John Gregory Schulze passed from this life suddenly on the morning of June 10, 2017 at his home in Pawnee. John was born on December 18, 1963 to Dr. Milton Chester and Viola Ruth (Radke) Schulze in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Ok and a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. John currently was a member of Christ Lutheran Church, Perry, Ok.
John attended school at Pawnee Public Schools graduating with the class of 1982. He played football, participated in many agricultural activities, livestock judging and excelled in the FFA receiving his State FFA Degree his senior year. He attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami on an agriculture scholarship and then transferred to Oklahoma State University in 1984. While attending OSU he was a member of the OSU Air Force ROTC Program and received the distinction of being the outstanding Freshman Cadet. John graduated with a BS Degree in Political Science and International Relations in 1987 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force.
While attending college, in 1983 John met Lera Lee Schulze on a “blind date” through mutual friends and it was “love at first sight,” they dated continuously and when both finished their college at OSU they married on May 30, 1987 and recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary together. John and Lera left for John’s first duty station with the Air Force in 1988 at Mather Air Force Base, Sacramento, CA and John did not make it through Navigator training due to continual “airsickness in jets” and Lera was pregnant with their first son, Ethan, so John went down to the recruiters office in Sacramento and enlisted. John then attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas and Civil Engineering Equipment Operator Training at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri. John then received orders to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany and the couple relocated there in 1989 until 1992. While at Spangdahlem they had the opportunity to travel Europe extensively and witness the “Fall of the Berlin Wall” in 1989. John then received orders to the Air Force RED HORSE Unit at Fort Walton Beach, Florida in 1992. In 1994, John PALACE CHASED from the Active Duty Air Force to the Tulsa 138th Air National Guard in Oklahoma and the couple relocated home to Pawnee to raise their two sons. In addition to John’s work with the Air National Guard and Reserves, John worked for HEW Marine in Stillwater from 1994 to 1997 and in 1997 he started working for OSU in the Information Technology Department as a Network Support Specialist. John worked for OSU for 20 years and recently left OSU in May 2017. In 2011, John enlisted with the 507th Air Force Reserves Civil Engineering Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base with his youngest son, Ryan, at the Pawnee County Veteran’s Memorial, which he stated was one of the proudest moments of his life. John recently held his retirement ceremony from the 507th on June 4, 2017.
John loved the outdoors, his family and many friends, driving his Kubota tractor, four wheeler and motorcycle, fishing, camping, traveling, recently completed Jump School at Fredrick, Oklahoma in 2016 by achieving 5 solo jumps and especially loved seeing his “beloved” new granddaughter Katarina. He was a Desert Shield and Desert Storm Veteran and served his country with distinction for over 30 years; he was a member of the Pawnee Rural Water District #2 Board of Directors, Past President of the Pawnee Ag Boosters and taught Sunday school at Christ Lutheran Church in Perry.
John is survived by his wife Lera Doreen (Lee) Schulze of Pawnee, his oldest son, Ethan Gregory Schulze and wife Jessica Lookout Schulze and their daughter Katarina Viola Schulze, and his youngest son, Ryan Milton Schulze all of Pawnee. His parents, Dr. Milton and Viola Schulze and oldest brother Milton Schulze of Pawnee and brother, Dennis Schulze and wife Sheryl of Bartlesville, OK. Nieces and Nephews Sandra Walters and husband Troy of Louisville, Kentucky, Kristi Jobe and husband Mark of Stillwater, Dustin Bledsoe and wife Trish of Perkins, Heather Hopper and husband Jason of Morrison, Clay Schulze of Denver, Colorado, Kalin Nance and husband Scott of Edmond, Stanton Schulze and wife Chelsi of Missoula, Montana, and Rachel Dike and husband Byron of Helena, Montana. Father and Mother-In-Law-James and Elvena Lee of Yale, Oklahoma, Sister-In-Law Brenda Lee Moehle and husband Mark of Edmond and Brother In Law, Jim Lee and wife Laura of Yale and numerous extended family and friends as well as his brothers and sisters in uniform at the Tulsa 138th Air National Guard and the 507th Tinker Air Reserve Civil Engineering Unit. He is predeceased by his beloved brother, Stephen Wesley Schulze, and sister-in-law, Joyce Schulze and Grandparents, Martin and Frieda (Doennig) Radke and Fred and Louise (Luetjhe) Schulze.
Funeral arrangements will be at the Christ Lutheran Church in Perry, Oklahoma on June 16, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor William Metz officiating and burial to follow at the Highland Cemetery in Pawnee, Oklahoma. A visitation will be held on June 15th for family and friends at the Poteet Funeral home in Pawnee from 5 to 8 p.m. Donations in John’s memory may be made to Christ Lutheran Church in Perry, OK or The National Veterans Foundation-A Lifeline For Vets.