Lives have been forever changed, simply because you were a part of them.
Your smile, was something that could always be counted on! Whenever you greeted us, there was a rush of joy mixed with guilt, like you just busted us being up to something. And it was either we were up to something and you wanted in on it, or you were disappointed we weren’t up to something and we should be. After this feeling of love and guilt, came some form of education to make sure we were living our lives to the fullest.
Whether you were teaching us about sprinkler systems, the direction water flows, the many uses for duct tape, how to properly plan out a firework show, how to Shanghai a loaf of bread, or a number of other topics – there was no getting out of the conversation before we too were an expert on the subject matter.
You were particular about the way things were done. If you were going to do it, you would do it right. You would measure, draw it out, and then measure again. I am confident you spent more time designing the layout of our sprinkler system than our builder spent on the whole house! You would only use the highest quality, because when it comes to things like dirt, average wasn’t good enough, you needed to have “good dirt”.
You were the perfect mixture of love and grouch. Anyone who truly knew you, would know that caring, loving, gentle, sports (of all sorts) loving side of you. But heaven forbid you were a hockey ref or a place like Younkers, who wouldn’t honor the coupon you had and if given the chance you would put them out of business.
You individually tailored conversations to the sports that each of us were interested in. Whether you were talking about your Rangers or Yankees, asking about our kid’s games or trying to convince us to buy a race horse you were knowledgeable about sports. And hockey, your love for hockey will be carried on for generations! Your grand nephews will lace up their skates, grab the sticks and proudly wear jerseys that have formal names like General Grant and Sir Charles on the back.
The great outdoors was the back drop for so many of our memories. Camping, walks along the river, the smell of a charcoal grill, the horse track, backyard ice rinks, the golf course, and sitting around a campfire help paint the scene of our Mark memories.
You were with no doubt a Schutz. You loved ice cream, could turn a thirty second story into a half hour, and jimmy rig any contraption with duct tape making it an ingenious invention, while being the most dangerous thing at the same time. And you were most proud when any of us had strong crepitation contest entries.
To you, the role of a spouse is to keep their loved ones out of trouble. Of course, you would blame the girls for keeping the boys too busy, I believe this was your fatherly way of telling us we were doing a good job. And in return, you would constantly remind the boys they had us girls to keep them out of trouble, which was your way of telling them how blessed they really were.
And we all might as well start petitioning now for the 4th of July to officially be changed to Mark Schutz’s holiday. Year after year, you brought family and friends together to eat featherbone ribs and watch fireworks in your backyard. You planned and prepared for months to make sure each year we were blessed with an amazing show. Safety was important, kids don’t light fireworks with punks, they use blow torches!
I know I speak for all of us when I say,
When my heart aches
But I hear God’s whispers
When you will be missed
But your suffering has come to an end
When I feel it was too soon
But it was part of God’s plan
When there is no good time to say goodbye
But we know you were ready to go home
Uncle Mark, May you be welcomed at heaven’s gates with the greatest fireworks display of them all. We will sit back, watch, enjoy the show and always remember No Drunkin Buffoons around the fireworks.