Ralph Albert Schultz, 93, of Wausau, passed away on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, due to complications associated with cancer.
Ralph was born to Henry and Edna (Hoppe) Schultz on February 3, 1926, in an apartment on Townline Road in Wausau. The family, including his two older sisters, Dorothy Roth (Arnold) (deceased) and Irene Short (Robert) of Florida, moved to Ashland, Wis., during the Depression for work. They eventually purchased 80 acres near Grandview, Wis., where he lived and grew up until moving to Stevens Point, roaming the woods and catching frogs and turtles on Deer Lake.
A lasting memory from those days was coming home from school to the wonderful smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls his mother had made.
A big change happened in 1935 when the family became Jehovah’s Witnesses, which faith Ralph cherished until his death. He was in the full-time bible-education work until he was imprisoned as a conscientious objector for 18 months in Sandstone, Minn., due to his bible-trained conscience.
He continued to preach and teach about the Bible throughout his life. It was one of his greatest joys, to talk to people about the bible’s promise of a Paradise earth.
In 1947, while living in Stevens Point, Ralph was invited to learn the sewing machine trade from his brother-in-law, Robert Short. They opened a shop in February 1950 called the Fashionette Sewing Center at 1207 Third Street in Wausau, three doors north of the Glass Hat. The shop was relocated in 1962 to 610 North Third Avenue, easily identified by VIKING emblazoned on the sides.
In 1951 Ralph married Leona Kienbaum, whom he affectionately called ‘Onie.’ Leona preceded him in death on December 22, 2016. She and Ralph had two children, Sherry Fricke (Randy) (deceased) and Mark Schultz (Cindy), whom they raised with love and guidance from God’s Word.
They also taught bible truths to their grandchildren, Hillary Zunker (Shawn) and Raleigh Fricke. Ralph is also survived by his sisters-in-law, Mae Kellar (Kienbaum) and Beverly Kienbaum; along with four step-grandchildren, five step-great-grandchildren, and three step-great-great-grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Ralph traveled the world with his family for many international conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses and through trips sponsored by Viking Sewing Company. Besides the Bible-education work he so cherished and the love of travel, he also enjoyed biking, fishing and spending time daily reading and studying God’s Word.
Ralph’s love of neighbor is summed up in his own words: “To all our business friends and to those we met in the past 63 years in Wausau in our ministry while going door-to-door, may we meet again when the earth is turned into a Paradise, in the near future under Jehovah God’s Kingdom by Christ Jesus. Until we meet again.”
A memorial service is scheduled for August 24th at 3 pm at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 3900 Hummingbird Ln., Rib Mountain, Wis., with visitation beginning at 2 p.m. All are welcome to attend and share in remembering a beloved father, grandfather, and friend.
The Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family. For online condolences, please visit www.HonorOne.com.