Stephen Charles Schultz, 82, passed away Sunday afternoon. Dr. Schultz retired as a professor in Theatre Arts at the University of Louisville, where he taught and directed. Steve was born in 1937 in Nevada, Iowa, to Dorothy and Howard Schultz; his father owned and operated a gas station and fuel distributorship. As a boy Steve was distinguished for his fine singing voice, precocious intellect and performing skills, his wit, and his beanpole height. He met his first wife, Ann Prentice, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, marrying in 1959 as he earned his Masters at Stanford. They returned to Iowa, where their son Charles was born and Steve worked towards his doctorate while teaching at Iowa City and then Ames. He took a position at Santa Clara University, where he worked until 1977 when the family came to Louisville. Steve was particularly proud of his part in establishing U of L’s African American Theatre program. He travelled to Ireland for interviews and research to create Blood Upon the Rose, a drama about the Easter Rising. Outside the University, he directed several productions of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and worked with a program using theatre to encourage empathy in at-risk youth. Steve and Ann separated in 1979. He was introduced by a friend to Eleanor Rainbolt Noe, whom he married in 1981 and helped to raise her children Jeff and Jennifer. Steve was a man of wide interests, profound understanding, and ethical seriousness. He was also a puller of faces and lover of silliness, a tall and strong man with a rich, booming voice. He had a lifelong engagement with the church; his other joys included art, music, dogs, poetry, American history, Sherlock Holmes, psychology, early cinema, Ireland, cooking, and family.
Steve is survived by his wife Eleanor Schultz and her brother Brooks Rainbolt; his first wife Ann Prentice; his brother John Schultz (Lois) and family; his children Charles Schultz (Jayne), Jeff Noe (Laura), and Jennifer Noe (Kyle McCall); and his grandchildren Lydia Schultz and Ella Noe.
Visitation is at Stoess Funeral Home in Crestwood, Kentucky, on Thursday from 2 to 8. There will be a service at Saint James’ Episcopal Church in Pewee Valley Friday morning at 10:30; all are welcome.
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