Robert Schultz became an organ, eye and tissue donor upon his passing on January 23, 2010.
His wife Colleen shared this remembrance:
On our first date we saw Saturday Night Fever. Rob leaned over and asked me if I would like a tangerine Lifesaver. I said yes and the rest was our future.
Rob was graduating college soon and he often joked that he would have never made it if I hadn’t typed all of his papers. Rob graduated with a B.A. in Social Work. He also had an associate degree in Therapeutic Recreation. And so became our life together.
Rob was a phenomenal Social Worker. In the beginning he worked directly with the residents of a group home. He loved everyone there as much as they loved him. Rob loved to laugh and tell jokes. Soon after, we welcomed our first son Christopher Robert into the world and into our hearts. Rob was just 23.
Eventually Rob was employed with the State of New York at the West Seneca Developmental Center. He made more friends and truly loved his job. I think he was always meant to work with people with disabilities. He was just that compassionate about it. Always so understanding, kind and respectful of others’ needs.
Rob was 26 when our daughter Kelly Robyn made her entrance into the world and into our hearts.
He worked so hard and even took another job part time delivering pizzas at night. He’d get so excited coming home and showing me all the tips he made that night. Rob was very humble and worked that job with humility and grace. He did it for his family that he loved very much!
In 1987, our son Matthew David was born into our life and into our hearts. We were so happy! Chris and Kelly would have a little brother! Three kids came with a house filled with fun!
When Rob fell asleep in his chair Chris covered him head to toe in Post-it notes. Rob never woke up and we all laughed till it hurt. When he did wake up he laughed out loud. Kelly loved to play “hair dresser” and she’d sit on Rob’s shoulders and put all kinds of pink and purple barrettes in his hair. Rob didn’t mind at all. He just sat there and watched baseball. Rob loved the Yankees!
Chris was a Karate student and he practiced everyday. We would all pile into the car and drive to Karate class. Where you saw one Schultz you saw them all!
While I stayed in the Dojo with Kelly and watched Chris, Rob would take Matt outside to the pond outback and throw stones with him. Then they would go into the Laundromat there and get gumballs. Matt was so happy to show me how many he got. Matthew loved toys so much he would ask Rob after dinner to take him to Toys R Us just to look. Rob could never resist because he loved toys too!
During the winter Rob and I sat out on the porch in the evening sipping hot chocolate while we watched the kids build a snowman. That was fun!
It was that Christmas that Rob sold his childhood baseball cards so our kids could have Christmas. Even then he was giving a part of himself so others could be happy. I cried but Rob didn’t. His face never shown brighter as the kids all open presents that Santa had left them.
Kelly played softball for it seems like most of her life. Rob was at every single practice, even when it was raining. Eventually he was asked to be coach. There was a waiting list to get on his team because he let all the kids play. Not just the best ones. Everyone got to play. Even then showing compassion to the less talented kids, who just wanted to have fun. We went out for ice-cream even if we lost.
When Matt showed talent for playing the guitar Rob was always ready to go whenever there was a show. Matt also sang and Rob would always brag at work how good he was and how Rob had attended his “gig.” He always talked about his kids and how very proud he was of them all.
Rob was the whole neighborhood’s dad. He was always there to give rides home. Still helping others.
When Chris got his tooth knocked out in Karate, when Kelly broke her arm sliding into home, (she was safe!), when Matt got his tonsils out, Rob was there. He was always there. Until he couldn’t be.
Rob was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in April of 2009. Ten months later he passed away on January 23, 2010 one day after his 52nd Birthday. He lay in his hospital room on life support while we had a birthday cake for him out in the waiting room and I lost my mind in between bites of frosting. All of our hearts had been terrifyingly, horrifically ripped apart and shattered. In utter disbelief we all said good-bye. Rob was a loving son, a devoted husband and father, a caring brother and a kind uncle. He was a loyal friend.
Rob told me in the last month before his passing, he wanted a simple ceremony. He didn’t want his family and friends to have to sit too much, stand too long or cry over his shell of a body. He wanted a small and peaceful ending. Well needless to say there were over 150 people at his Memorial Service.
Rob never got to see his children get married, never got to walk his daughter down the aisle or have his father/daughter dance. He never got to meet his four gorgeous grandsons. I can just hear Rob now, “That’s good talkin’ Dominic!”
Right after his passing my son Christopher who owns a carpet steaming business received a call cancelling an appointment. Her son just received a kidney donated by a 52-year-old man who had just died the night before at Buffalo General Hospital. Coincidence?
Rob was able to donate his kidneys and corneas. He also donated tissue to many people. Still helping even after he was gone. Rob was called a hero after his death. But I can name three kids who always thought he was a hero for their whole lives.
A warrior…a teacher…and a rock star.
We Love YOU Rob!
Colleen, Christopher, Juliana, Kelly, Mark, Matthew, and his little dog Holly
Rest In Peace Rob and Fly Free!