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Globe South obituary

Charles Schuetz, educator

By Oana M. Balajel
Globe Correspondent / March 1, 2009
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Charles A. Schuetz, a longtime educator who devoted his life to the well-being of others, died on Feb. 9 in Quincy. He was 73.

Born and raised in Horton, Kan., Mr. Schuetz eventually ended up in Boston, where he met the woman who would become his wife for 46 years, Kathleen "Kay" Sandquist.

Mr. Schuetz's career was dedicated to educational administration. In 1983, he was named assistant principal of the year by the Massachusetts Principals Association.

In 1983-84, Mr. Schuetz was named president of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association. His work prompted Governor Edward King to appoint him to the Advisory Board on Vocational-Technical Education, and he was later appointed to the Governor's Committee for Drug Prevention.

In his later years, Mr. Schuetz became chief executive officer of the Corporation for the Sponsored Ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Boston and, most recently, the sponsorship consultant for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur of Ipswich.

Still, the pinnacle of his career was the 20 years at Don Bosco Technical High School in downtown Boston. He began there 35 years ago as vice principal with Joey Meegan, who was principal at the time.

"He mentored me," Meegan said. "It was my first principalship."

Meegan recalled the weeks in late June, when he, Charles, and Kay Shuetz would record, by hand, the schedules of 900 students.

"The work was tedious, but the time spent together is memorable," Meegan said.

Mr. Shuetz was always forgiving of his students, Meegan said, even when they misbehaved badly and ended up in court. Many of his former students thronged to his funeral Feb. 12 at Saint Ann's Church in Wollaston to express their gratitude to the man who considerately led them on the right path.

Always focused on the future, Mr. Schuetz would plan four to five years down the line, said Meegan, who praised Schuetz's knack for facilitating meetings. He was always comforting and knew how to spur controversy, but then effortlessly quiet things down again, Meegan said.

"Although he was a shy country boy, he was always forceful in his meetings," said Kay Schuetz. "He knew what he was talking about, and he always had a solution."

Mr. Schuetz took delight in outdoor sports such as hunting, golfing, and fishing, but his wife characterized him as a homeboy. He loved coming home, she said, and was most comfortable playing around the house with his children and grandchildren.

Each Halloween, it became custom to escort the kids to the Sturbridge Halloween Fairs. He simply enjoyed watching them experience "things for the first time," she said.

"He was mild and sweet," she added. "He took joy in seeing other people feel joyous."

The only friction he ever created, Mrs. Schuetz added, was when he put on his country-western CDs by such singers as Willie Nelson and Eddy Arnold.

"You never had to ask anything of him," she said. "If someone's grass was high, he would trim it without anyone ever knowing it. . . . He was such a good guy, but he never wanted to be noticed."

In addition to his widow, he leaves a son and a daughter, Brian Schuetz and Valerie Schuetz, both of Quincy; former daughter-in-law Ruth Schuetz of Pembroke; two grandchildren, Mathew and Nicole Schuetz of Pembroke; and three brothers and their wives, Jerry of Leon, Kan.; John of Olmstead Falls, Ohio; and Ray of Tecumseh, Kan.

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