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Albert Arthur Schlueter Jr.

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ALBERT ARTHUR SCHLUETER, JR.

Albert Arthur Schlueter, Jr. was born to Flora and Albert, Sr. in Fresno, Calif. on Dec. 10, 1917.

Al graduated from Castlemont High School in Oakland. Following graduation, Al attended Merritt Business College, where Art Acker saw Al play basketball and recruited him to play for the Chico State Wildcats. (Al was forever greatful to Art for recruiting him and considered him like a father). Following graduation from CSUC, Al began his teaching/ coaching career at Chico High School. At the end of his first year of teaching, he joined the Army Air Corp, where he was assigned as a flight instructor. When the war was over, he returned to Chico High School and resumed his teaching/ coaching duties. He was a very successful coach and in 1950, the Panthers won the Tournament of Champions in the bay area. And like the recent success of the Butte College football team, they were considered the underdogs. The Enterprise-Record honored the team by printing a special edition.

Al had fond memories of the young men he coached and was proud of their success in life. Al attended USC during his summers off and obtained his Master's degree and in 1958 was appointed business manager for CUSD. Following his experience in the Chico school system, Al served as superintendent of Orland Union School District, El Dorado HS District and Placerville Union School District.

In 1968, Al was selected as Superintendent/President of the newly formed Butte Community College District. The college was housed at the old Durham Recreation site with portable classrooms. The college opened for classes in August 1968, only three short months after Al was hired. (The football team uncrated the furniture the day before classes began.) It was an exciting time in Al's life; he loved every minute of the creation of the current campus. Because of the passing of a special bond election and one time financing by the state the college was completed debt free.

Al was inducted into the Chico State Hall of Fame, the Chico Hall of Fame, the California Community College Hall of Fame, and the Old Timers Hall of Fame.

Al was co-chair of the COA when Title IX was passed and he felt privileged to a be part of making community college sports equal far women.

He also served on the CSUC Alumni board.

Al learned work ethics as a young man and worked many extra jobs during his college and teaching career. He worked in a cannery, lumber mill in Westwood, drove a Coca Cola truck for Frank Mertz, sold real estate for Jim Roth, and was a ranger at Lassen Park.

Al was married to Priscilla Nau in 1942, and together they raised three wonderful children: Sandra (Mike) Mcguire, Santa Rosa, Steven (former wife JoAnne), Phoenix, Sally (Tom) Bertlesman, San Anselmo.

In 1977, Al married Leah Merchant. Al retired from Butte College in 1979, but he didn't sit still very long. In 1980, he and Leah began part-time employment as independent insurance agents, providing athletic coverage to community colleges throughout California. They spent many years traveling together, playing lots of golf, especially Princeville on Kauai. They also spent many summers on the Mendocino Coast.

Al is survived by his wife, Leah; his children; his stepson, Andy (Lesa) Merchant, Durham; and his grandchildren; Molly and Sean McGuire, Bryan and Brandon Schlueter, Jordan and Grace Merchant, David and TJ Bertlesman; brother, Robert (Irene) of Lake Ozark, Mo.; niece, Sharon; nephews, Robert, Jr. and Riley.

The family would like to thank the following people who came alongside during Al's declining health: Charles Webster, Dave Silverstein; Carol Golden, John Abell, (for all of the fishing trips), Mike Liddell, Craig Rigsbee, Ron Laffins, Danielle Robertson, and good friend, Carole Farmer. Special thanks to David Beveridge from Passages. A special thanks to Steve and the caring staff at Chico Physical Therapy, who treated him with such respect and humor.

Al was a resident of WindChime for the last 18 months of his life, where he made many friends. Even in declining health, Al was positive and still had the ability to make people feel good about themselves. We will be forever greatful to the staff for the wonderful care they took of him and the respect they gave him at the end of his life.

We are also greatful to Enloe Hospice for providing loving care to Al and the family during his final days

And to the ER staff at Enloe hospital, thank you for the care and sensitivity you showed during some very difficult days.

Memorial contributions may be made in Al's name to: Butte College Foundation, Chico HS Athletics, CSUS athletics, Enloe Hospice, Chico Boys and Girls Club, and Passages in care of Brusie Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. on January 7th in the Chapel of the Brusie Funeral Home. Private burial will take place on January 8th. A celebration of Al's life will take place at Butte Creek Country Club on January 8th from 3-5:30 p.m.

Condolences can be made online at www.BrusieFH.com
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Dec. 27, 2008
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