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James  Thomas Schulte

Obituary for James Thomas Schulte

May 18, 1923 - April 21, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 93


Jay Schulte slid into home after 93 innings in a very, very good game of life on April 21, 2017.

He was born in New Orleans on May 18, 1923 to Henry and Emma Schulte, the 4th of 8 children. Jay spent his childhood participating in any sort of competition he could find. He was a rower from the time he was six. He got practice for races rowing in Lake Ponchetrain to dig for clams and catch shrimp and crabs in nets that he knitted. Time on the lake was great sport, but also gave Jay a way to help feed his family and buy material for his sister to make school clothes for Jay and his younger siblings. He spent every minute he could playing football or baseball on the green, learning lessons about leadership and team work from the other kids. He also participated in the "sport" of stealing watermelons off of barges as a teenager, a dangerous pastime involving swimming to the barge, sneaking onto it, pushing melons into the water, then swimming them to shore. He had some near misses while participating in that sport!

Jay's athletic skills earned him a scholarship to Jesuit High School, where he lettered in football, track, basketball and baseball. He often said if it were not for sports, he never would have finished high school. He had a brief stint in minor league baseball, playing for the St Louis Browns in the East Texas League, but that ended quickly when he slid into 2nd base and suffered a life threatening head injury.

Jay liked to say that his sports injuries probably saved his life. His was declared 4F in the WWII draft because of his bad knees, so served the war effort making rifle scopes instead of on the battlefield.

Jay married his first partner in life, Bettie Mae (Tillie) Schattenberg when he was 18. They moved to San Antonio soon after and began to build a life in Texas. Over the next 18 years, they had five kiddos, Carole, Barbara, Susie, Janet and Jayne. Anyone who knew Jay heard him say that "the good Lord sends a man where one is needed." He was man enough to live with a wife, 5 daughters, a mother-in-law, a widowed aunt and female cat who only produced female kittens. To care for all of those women, Jay had more than 20 different jobs, including selling lady's shoes at Frost Bros and traveling West and South Texas as a paint brush salesman before finding his life's work in 1958. He became a distributor for Airkem, an innovative new line of disinfectant and odor control products. With Tillie to help customers and do the books, Jay spent his days in institutions selling the products and many a night responding to calls to begin the smoke odor removal process after a fire. He was an entrepreneur and a trail blazer, helping Airkem earn a strong place in the hospital sanitation world with his work disinfecting the tanks that burn patients were bathed in at Brooke Army Medical Center and building a fire and water restoration business before there were many of those around. He also became the go to guy in town for anyone who had a run in with a skunk or had an animal die in the attic. He and Tillie operated the business from their home, so both were around for their girls more than most parents.

Tillie's father, Herbert Schattenberg, introduced Jay to the Texas countryside, taking him copperhead and deer hunting at his ranch at Blanco, and later introducing him to the joys of dove and quail hunting in South Texas. His father-in-law took Jay along to drive and to shoot limits for his old doctor friends who had access to fabulous hunting, but were past the age of shooting. Jay was always grateful for the lessons he learned listening to those old doctors visit on the long drives to the pasture. And the old doctors were grateful for the ride and to have Jay, who was a terrific shot, provide them with a limit of birds to take home.
Jay's love of sports lead him to serve as Athletic Director, coach and to play church league sports for many years at Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church. The older girls kept score and tallied stats and Tillie prayed that Jay would not hurt himself again. Jay and Tillie were also leaders for the AH Presbyterian Pioneers youth group, chaperoning many a youth retreat at Mo Ranch and getting to know their girls' friends. Jay also served the church as a Deacon.
He was proud to have been a Rotarian for 56 years and was recently named a Lifetime Rotarian. Jay also enjoyed the fellowship of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club and the friendships he shared with the guys at the breakfast table at Jim's and the lunch table at Luby's on Broadway.
Jay and Tillie raised their five girls and got all of them through college, which was one of the things that made him most proud. Jay spent the last year of his 36-year marriage to Tillie caring for her as she battled breast cancer.

Jay was twice blessed in marriage, spending the final 36 years of his life with Barbara Scott Shobe. Jay met Barbara at Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church and decided he had to marry her after learning that Barbara's mom was an expert lemon meringue pie maker. Barbara was always ready for an adventure in the country, whether it involved a hair raising 8 hour drive to Bullis Gap on the Rio Grande, hunting deer in the Hill Country or watching hogs, birds and other wildlife at Asherton from one of Jay's deer blinds with padded benches long enough for him to nap on. Barbara became his partner in business and used her keen business mind and incredible work ethic to keep Jay's businesses going for many years after he was no longer involved in the day to day operations. They had some great travels together, including trips to the Canadian Rockies and Alaska, which they both loved, and an 80th birthday trip to complete Jay's travels to all 50 states. Jay and Barbara shared a tremendous respect and love for their elders. Jay was often seen going to pick up older friends, tossing a walker into the back of his truck, then heading to Luby's or Jim's for a meal. Barbara joined him in delivering for Meals on Wheels during many a lunch hour.
Because Jay never knew his grandparents, he often said that Barbara taught him to be a grandparent…and a great grandparent. He was crazy about his great grandchildren, who were truly the brightest spot in the last few years of his life.
Jay has joined his parents, Henry and Emma Schulte, wife Bettie Mae (Tillie), 3 brothers, 3 sisters and countless other family and friends in heaven. He is survived by his devoted wife, Barbara, sister Doll Riley sister-in-law Grace Schulte, children Carole Tillotson , Barbara Small , Susie Cranford (Dick), Janet Funari (Len), Jayne Crawford (Jay), Susie Newton (Bill), Bryan Shobe , Grandchildren Tom Tillotson, Ryan Small, Elizabeth Small Murrell, Nick and Charlie Funari, Mickey Crawford, Lindsay Newton Bolner, Lauren Newton Biegler, Samantha and Connor Shobe and 8 beautiful great grandchildren.

We would like to thank all of the people who shared their skills and kindness caring for Jay in his final years, especially Mary, Perry, Della, Sylvia, Veronica, and Patrice. Our wish for him to be comfortable and at home could not have become reality without you. Thank you Louisa for always making sure his hair was combed. And thank you to Dr Scott Campbell and his staff for the house calls and patience during a difficult time.

A celebration of Jay's life will be held at the Alamo Heights United Methodist Church Garden Chapel on Sunday, May 7 at 4:00pm.

Donations may be made to:
The Rotary Foundation
Alamo Heights Rotary Club
PO Box 6995
San Antonio, TX 78209

Meals on Wheels
4306 NW Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78229

Recommended Local Florist

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Donations may be made to: The Rotary Foundation Alamo Heights Rotary Club PO Box 6995 San Antonio, TX 78209 Meals on Wheels 4306 NW Loop 410 San Antonio, TX 78229

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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