David Norman Shutz 1948-2020

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, KY. After Dave and Patsy were discharged from the Navy, Dave worked as a respiratory therapist for several years in Fort Collins, CO. 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 Junior College. 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 shoot. Upon retirement, Dave took on a job as Programs Director at the National Rifle Association Whittington Center in Raton, NM. 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 park.
Dave Schutz, is survived by his partner Gina Schoenecker of Akron, CO; daughter, Jennifer Sue Miller and her husband Eric of Greeley, CO; his son Jakob Schutz and his wife Jennifer of Sterling, CO; four grandchildren, Nikoli, Lucas, and Soren Schutz and Madison Miller; his mother, Jean Schutz of Benkelman, NE; Sisters Kathy Aerni and husband Mel of Madrid, NE, Jan Illian and husband Doug of Denver, CO, and Becky Shultz of OK; his brother, Tom Schutz of Benkelman, NE; 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 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).