Memorial Visitation: Friday, August 11, 2017 4-6pm Prayer and tributes will begin at 5:15pm
Location: Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home Chapel, 4600 County Line Rd, Racine, WI 53403
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Lee Schulz, 44, a talented master welder and shop foreman at the former Bucyrus-Erie steel fabrication plant in South Milwaukee and a devoted son, brother, uncle, father, and, just recently, a grandfather, died Saturday at his mother’s home in Racine following some of the happiest months of his life.
A lifelong and hilarious skeptic of institutions and authority with a ready theory for everything and a committed outdoorsman and enthusiastic (if not always lucky) hunter, Lee wrote recently that, “I wake up every day and find beauty and happiness in everything.”
He faced serious childhood obstacles and wrestled with addiction in recent years but, in recovery, boiled down the redefining conditions of his life: “Family, love, peace and happiness.”
Even in struggle, Lee made every sacrifice he could for his family.
Lee was born at Trinity Hospital in Cudahy and grew up in St. Francis with four sisters and one brother. He attended Sacred Heart of Jesus for grade school, where he was an altar boy, if you can believe that, as well as high school at St. Francis, Milwaukee Tech and Bay View, graduating from a program at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
He married Melissa Wojtiuk (nee Deel) and raised four sons, making frequent trips to his in-laws homestead in Clendenin, W. Va., where he had a blast hunting mushrooms, searching for arrowheads, riding ATVs and trying to victimize deer.
Along with West Virginia, Lee spent some of his happiest moments at a family cabin in Necedah, hosting days on the lake, fishing and hunting trips, campfires and a whole lot of laughter.
He also treasured taking his family on camping trips during summers to Black River Falls, WI. Where he’d swim with his boys for hours, take them tubing on a boat, fishing, and frightening them with scary stories at the campfire. Along with many other outdoor and family activities.
While at Bucyrus, Lee advanced from a welder to a shop supervisor on the welding floor, participating in the manufacture of enormous steam shovels and other works. He also was a vocal steward in the Steelworkers Local 1343.
Lee was a believer in the union movement and standing up for the despised and forgotten and had volunteered for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Most recently, he was looking forward to working to kick Paul Ryan’s ass and electing Randy Bryce to the Congress.
He had an unforgettable laugh and an incredible ability to bring a smile to anyone’s face. Like his family, he loved his pets, most notably his dogs Tiny, Puppy, and Bear.
Survivors include his four sons Shane Deel, 25, a warehouse worker of New Berlin; Damon, 23, a Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class of Slidell, La., (Elyssa) and granddaughter Kennedy; Devin, 20, a UW-Milwaukee education student of Oak Creek and girlfriend Jenna Doelle; and Eric, 17, an incoming senior at New Berlin High School; his mother, Linda Eisbrenner-Ford, an ICU nurse at All Saints in Racine and her husband, James Ford and his sons James Jr. (Diana) and Maurice (Jennifer) all of Racine;his four sisters, Tracy Chaffin (Paul), a personal banker of Lockport, N.Y., and her step daughter Janelle; Amber Hendricks (Allen), a health unit coordinator at All Saints in Racine and her three sons, DeShawn, Braxton and Aiden, daughter, Alexis and her daughter Alani; Katie Loomis (Andy) a hairstylist of Racine, her son Cohen and two daughters, Jena and Payden; and Stephanie, an inventory manager of Racine; and brother Justin, a maintenance mechanic at Seda International.
A visitation and memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, at Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home and Crematory, 4600 County Line Road, Racine, with remarks and tributes scheduled at 5:15 p.m. Casual attire is preferred so don’t go all crazy.
Following the service, there will be a celebration of Lee’s life at the Taylor Complex located at 3131 Taylor Avenue, Racine, WI 53405. There will be food, music, and lots of stories to be shared.