Edmund William Schulze
October 4, 1937 – October 12, 2020
Edmund W. Schulze, 83, of Palm Bay, FL passed peacefully early Monday, October 12th, 2020, after a long fight with heart disease.
He was born in New York City, on October 4th, 1937. As a teen he moved to Watertown, CT and attended Warren F. Kaynor Technical School where he learned tool and die skills. He served in the United States Air Force from 1959 to 1963 as an aircraft and missile technician stationed predominantly at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. Following his service to the nation, he worked as a tool maker/machinist with a number of manufacturing firms in the Waterbury, CT area. While working full time, he attained an Associates degree of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from the Waterbury State Technical College. He had a very successful career serving as Foreman, Chief Tool Engineer, Plant Foreman, Engineering Manager, and Divisional Liaison Engineer. A member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, including serving as President of the Connecticut chapter, he was a mentor to many rising manufacturing engineers.
Edmund also served the Boy Scouts of America as Assistant Scout Master and then Scout Master of Troop 450, Watertown, CT from 1975 to 1986. He enjoyed touring the country in his RV seeing most of the nation’s National Parks, Monuments and Memorials and spending time at his campsite in Otis, MA (Klondike Campgrounds). He was a dedicated member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Waterbury Lodge No. 265, serving in many roles and offices, eventually attaining the position of Exalted Ruler.
He was a loving father, supporting his sons in all of their endeavors. He was a generous and supporting son and brother. He knew how to be a good friend and made friends for life. He was a mentor before we called people “mentors”.
He is survived by his brothers, Thomas Schulze of Wolcott, CT; Robert Schulze of Quarryville PA; his sons Steven Schulze of Leesburg, VA and Douglas Schulze of Boise, ID; his grandsons, Tyler, Trevor and Hunter; and his great granddaughter Scarlett, all of northern Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests you consider a donation in his honor to the American Heart Association or Disabled American Veterans.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 pm on 18 October and Services will be held at 10 am on 19 October. Fountainhead Memorial Park & Funeral Home, 7303 Babcock St SE, Palm Bay, FL 32909; 321-727-3977.
Good afternoon, I’m Steve Schulze, Edmund Schulze’s eldest son. My brother Douglas and I thank you for coming today to honor our father, especially considering the health risks associated with the pandemic. Thank you for wearing face masks, and for understanding while I remove mine to give my eulogy.
My father was born in 1937, in New York City. While I don’t have all the details, my father and uncle Tom spent much of their childhoods in boarding schools, you know wearing military uniforms. They were essentially on their own a lot, and my father had to take care of himself, but more importantly, he had to look after his younger brother. It was in these formative years that he developed his character traits, and one of the most significant was “responsibility”. Responsibility for himself, his future, his brother. He and his brothers moved with my grandmother to Watertown, Connecticut. And when he was in high school developing his tool and die skills in a special 5-year program at Kaynor Tech, my grandmother decided to move to Pennsylvania. He decided to stay in Connecticut, rent an apartment, go to school, and work in the factory at night. He was taking responsibility for himself and his future. And as I grew up, he expected the same of me. If I was going out with friends he’d say, “be responsible Steven”, “I will”. But what was he saying really? He was saying - think for yourself, don’t take unnecessary risks, and you will have to live with the consequences of your decisions and your actions. For me, he was an easy man to understand. He provided opportunities, he set boundaries, if I demonstrated responsibility and operated within the boundaries, I was given more opportunities and the boundaries expanded. This was most evident with his cars and motorcycles. I went from VW camper to Formula 400 Firebird, From Honda CB 200 that I couldn’t take out of the yard to a Honda 550, and then to my own motorcycle. I attended FIT, here in Melbourne. My father and Anita drove me down. I was 17. After we unpacked my things, we left Grissom Hall to take a picture of us on a wooden bridge that led from the dorms to the quad. As we stood there and Anita took our picture he said “You F this up and you’re done”. And I knew he meant it. And these lessons served me well in my career with the Navy. As I demonstrated responsibility and accountability, more was given to me, more opportunities for advancement, my boundaries expanded. These traits, taught to me and engrained in my character enabled me to reach the highest levels of civil service.
I’d like to share another story with you, this one much lighter. Like most kids I thought I was smarter, or maybe “sneakier” than my father. That if I planned my escapade carefully, I would get away with it. When my father was Assistant Scout Master with Troop 450 and I was 15 years old, the Troop planned a 65-mile, 3-day canoe trip down the Delaware River. My long-time childhood friend and neighbor Scott and I teamed up to canoe together. This was going to be fun, and to make sure it was going to be fun we acquired a six-pack of Budweiser, cans of course. Now I know what you’re thinking, you were only 15 years old, but hey, the drinking age was 18 back then. I stowed the Bud in my backpack and the Troop set off for Port Jervis, NY. When we arrived, Scott and I picked out a canoe, brought it to the river, lashed in our back packs and we were ready to go. The plan was simple, with two options. Scott and I were older and physically bigger than most of the other scouts (not that we were much more than 120 pounds at the time). Option 1: canoe downstream, far enough ahead of the rest of the troop to be out of sight, crack open a Bud, and enjoy the river while the troop caught up to us, by which time we would have finished our beers and discarded the empties. Option 2: Lag behind the Troop, and when they got far enough ahead of us “pop” the Buds, enjoy the river, discard the cans and catch up to the others. A sound plan if I do say so myself. As we stood by our canoe, my father approached with a large cooler packed with food and beverages. “What’s this” I asked. “You and Scott are bigger than the other kids, you’re going to take this in your canoe”. He plopped the cooler in the canoe amidships and walked away. I looked at Scott, “Well this got a little more difficult”. But it didn’t change the plan, we still had a sound plan. As all the scouts got the canoes in the water and we were about to cast off, here comes dad. “Hey what’s up?” I asked. “Oh, I’m going to go with you, I’ll sit on the cooler”. I think my jaw dropped to the ground, there goes those plans! But we have two nights of camping, maybe, just maybe we can slip away and have a beer then. Nope, every time it looked like we had an opportunity, he’d be looking for me, “Steven …. Scott …I need you to….” Well needless to say the Budweiser made a round trip to the Delaware River and back to Connecticut. He never challenged me, but I think he suspected that Scott and I were up to something, and he just wasn’t going to be out smarted. Edmund, Ed, Eddy, dad, grandpa, … he went by many names. Many different roles but he was the same person. And he felt responsible. Responsible for helping his parents as they aged, for helping his brothers and their families, for helping his companions and friends. Responsible for taking the organizations he supported to the next level by making them fun and rewarding, the Boy Scouts, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the Elks. As I got older our conversations evolved, like two old friends exchanging experiences, sharing challenges and problems, giving each other advice, offering different perspectives to situations. It was different, it wasn’t father to son, it was man to man, … two responsible men.
Good bye dad. You trained me well, your work is done. Rest here in the canoe, watch the water flow by and the sun set. I will do the rest of the paddling … and have a beer in memory of you.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.FountainheadFuneralHome.com for the Schulze family.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Celebration of Life Service
Monday, October 19, 2020
Edmund William Schulze
October 16, 2020
Having grown up with the Schulze family, I have many fond memories to draw upon. I am appreciative of Ed's devotion to Scouting, and will always remember rides in the Pontiac convertible, Firebird, & VW minibus. Accepted as an extended member of the family I traveled in the RV on vacations & had great times. Whether Ed knew it or not, he helped me get my motorcycle license! Ed will be missed by all of those, whose lives he touched. My deepest sympathies & condolences to Steven, Douglas and the extended Schulze families. With love, the Godowski family.
October 15, 2020
To our absent member Meriden Lodge#35
October 14, 2020
Ed was a wonderful and funny man. He was a true Elk. There will be a vacant chair. Always good memories. You will be missed.
October 13, 2020
Steven, Douglas & families,
Ed and I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to you for the passing of your dad. Although we haven't seen Uncle Ed in many years, Ed did have many conversations with him. I will always remember him as a very kind man.
May all of the memories you have bring you peace and comfort in the difficult days ahead.
Theresa & Ed Schulze