American Patriotic 10

Donald A. Schulte

June 1, 1931 ~ February 14, 2024 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Donald Schulte Obituary

Dust to dust.

On Ash Wednesday February 14, 2024 Donald Alfred Schulte peacefully passed away at his home at Aspen Valley Senior Home, Washington, MO, in the presence of his loved ones, well cared for and loved.  He will be missed.

Don was born June 1, 1931, during the deepening grip of the Great Depression to Alfred Louis and Julitta Catherine (nee Hillermann) Schulte.  His parents’ first child, a daughter Marilyn, passed away from scarlet fever shortly before her brother was born.  His parents brought their healthy son to their new home at 610 East Third Street, Washington, MO.  From this home Don had his childhood illnesses, walked himself to church and grade school at St. Francis Borgia, hauled neighbors’ garbage cans to the dump in his red wagon, and rode his bike to his jobs delivering groceries and serving at Schroeder’s Drugs soda fountain. Like many boys of his generation, he collected scrap for the war effort.  Their meat and butter were awarded according to ration cards.  Life included a BB gun, and his sisters Marita, then Carol, and finally, brother Richard.  His grandfather Joseph Hillermann Sr.,. farmed the Hillermann home place, the other grandfather Frank Schulte, a day laborer.  His grandmother was a laundress.  His Uncle Billy was a local policeman.  His was a good and rich small-town life, remarkable only in its wholesomeness of a better time, now gone.  His father worked his way from a teller to the Vice President (and President intended) of Bank of Washington, until his tragic demise from an awful bus crash at Dead Man’s Curve.  Alfred was fifty-two; Don was only 24. 

Like many of his generation, Don enlisted in the war against communism in Korea and joined Uncle Sam’s Navy.  The freezing train ride from St. Louis’ Union Station to San Diego began travels that included steaming across the Pacific Ocean, docking at Pearl Harbor just a decade after the surprise attack, convertible rides around Oahu, sampan rides in Japan, the East China Sea, Subic Bay, Philippines, something to do with the Hong Kong shore patrol, a legend of 4000 cases of Ballentine ale and the recreational beach at Da Nang, French Indochina during the evacuation of collapsing North Vietnam.  The war effort was inconclusive; Korean hostilities, and communism, survive to this day. 

Once at home on leave, Don walked across the Dutzow field Joseph Borgerding was plowing (with mules) to ask for his daughter Betty’s hand in marriage.  He said yes and instructed him to “call me Joe.”

That led to the happy event on January 6, 1954 of their marriage at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Dutzow, MO, the scene of Borgerding family marriages and baptisms and funerals of several generations before and since.

Betty joined Don in San Diego for the remaining year of his Naval service before the pull of family drew them back from the enticing prospects of a new life in the Golden State.  They settled in an apartment in Washington and started their family.  Betty was pregnant with their first, Daniel Alfred, when Don’s father was killed.  Don suddenly became the patriarch of a family of his shocked and grieving widowed mother, two teenaged sisters and a twelve-year-old kid brother.  Soon, he was a father.  This he repeated eight times.

He was also starting his work life, first begun in the Navy, as a machinist and tool and die maker.  He labored in this field his entire career, attaining a high degree of skill and coaching countless young machinists. He retired as one of founders of Melton Machine.

Early in their marriage Don and Betty moved to St. Louis for the higher wage, settling first in a tree-lined neighborhood near Bevo Mill, then moving on to a suburban Affton subdivision.  Their children were baptized at St. Francis Borgia (Washington), Our Lady of Sorrows (South City), and finally Seven Holy Founders and Cure of Ars, (Affton). Their children were schooled at Seven Holy Founders, Affton High School, St. Vincent’s Dutzow, Washington High School, Mizzou, WashU, Northeast Missouri (now Truman), Central Missouri State, SLU Law, Boston University and Nepal. Their children created families of their own, bringing very special people into Don and Betty’s lives. Their homes are in Nixa, MO, Portland, Seattle, the suburbs of St. Louis, and a farmhouse in Dutzow.  Their grandchildren have gone even further afield, traveling and living abroad, trucking all across the country, lighting up Branson, nursing pets and rental properties, engineering beverage lines, grinding through medical school, more WashU, plus Roll Tide, Oregon Ducks and Magnolia Hill Montessori School in Seattle.  There are great grandchildren now, too.    

Don and Betty’s retirement was filled with the common joys of their household on Bluff Hill Acres, the home they built when they returned to the Washington area.  Their backyard was also the back of St. Vincent’s Parish.  Their children walked to the school where Betty attended.  Parishioners knew him from his strong opinions, joking manner and enthusiastic contribution to the hymns at Mass.  He served his turn on the Parish Council, the Cemetery Board, the Fry Shed and the Bluff Hill Road Committee.  He enlightened the authorities with his Letters to the Editor in the Missourian. Don and Betty wintered a number of years near the Rio Grande, and often visited their children in St. Louis, Colorado, New England, Montana, Oregon and Washington State.  They traveled, including a ‘Roots’ visit to Versmold, Germany and nearby cities and villages.  “Achtung!” was heard by many as Dad strode the railway platforms.

Betty’s health deteriorated early.  For a decade, Don assumed a new role, one for which he was perhaps not initially suited--the tender and constant attendant nurse and caregiver.  He was magnificent in his sweetness, devotion and faithfulness.  Never complaining, he provided all he could during the decade of her decline and suffering.  For five years Don was a widower, remaining at his Rabbit Trail condo with the help of Nedra and Rhonda, until his health failed.  One of the inaugural residents of Aspen Valley, he happily settled into the care and camaraderie extended by the staff and residents of this lovely home.  The quality and quantity of his life was well extended by the caregivers there, as well as by the hospice professionals and ministers.  He was superiorly attended by Dr. David Guss, formerly a St. Vincent’s schoolboy.   Still, even with such good care, in his ninety-third year, his body gave out, and Don died on Valentine’s Day, joining his beloved Betty.  This year, Valentine’s Day was also Ash Wednesday. “Remember man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  Remember also that you are the breath of God, and to God you shall return. 

 Donald Alfred Schulte’s legacy is with us.  May he now rest in peace.

Donald is survived by eight children, Dan Schulte of Nixa, MO; Mark Schulte (Diane Haase) of Dutzow; Leah Schulte of St. Charles; Jim Schulte and wife Hilary Wells of Seattle, WA; Mary (Schulte) Rudder and husband Mark of St. Louis; Julie (Schulte) Shipley and husband Ken of Portland, OR, Chris Schulte and wife Kerry of St. Charles; and Nathan Schulte and wife Marion of St. Louis; his beloved sister Marita Rose (nee Schulte) Garbs; his brother- and sister-in-law Larry and Pat Borgerding of Rolla; his sister-in-law, Kathy Borgerding of Casper, WY, and fourteen grandchildren: Justin, Lindsay (Zach), Chris, Joseph, Lily, Sam, Will, Jack, Ginger, Emma, Andy, Tom, Ava and Beckett; and five great-grandchildren: Dylon, Tucker, Weston, Maverick and Charlie; other relatives including many wonderful nieces and nephews and friends.  He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Betty, his parents and sisters Marilyn and Carol (Willming) and brother Richard.

Visitation will be on Friday, March 1, 2024 from 4 to 7 pm at Nieburg-Vitt Miller Funeral Home, 1206 Jefferson Street, Washington, MO 63090.  A funeral Mass will be held at 10 am on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 13497 S. State Hwy. 94, Dutzow, MO with interment to follow at the Church Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to St. Vincent de Paul Parish or Mercy Hospice.

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March 1, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Nieburg-Vitt, Miller Funeral Home
1206 Jefferson Street, P.O. Box 604
Washington, MO 63090

Mass of Christian Burial
March 2, 2024

10:00 AM
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
13495 Missouri 94
Dutzow, Missouri 63357


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