On April 3, at the age of 89, Dr. Erich H. Schultz died peacefully in his home from natural causes. He was surrounded and comforted by members of his devoted family. “Vatie” (as his children lovingly called him) had a long, happy, exciting and prosperous life.
Dr. Schultz, son of Mr. Erich Schultz and Mrs. Johanna Schultz, was born in Germany in 1924 and came to the United States at age 2. He graduated from Islip High School, received a BA from New York University, attended Bern Medical School and graduated from The University of Basel Faculty of Medicine.
In World War II he served bravely overseas with a medical detachment of the 186th infantry, 41st Division in the Southern Philippines. He was awarded Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, the Combat Medical Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, the Philippines Liberation Medal, The World War II Victory Medal & The Purple Heart.
In Switzerland he found his wife Katharina (“Kitty”) and was married in 1953. They moved to Lake Success in 1962, where they three daughters: Kathy, Erika and Heidi.
As a practicing general surgeon he had a thriving practice across the street from Flushing Hospital where he would often get into trouble with his office manager for performing services gratis to patients that couldn’t afford his care. He was a highly respected physician and mentor to many. Upon the passing of his wife, he retired his medical practice at age 70.
Upon retirement he turned to a new chapter of his life, spending his time as a thrill seeker and adventurer. If he wasn’t out skiing, skydiving, paragliding or mushroom hunting, he was flying no engine glider planes every weekend. When he wasn’t paragliding or flying, he would relax by spending time playing in his yard with his grandchildren and dogs, reading books or watching his favorite Westens on TV. His positive and encouraging attitude was contagious. He was an extremely devoted and gracious person but wouldn’t pull any punches and would tell you if you needed to dust yourself off and pull up your bootstraps. Get back on the horse was his motto. But whether you needed a shoulder to cry on or a kick in the butt Vatie seemed to know just how much of either one or both you needed. He was a straight shooter and we loved him for that.
Erich is survived by his sister Mrs. Marianna Sanderford; daughters Kathy Schultz, Erika Schultz and Heidi Banwer, his son-in-laws, Gregg Banwer and John Higgins; and grandchildren, Aaron and Samantha.
Erich lived life to the fullest while he touched so many people with his kindness, courage, humor and devotion. He was someone that didn’t judge, he was that person that you could go to in the best and worst of times. You could always count on him. He was an extremely good hearted, genuine and loving person, someone that we all looked up to & admired. He will be deeply missed.