was their place to go. They divorced June 20, 1980.
On July 17, 1982 Dad married Betty Lou Paterson. Dad and Betty were married for 37 years. Dad and Betty danced their way through life and into retirement, enjoying friends, fishing, growing his roses and loving their grandchildren.
On Oct 1, 1992, Dad retired from the Burlington Northern Railroad, after 47 years. He hired on as a brakeman and then became the conductor on Amtrak. In 1996 Dad and Betty moved permanently to Big River, CA to bask in the warm California sun. This was the place they truly loved and would stay until they died. They were lifetime members of the Moose, Eagles, Elks, American Legion and the VFW and leave behind many friends that they met along their journey.
Dad is remembered for imparting a strong sense of accountability and responsibility into his children. Although not always gentle in his ways, he came from a place of love and wanted only the very best for all of his children. He became gentle and softer in his later years, cracking us up with his sense of humor and willing to help anyone in need.
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