David (Dave) Norman Schutz, 72, died October 26, 2020 at his home in
Akron, Colorado. Dave was born September 24, 1948 in Lincoln, Nebraska
to Norman and Jean (Pearson) Schutz.
Dave graduated from Hastings High School in 1967 and attended Butler
County Junior College on a track scholarship. In 1969, he joined the
United States Navy working as a respiratory therapist. During this
time, he met a pretty young nurse named Patsy working in the same
hospital wing he was working. On September 3, 1971 Patsy Turner and
Dave Schutz married in a small church in Louisville, Kentucky.
After Dave and Patsy were discharged from the Navy, Dave worked as a
respiratory therapist for several years in Fort Collins, Colorado. One
day, while visiting Patsy at work on the campus of Colorado State
University, he saw a job application for a research ranch associate in
Akron, Colorado and decided on the spot to go apply for the job.
Several weeks later, Dave and Patsy moved to the small town they would
both fall in love with and call home.
Soon after starting work at the Eastern Colorado Research Center
(ECRC), Dave was promoted to manager of the facility and earned his
Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University.
He spent 35 years working with cows, calves, feedlot cattle, range
management, and supporting graduate students with research projects.
He also helped teach several classes for students at Northeastern
Dave was a born mentor and loved to teach. Dave retired in 2009 from
ECRC and switched career paths. Dave had two passions in his life;
agriculture and shooting. He spent the first half in agriculture and
the second part shooting. While living on the ranch watching his kids
grow up, he was a 4-H shooting sports coach and hunters safety
education instructor. Nothing made him happier than teaching kids to
Upon retirement, Dave took on a job as Programs Director at the
National Rifle Association Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. He
helped develop the program for a summer Adventure Camp, helped start
the New Mexico High School Trap Association, and put on collegiate
trap shoots for kids all over the country. He also served as the
Director of Shotgun Sports at the Whittington Center.
In his spare time, he loved to be outdoors exploring, fishing and
camping. Nothing in his life compared to the love he had for his
children and grandchildren. Dave was happiest when he was cuddling a
few kids on his lap or watching his herd of grandkids play in the
Dave Schutz, is survived by his partner, Gina Schoenecker of Akron,
Colorado; daughter, Jennifer Sue Miller and her husband, Eric of
Greeley, Colorado; his son, Jakob Schutz and his wife, Jennifer of
Sterling, Colorado; four grandchildren, Nikoli, Lucas and Soren Schutz
and Madison Miller; his mother, Jean Schutz of Benkelman, Nebraska;
sisters, Kathy Aerni and husband, Mel of Madrid, Nebraska, Jan Illian
and husband, Doug of Denver, Colorado, and Becky Shultz of Oklahoma;
his brother, Tom Schutz of Benkelman, Nebraska; and many nephews and
nieces. Dave also loved the family that welcomed him into their lives
when he fell in love with their mom. Although not by blood, Dave loved
Brian Schoenecker and his girlfriend, Katie Call; David Schoenecker;
Michael Schoenecker; Jenny Schoenecker; and Bridget Glosson and her
husband, Matt as his own family. Bridget and Matt's children, Gemma,
Nora, Easton and Solon were loved like his own grandchildren as he was
lovingly referred to as "Pappa Dave".
He was preceded in death by his father, Norman; and his wife, Patsy
Schutz in 2011.
A celebration of life service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday,
October 30, 2020 at St Joseph Catholic Church, 551 W. 6th St., Akron,
CO 80720. The burial will follow soon after at the Akron Cemetery.
Immediately following the burial, a get-together will be held at
Gemma's Crossing. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made
to the Town of Akron to benefit beautification of the Akron pond (Dave
was so excited for the new pond to get filled up).
Published in Akron News-Reporter on Oct. 29, 2020.