Robert V. Shultz-A Tribute to His Life

Bobby with his father Ralph Shultz

Bobby with his father Ralph Shultz

Robert Vernon Shultz, 1925-2015 grew up in South Dakota but spent the majority of his life in Colorado where he moved in 1951. Prior to his move, he researched which state might have an ideal climate, business opportunities and beautiful landscape as well as a good place to raise his family. His oldest son Robby was born in Madison Wisconsin, but the subsequent 3: Lindy, Randy and Lisa were all born in Colorado.

Ralph, Jane and Bobby Shultz

Ralph, Jane and Bobby Shultz

Turtle Peak Ranch near Wessington Springs, South Dakota, where his son Randy currently ranches, is just four miles from his birthplace and where he grew up. His parents farmed before opening a hardware store during the depression in 1934. He grew up on Main Street, Wessington Springs. He spent summers with Aunts and Uncles on nearby farms. He was proud of his one room schoolhouse education for the first three grades. Like most people in rural 1930’s, he didn’t live in a house with electricity or running water until he was nine.

Bob Shultz in high school

Bob Shultz in high school

Growing up in South Dakota included working on threshing crews, general construction and a short stint as the drummer with Les Kutil and his Kings of Swing (originally Lane Ramblers), the beginning of a lifelong affair with Swing, Jazz, and Blues. “The Waltz You Saved For Me” was his theme.

And he liked Ford V-8s, Buck Jones, Aunt Grace’s baked beans, Ruskin Park, Winchester rifles, Colt six-shooters, Stetsen hats, Hieser and Fred Mueller saddles, Northern Plains Beaded Indian goods, beefsteak, rhubarb pie, and hunting jack rabbits. [Read more…]

Robert Vernon Shultz Obituary

Cowboy Bob9Robert Vernon Shultz, 1925-2015 grew up in South Dakota but spent the majority of his life in Colorado. He was proud of his one room schoolhouse education for the first three grades. He lived in a house without electricity or running water until he was nine years old. His parents, Jane and Ralph Shultz, gave up farming, moved to town and opened a hardware store in Wessington Springs.

After graduating from Wessington Springs High School, he volunteered for the Navy in 1943. He was assigned to the Battleship USS Missouri during World War II as a radio operator. The ship was the site of the Japanese Surrender Ceremonies ending the war in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945.

Bob married Norma Schwabauer in 1948, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1951 and then moved to Colorado. He started his insurance career with O’Rourke and Daniels in Denver and with his wife raised four children, Rob, Lindy, Randy and Lisa, in suburban Cherry Hills Village. He founded The High Country Corporation in 1955 and sold out in 1979. [Read more…]

The 70th Anniversary of VJ Day-The End Of World War 2

September 2, 1945
This was the day World War II ended in the Pacific. The Japanese surrendered aboard the USS Missouri, the battleship my dad Robert V. Shultz was on at the end of the war. View a video showing about the ceremony.

 

Here are my Dad’s words about that day:

It started out as a gray day, sort of cool. Ships everywhere and lots of small craft. Busy, busy. Plying to and from the ships. Battlewagons, Cruisers, Tin Cans, Supply ships, Service Craft were everywhere. Must have been the biggest assembly of ships ever. Lots of war planes too. Heavy patrolling. Everyone on board was in awe of the scene. We were in Tokyo Bay, at anchor, the first real port city since leaving Pearl Harbor in December while we were still on Condition Easy. All guns manned, but you knew it was over. The defeat was complete. It was hard to believe what we heard about the big bombs. [Read more…]

Who Are These People?

Shultz Family 1920

Shultz Family 1920

As I look at an old black and white photo taken about 1920, I see serious looking people who I know are my relatives, but they are all dead now. Only my dad who is almost 90 can identify them. He is mostly sure he got their names right, and I think to myself, does it matter?

Somehow I found myself the only one in the family willing to look through countless boxes of photos and old newspaper articles of someone’s wedding or death. I look at photos with stern faces that seem to reflect hardship beyond my comprehension. Their eyes are hard and it is hard to imagine them smiling or laughing. Did they have joy in their life or was it mostly survival?

Viola Cemetary, South Dakota

Bob Shultz at Viola Cemetary, South Dakota

I know where some of them are buried in a little country cemetery in rural South Dakota. I hope their souls have found rest and peace after burying children, surviving wars, depressions, dust bowls and untold hardships that today’s kids will never understand.

I return to the task of looking through the boxes and trying to figure out what to do with these relicts of the past. I write on the back of the photo the names: Grace, Viola, Milo, Ralph, Henry, Ellen, Mable, Minnie, Peter, Caroline and Lydia. Ralph was my grandfather and I never met him because he died before I was born.

Do I frame the picture of my ancestors? [Read more…]