Dorothy Schulte, age 91, wife, mother, homemaker, business-partner and horse breeder died Saturday, June 16, 2018 at the Ellsworth Care Center following a brief hospital stay. Dorothy had been in and out of the care center and assisted living since February but up until that time was living independently. She was born February 23, 1927 in Ellsworth township, the daughter of John and Anna (Linder) Hamilton.
Dorothy graduated Ellsworth High School in 1945 and married Vincent Schulte on September 4, 1946. The Schulte’s purchased a grocery store in Bruce, Wisconsin where they started their family, which eventually grew to five children. After three years in Bruce, they moved to Bay City where they acquired the grocery store owned by Paul and Wally Hortenbach and which they operated from 1950 until 1955. They moved back to Ellsworth and opened a store, which is now occupied by Ellsworth Auto Parts. As their grocery business grew they needed more space, and opened the Midway Shopping Center, which was eventually enlarged to add four more retail businesses.
The Schulte’s grocery business was truly a family business with all of the kids working in the family business at some point, and Vince managing operations and Dorothy performing bookkeeping and accounting. The Schulte’s enjoyed serving the community as an employer of many Ellsworth area youth and providing a local, friendly supermarket. After 43 years of success in the grocery business Vince and Dorothy sold their business in 1988.
Dorothy was able to re-ignite her childhood love for horses when they bought a horse for daughter, Faye, in the early 70’s. What started out as a minor hobby for Dorothy and Faye became a 30 year commitment of love and caring for horses, with Vince and Dorothy purchasing 20 acres east of Ellsworth where they built a home and stable. They raised horses which Faye showed until the mid-80’s. After Faye stopped showing Dorothy continued to raise horses with the help of a trainer in southern Wisconsin until 2008. Dorothy was particularly proud of Faye’s success showing horses that they had raised themselves. Their horse, Socks By Sonny, won at the national level and was retired early to become a broodmare. Dorothy raised twelve offspring of “Socks” that went on to become successful in their own right and in 2007, Socks was inducted into the NSBA Hall of Fame. Dorothy and daughter-in-law Jackie Schulte and granddaughter Anna Schulte traveled to Oklahoma to accept the award.
In addition to her love of horses, Dorothy was a master seamstress who made clothing for her 5 young children and in her later years turned her talents into making beautiful quilts of all sizes. Her children, grandchildren and many friends have been blessed by gifts of her quilts that were specially designed for them.
All her life Dorothy was a voracious reader, a gift that she gave to all her children who also love to read. Even in her final days she would read the daily paper cover to cover and devour books, reading several books a week.
Dorothy was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, serving in the Women’s Guild and generously giving to the church.
She is survived by her sons, Larry Schulte, of River Falls, Wayne (Jackie) Schulte, of Ellsworth, daughters Susan (Dick) Schliesmann, of San Francisco, California, and Faye Schulte of San Francisco, California and three grandchildren: Lauren Schliesmann and Evan and Anna Schulte.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Vince, and her son, Lynn; parents, John and Anna Hamilton, and brother, Howard.
Funeral services will be held 10:00 AM Saturday, June 23, 2018 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, W5706 State Hwy 72, Ellsworth, with Pastor Adam Westrich officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the church cemetery.