University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Services announced for Richard Schultz

Services have been set for Richard Schultz, professor and chair of electrical engineering, who passed away Sept. 30.

Visitation: Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Sharon Lutheran Church, 1720 20th St. S., Grand Forks

A Remembrance Ceremony: The Last Lecture, a celebration of the lessons learned from Dr. Richard Schultz, will be held in Richard's honor at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, in the Empire Arts Center, downtown Grand Forks, DeMers Ave.

Funeral: Pastor John Fick at Sharon Lutheran Church will lead funeral services at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, 1720 20th St. S., Grand Forks. Burial at Memorial Park North. A meal at Sharon Lutheran Church will be provided following the burial.

Richard Raymond Schultz, 43, left this world gracefully on Thursday, Sept. 30, after a courageous fight against colo-rectal cancer. Richard was born on March 19, 1967 to Raymond and Valery (Ruzicka) Schultz in Grafton, ND. He was the fourth of five children and spent his childhood in Grafton, where he relished spending time with his best friends, playing his saxophone, and studying intently, which would eventually lead to his successful career in engineering education and research.

Richard completed his first level of education in the Grafton Public School system, graduating from Grafton High in 1985. Many would describe Richard as an incredibly studious kid, whose hard work became evident when he won the Walsh County and North Dakota State Spelling Bee in eighth grade, earning him the right to represent North Dakota at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. Inspired by his junior high music teacher, Peggy Dahl Bartunek, Richard immediately developed a passion for music and worked to perfect his skills on the alto and soprano saxophone. He carried on his musical interests throughout his entire life, playing in the jazz band at UND under Mike Blake and as a member of the local band, Sneaky Wild Oats.

After high school graduation, Richard attended the UND and received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1990, graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors. While at UND, Richard was mentored by many, but was specifically encouraged by Joe Hootman to pursue a graduate degree and to invest his career in educating others. Richard continued his education at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, under the study of faculty advisor Robert Stevenson, and completed both his masters and Ph.D. degrees. With a high affinity for UND and his North Dakota roots, Richard returned to UND in 1995 as a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Mines. Throughout his 16-year career at UND, Richard thrived on helping his students succeed, both in the classroom and beyond. He focused on providing the most challenging classroom environment, an inspiring laboratory, and an office that was open to students any time to discuss any concerns. Richard's dedication to his students was evident in countless ways, as he mentored a multitude of students who went on to experience successful endeavors in engineering - including the most recent news of UND engineering students who won the Outback Rescue UAV Challenge in Australia.

Although serving UND students was a favorite component of his job at UND, Richard also led a successful career as a researcher in the field of signal processing, super-resolution of digital imagery, and developing payloads for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAVs). He was awarded the coveted National Science Foundation CAREER Grant, considered the most prestigious award to support the early career-development of junior faculty. He was one of the privileged few to present his research as part of UND's Faculty Lecture Series, and was also recognized nationally by Eta Kappa Nu (the Electrical Engineering Honor Society) with the 2001 C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teacher Award. Most recently he was given the Discovery Award by Sen. Byron Dorgan for his outstanding leadership and service in building and raising the visibility of the region's research enterprise for groundbreaking scientific and applied research that had a regional, national and global impact. At the time of his death, Richard was serving as professor and chair of the Electrical Engineering, as well as the Director of the Larry Joadsaas Engineering Entrepreneurship Center within the School of Engineering and Mines at UND.

Richard also believed in pursuing interests and relationships outside his career field. A talented runner, he shared this desire with his brothers Bob and Craig, and completed five marathons. He found release and enjoyment in honing his artistic skills, whether that involved drawing, painting, pottery, or graphic design.

Richard was fortunate to meet, fall in love with, and marry his soulmate Christi (CK) Braun. Married in their historic home at 802 Belmont Road in May of 2003, Richard and CK pursued their interests with zest and humor. Their favorite pastimes involved traveling, attending fringe theatre festivals, folk music concerts, watching independent films, and restoring their 1906 home. In 2006, Richard and CK advanced their love of theatre by writing, producing and acting in their own play Compromising Positions at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

Despite his many accomplishments and passions, Richard greatest amount of pride involved the relationships with his friends and family. In January of 2009 he was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of adding the word "father" to his list of accomplishments with the birth of his twin children, Natalie St. Marie and Noah Richard.

Grateful for having shared in his life are his wife, Christi (CK) and children, Natalie and Noah; his parents, Ray and Germaine Schultz and the late Valery (Ruzicka) Schultz of Grafton; sisters and brothers: Gayle (Denny) Almer of Temecula, CA; Nancy (Kevin) Jopp, Grafton; Robert (Karen) Schultz of Saint Paul, MN; and Craig (Michelle) Schultz of Portland, OR; as well as his in-laws, Larry and Valeria Braun of Milbank, SD, and, Kelly and Krissie Braun of Moab, UT. Richard is also survived by several nieces and nephews: Melissa and Lesley Almer; Jessica, Brandon, and Dayton LaMont; Laura and Nathan Schultz; Riley Schultz; and, Christian and Jenna Braun. All of Richard's extended family, friends, UND colleagues, students and alumni also mourn this loss deeply.

Memorials can be directed to either the UND Foundation (in support of engineering education) or the Altru Cancer Center, both located in Grand Forks, N.D.

Condolences can be sent through Amundson Funeral Home at www.amundsonfuneralhome.com.


Tagged as: