Memorial for Rev. Dale Schultz to be held Sept. 19 in Cortez

A memorial service for Rev. Dale Erwin Schultz will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 208 N. Dolores Road, Cortez, Colo.

Rev. Schultz died Jan. 9, 2010, of Alzheimers disease in Yuma, Ariz., at the age of 94. Inurnment was at Cortez Cemetery with his first wife, Ruth, who died in 1970, though he later was blessed to know and marry Shirley Lohrenz, a widowed parishioner from Moab, and they spent 32 years together before her death from respiratory problems in 2005.

The Schultz family moved to the Four Corners area in 1945, where Dale was the editor and publisher of the Dove Creek Press until 1948. After one summer spent seeking to buy another newspaper, he decided “The West needed preachers worse than it needed publishers,” and he moved his family to Springfield, Ill. to attend seminary.

He spent vicarage in Cortez, Colo. in 1952-53 and returned to serve as the pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Cortez from 1957 to 1978, while also serving as missionary-at-large to the region.

Pastor Schultz established or revitalized congregations in all four states, among them Zion Lutheran, Farmington, N.M., Grace Lutheran, Moab, Utah and Shepherd of the Desert, Page, Ariz.

Grace Lutheran in Moab met on Monday nights for years because Pastor Schultz already had four services on Sunday in a circuit that in 1953 included Cortez and Durango, Colo., on Sunday morning, Ignacio, N.M. in the afternoon and Farmington, N.M. in the evening.

Pastor Dale and Shirley Schultz moved to southwestern Utah in 1979, and he went on to establish and serve congregations in that region for more than 20 years before retiring to Yuma, AZ.

Pastor Schultz’ family will be traveling from Australia, California and Missouri to Cortez to attend the service.