Cover photo for John  Thomas  Schulz Jr.'s Obituary
John  Thomas  Schulz Jr. Profile Photo

John Thomas Schulz Jr.

December 3, 1931 — April 28, 2014

John Thomas Schulz Jr.

John Thomas Schulz, Jr. 
December 3, 1931 - April 28, 2014

Our Dad was the eldest son of John T Schulz and Bernice (Shell) Schulz. He was born in his parent’s home in Three Rivers, Texas in the early years of the Great Depression. The want and need that he saw around him in the 1930s would influence him for the rest of his life: he was committed to the security of those he loved and to sharing what he had with the poor. 

When Dad was five years old, his brother Hubert was born. Dad and Hubert shared a bond that endured all of their lives and Hubert was at Dad's side when he died, just as he had been there for Dad throughout their lives. 

Dad deeply loved his family; he was rooted in the land of South Texas; and had an unshakeable faith in God as a committed and active Roman Catholic. 

Dad's father’s family were involved in every aspect of farming and ranching in the Three Rivers area and Dad never lost his enthusiasm for outdoor activities on the ranch. He loved to fish and hunt doves; more than that, he loved managing the land: building fences, clearing brush, digging a stock tank. Dad DID things. And when we were kids, much of his time off work involved him and us on the ranch involved in a project. 

Dad's mother’s father was a railroad engineer. As a little boy, Dad spent many summer weeks with his grandmother and grandfather in Wichita Falls. He'd get there by overnight train from Three Rivers. He loved riding on trains and he loved steam locomotives. Later in life he was a model train enthusiast; he took all of his kids to the narrow gauge line in Silverton, Colorado; and he got a kick out of riding the subways in Boston. 

After going to public school through junior high, Dad went to high school at St. Edwards College in Austin. He played quarterback on the St. Edwards football team and for the rest of his life loved football: both pickup games with his kids and watching high school, college, and pro games. 

Dad spent his first college semester at St Edwards and then transferred to the University of Texas (his dad's alma mater). He later would tell his kids that once outside of the watchful eyes of the Christian Brothers of St. Edwards and in a fraternity at UT, he had a great time having fun, but his grades took a plunge! He knew he was likely to be drafted and so he joined the navy. He would later say that four years in the navy as an enlisted man gave him the maturity to tackle college again more seriously. He served as a radar operator on carrier based sub hunters in the pacific. 

On leave from the Navy, he went to a buffalo barbecue on the Hailey Ranch and saw a young lady getting out of the pool. He recalled her being just about the prettiest girl he'd ever seen. Later, she would tell us he was the most handsome young man she'd ever seen. She was Mary Deane Ormand of George West. They were married in St. George’s Catholic Church in George West a year later (October 10, 1953). Last October they celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary. 

They had a great honeymoon: traveling out to California, where Dad was stationed, Mom came down with hepatitis. She spent a month in the base hospital and when she got out, Dad went in. Dad credited his time in the hospital with giving him time to think about what he wanted to do with his life. His uncle Coe was a petroleum geologist and Dad decided then that that's what he wanted to be. 

Dad finished his naval time as a chief petty officer and he and Mom went to Austin where Dad got a degree in geology and Mom worked in the office of the Secretary of State. They loved Austin and would recall that time to their kids with great fondness. 

After graduation, Dad started his professional life with Ohio Oil Co. in San Antonio where John (1957) and Jeff (1958) were born. In 1959 he transferred to Tenneco in Corpus Christi. Sharon (1960), Robert (1964) and Paul (1967) were all born in Spohn Hospital. 

Dad had a talent for subsurface geology in the years before modern computing brought powerful technical tools to the trade. Confident in his ability to find oil and gas and really wanting to be his own boss, he took a big risk and left Tenneco in 1968. He succeeded as an independent geologist and was still generating prospects up to a couple of years ago. Dad loved his work: the creativity, the risk, and the reward. He was respected in his field and served as the president of the South Tx Geological Society and the president of the Oil Industries Log Library.

Dad and Mom moved their family to Portland in 1966 where they became parishioners at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Catholic Church. The Church and his fellow Catholics were one of Dad's cornerstones in life as they had been his father’s before him; and Dad remained an active parishioner until infirmity made that impossible. 

Dad's time in the navy gave him a love for the water and he bought his first boat while still living in Corpus. His children grew up fishing, sailing, and water skiing with him. 

Dad loved Mom and his children without limits. He became an avid fan of whatever interested us as kids and a wise touchstone for us as we grew up and faced some of the same challenges which he had already met. He was generous, and kind, and forgiving: a prayerful man who loved his God and looked to the New Testament to guide him in his dealings with others.

Dad gave us so much and we love him so much. His life near the end was marked by pain and he had prayed consistently that The Lord take him: he had had a good life and he was ready to take the next step. We are so sad that he has moved on; but we are grateful that God answered his prayers and took him rapidly and without apparent pain. We look forward to joining him when it is our time to go. 

Dad was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his dearly loved wife, Mary Deane, his brother, William Hubert, his five children:  John III (Ed), Jeffrey, Sharon (Steve) Ellis, Robert (Kathy), and Paul (Terri), and thirteen grandchildren: Sarah (Luke) Jechow, John (Allison) Ellis, Sydney Marie Schulz, David Anthony Schulz, Mary Claire Ellis, Caroline Ming Sullivan, Caroline Ashley Ellis, Madison Elizabeth Schulz, Matthew Joseph Schulz, Megan Marie Schulz, Jenna Kathleen Schulz, Cole Patrick Schulz, and Natalie Lauren Schulz. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Retired Diocesan Priests Fund, P.O.Box 2620, Corpus Christi, TX 78403 or The Corpus Christi Hope House, 658 Robinson St., Corpus Christi, TX 78404.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 2, 2014 at Limbaugh Funeral Home with the rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. that same evening. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Portland. Interment to follow at Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi. Arrangements entrusted to Limbaugh Funeral Home, 500 Wildcat Dr., Portland, Texas (361)643-6564


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Past Services


Friday, May 2, 2014

5:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)

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Recitation of the Rosary

Friday, May 2, 2014

Starts at 7:00pm (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Starts at 10:30am (Central time)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church

Portland, TX

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