Verlyn Paul Schulz was born on December 13, 1940 in Parsons, Kansas and died on January 1, 2021 at his home in Hermiston, Oregon at the age of 80 years. As a child, Verlyn’s family left their dust storm-ruined Kansas farm and moved to the fruit orchards of Washington. Over the years, Verlyn moved several times before settling with his parents and four siblings in Echo, Oregon when he was in elementary school.
Verlyn graduated from Echo High School in 1958 and then from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska. He returned home to teach elementary school PE in Hermiston where he met his wife Janet, another Hermiston teacher. They were married June 14, 1969 and Verlyn continued teaching at West Park and Highland Hills until his retirement in 1998. Former students report that his classes were fun and lively, energetic and creative, fair and inclusive. He thoroughly enjoyed the hundreds of kids he came to know as their teacher.
In his spare time, Verlyn loved building and farming, including the construction of his own home and farm in the early 70s where he and Jan welcomed their two children -- Michael and Ericka. In summers, and later, in retirement, Verlyn farmed his property primarily with alfalfa. He was also dedicated to his neighbor’s potato shed and delighted in being a trouble shooter for him. As an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Verlyn had a special place in his heart for maintaining the building, grounds, and preschool.
Teaching through the school year, farming in the summer, and fixing everything in between brought joy to Verlyn’s life, but it was spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren that he truly cherished. He was enthusiastically interested in everything and everyone--obvious in his love of conversation. His family got used to waiting as he made new friends in every National Park and foreign country during his travels (not to mention the hardware stores and bakeries). His stories were personal and genuine, as was his servant heart.
Above all, he was a loving, kind, generous, and wise husband, father, grandfather, and friend.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years: Jan Schulz, Hermiston, OR; son: Michael (Laurie) Schulz, Hermiston, OR; daughter: Ericka (Ryan) Keefauver, Hermiston, OR; brothers: LeRoy (Doris) Schulz, San Diego, CA and Dennis Schulz, Irvine, CA; sister: Dorothy Ulrich, Pilot Rock, OR; grandchildren: Tristan (Bailey), Trisha, Annabel, Violet, Paul, Lorelai, Hannah & Aria; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Verlyn was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Phyllis Rees.
A private family service will be held with a private burial following at the Hermiston Cemetery, Hermiston, Oregon. In lieu of flowers those who wish may make contributions in Verlyn’s memory to the Bethlehem Lutheran Pre-School. Please share memories of Verlyn with his family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.
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