Duane Schultz of Milan passes on July 7

Life-long resident and Milan auto dealer, Duane Schultz died unexpectedly on July 7 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor.
Born on March 19, 1927, he was the only child of Maurine and Leland Schultz of Milan. He was a 1945 graduate of Milan High School and on his 18th birthday enlisted in the Navy where he served in the South Pacific during World War II. After Japan’s surrender he was deployed to Guam where his Seabee unit rebuilt the island’s war-torn military base.
Following his Naval discharge he attended Ferris Institute in Big Rapids until his father’s health brought him back to Milan and a Dodge-DeSoto dealership his Dad had recently acquired as automobile production resumed following the war’s end. The dealership, renamed Schultz Motors when the company took on the Chrysler, Plymouth and Jeep franchises, was moved from its Wabash Street location to County Street when the City bought the centrally located brick building to house the Milan Fire Department.
Always friendly, Duane loved people and developed lasting friendships with many of his customers who found him to be honest and trustworthy while the dealership consistently received Chrysler’s highest awards for customer satisfaction. Respected by his peers he served on Chrysler Corporation’s National Dealer Council and represented Michigan, Ohio and Indiana on the National Dodge Dealer Advertising Association Board.
He dearly loved Milan and served his community as a member of the Milan Fire Department, was elected to the village and city councils and the Milan Board of Education. He was a long time Rotarian, a member of the American Legion and Charter member and Past President of the Federal Correctional Institution’s Community Relations Board. Schultz Motors also provided automobiles to Milan High School’s Driver Education program for 50 years.
Upon his retirement in 2011, the dealership’s management passed to the family’s third generation, sons, Todd and Tyler who operated it until its sale in 2015, ending it’s 70 year history as Milan’s oldest family owned business. It had been honored as “Business of the Year” for 2014-2015 by the Milan Area Chamber of Commerce.
Survivors include his wife, Isabelle, sons Todd (Patricia) and Tyler, grandchildren Scott(Lindsay) Schultz, Caitlin (Ryan) Ross, and three great grandchildren (Cameron, Emma and Madeline Schultz). He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Ruth Ann.
The family has asked those wishing to honor his memory make gifts to the Duane and Isabelle Schultz Milan Alumni Scholarship Fund. Contributions may be made online at www.gmacf.org./donate .htmi or by check. Please make checks payable to the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation with “Schultz” in the designation line and send to GMACF, P.O. Box 204, Milan, MI 48160

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