Afghan casualty with ties to Port Angeles hailed as ‘top-notch'
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An Army team carries the remains of Capt. Joseph W. Schultz off a plane at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Tuesday night. -- Photo by Luis M. Alvarez/The Associated Press

By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

Army Capt. Joseph William Schultz, the son of a prominent Port Angeles businesswoman and who died in Afghanistan on Sunday, was described Tuesday by those who knew him as a natural-born leader.

Capt. Schultz, a Green Beret and the only child of Port Angeles resident Betsy Reed Schultz, died after an improvised explosive device hit his Humvee. He was 36.

“He is just top-notch,” said Bonnie Kuchler, a family friend, describing him as the cream that rises to the top.

“Just everything about the way he talked, he held himself, it was just obvious” that he was a natural leader, she added.

“He just had that way about him.”

Capt. Schultz's remains were flown Tuesday to Dover Air Force Base, Del., where his mother and uncle, Port Angeles art gallery owner Bob Stokes, were to join them.

Betsy Reed Schultz, reached by phone Tuesday, said a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Olympic Cellars, 255410 U.S. Highway 101. The service will be open to the public.

She said her son grew up in Sacramento, Calif., and Springfield, Ill., and graduated from the University of Oregon with bachelor's degrees in political science and economics.

She said she was preparing a statement and wanted to withhold further comment until then.

She is the former owner of The Tudor Inn bed-and-breakfast in Port Angeles and is past president of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

She also has helped organize the Festival of Trees, an annual benefit for the Olympic Medical Center Foundation.

Kuchler, who runs a bed-and-breakfast inn near Agnew, also has a son in the Green Berets serving in Afghanistan.

His death hit very close to home.

“It could have been [my son],” Kuchler said.

Kathy Charlton, a friend of Betsy Reed Schultz and co-owner of Olympic Cellars, described Capt. Schultz as an “amazing man” and said she was impressed by his willingness to serve.

“It's very easy to be here and sitting outside looking at the mountains [while you're] sanding rust,” said Charlton, who was working outside at her winery.

“And we can't even imagine what it was like doing what he was doing.

“We take it for granted,” she added.

“We absolutely take it for granted, even though we say we don't.”

Charlton said Tuesday her phone had been ringing “off the hook” with people calling about the service.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsula dailynews.com.

Last modified: May 31. 2011 10:55PM
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