Schultz remembered as adventurer

Steven Bushong

Tom Forsyth signs the guest book at Kent City Councilman William Schultz’s memorial service yesterday afternoon at Theodore Roosevelt High School. More than 150 people gathered in the school’s auditorium to remember and reflect on the adventurous life of

Credit: Ron Soltys

The late Councilman William Schultz’s family and friends honored his memory at his service yesterday at Theodore Roosevelt High School. He died Jan. 3 after a period of failing health.

Schultz served on Kent City Council for 27 years, and he was known across Portage County as a progressive and advocate for the underprivileged.

On display in the high school’s auditorium were the councilman’s urn, his nameplate from council chambers and several awards he collected during his lifetime, along with other mementos.

Among the awards were a medal won at a sporting event for people with disabilities and a certificate honoring his commitment to environmentalism.

Several friends of Schultz recalled times they spent with the 53-year-old. Bruce Campbell told the audience, which included Undergraduate Student Senate senators and numerous Kent and Portage County officials, about his adventures around the world with his best friend, Schultz.

In one story, Schultz, not satisfied with simply climbing the slopes of the Himalayas, boarded a plane, climbed to 10,000 meters and headed toward Mt. Everest.

After seeing flags perched on the tallest mountain’s summit, Campbell and Schultz landed in a rugged area of Tibet named Lhasa.

“Not a lot of people step out of a plane and into a wheelchair in Lhasa,” Campbell said. “It’s a mountain city . thousands of steps.”

Schultz had been a quadriplegic for most of his life. But as many of his friends recalled, his disability did not prevent him from living a good one.

Taking the podium, Mayor John Fender said he met Schultz in 1998 after winning the mayoral race. He said the councilman at large was compassionate, intelligent and even tenacious, an attribute that drew laughs from the crowd.

“He’d be in the wheelchair, and you thought you could win a battle with him, but you’d have to think twice,” Fender said.

Jeff St. Clair, a host and producer at WKSU, said Schultz’s last desire was to have a New Orleans-style wake. In compliance with that wish, St. Clair is planning a wake and celebration that will parade in Kent this spring.

Contact city editor Steven Bushong at [email protected].