Granton FFA Alumni Select
2016 Honored Grandparents



Mike and Coleen Schultz

Granton's 2016 Honored Grandparents are Mike and Coleen Schultz
(Contributed photo)


Encouraging, thoughtful, kind, loving and supportive are just a few of the words used to describe Granton’s 2016 Honored Grandparents, Mike and Coleen Schultz.

The award is sponsored each year by the Granton FFA Alumni, and as this year’s recipients, the Schultz’s will get to help lead the Granton Fall Festival parade Sunday, Sept. 11, at 1 p.m., which also happens to be National Grandparents’ Day.

Mike and Coleen became high school sweethearts after being introduced by her best friend, also Mike’s cousin, Denny Rollins, and they were united in marriage Sept. 15, 1973.  They will be celebrating 43 years of marriage this fall.  Mike said, “When we met, it felt like a bolt of lightning, 24,000 watts, and it still feels like that today!”

At the time they got married, Coleen was working as a teller at the Citizen’s National Bank in Marshfield, and Mike worked for the Cooperative in Granton.

One year and four days after they were married, Coleen and Mike had their first child, Jason.  Even before Jason was born, Coleen ended her employment at the bank to become a stay-at-home Mom.  She also provided daycare at her home for other children in the community.  Their second child, daughter Jenny, was born three years after Jason, and Coleen remained home with the children all through their preschool years.

She eventually pursued various employments at Figi’s, Central Wisconsin Insurance and Granton area Schools but finally ended up at Citizens State Bank of Loyal, where she is currently employed in her 22nd year, serving as a loan processor in its Marshfield Branch.

Mike left the co-op in 1979 after taking a ride along with his good friend, Orville Garbisch, to pursue employment options at the paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids.  He was called for orientation, and they pursued him to come work for them.  Mike worked there for 29 years and six months until the mill closed in 2008.  After several months of looking for another career, Mike was hired by Land O’Lakes in Spencer as a support relief employee, and he remains there today.

The two Schultz children, Jason and Jenny, each have four children of their own, giving Mike and Coleen eight beautiful grandchildren to love and enjoy.  Jason married his college sweetheart, Kim Officer, and their four children are Kayla, Kelsey, Jared and JJ.  Jenny also married her college sweetheart, John Schaak, and their four children are Addison, Ansley, Avery and Landon.  Mike and Coleen said the advantage of having children when you are you is that you get grandchildren while you are also young.

The Schultz family is spread out, as Jason’s family lives three hours north of Granton and Jenny’s family is three hours south, but that does not stop Mike and Coleen from taking in as many of their grandchildren’s activities as they possibly can.

In the essay submitted for the contest, the family wrote, “Some of us play sports like basketball, softball and baseball, while some of us dance, ride horses, sing, play an instrument and perform in plays.  No matter the event, Grandma and Grandpa do their best to be there and tell us how proud they are of us.”

Mike and Coleen have taken personal or vacation days to attend special events and have even driven both ways the same day just to be with their grandchildren.  They said it their goal to see each grandchild at least once a month somehow, somewhere.

When all the family is home for the holidays and hunting season, it is indeed a house full at the Schultz’s place.  They purchased their current home in 1976 from former high school principal Larson and they have remodeled and renovated numerous times, completing the work in sections.  Mike recalls that they moved their side house entrance door three different times over the years, but the openness and welcoming feeling can be easily felt at their home, even by a guest such as myself.

Mike and Coleen said that as the grandchildren get older they are becoming more involved, and they are in just about every youth activity possible, so that makes it hard for them to attend everything.  They are also getting more involved with their friends, so it sometimes complicates things a bit.  They both try very hard to even things out and give them all equal time and support.  They smiled as they recalled the time they surprised the grandchildren by making the Christmas program in the middle of the week.  The sadness could be seen on their faces when they told of the times they had to miss events because they could not get off work or make connections and the grandchildren seem so disappointed.

Each year they try to hold one special “Schulz Family Birthday Weekend Event” for everyone to celebrate together.  These events have included going to plays and dinner theaters together, a trip to the Brewers and zoo, and their ever-popular park parties. The children are each given one gift from their aunt and uncle and another from Grandpa and Grandma and they share fun activities together.  They also get matching bright shirts to wear as a remembrance, but also a way to keep track of the whole group.  Mike and Coleen said, “It is odd how the cousins pair up when they are together.”

“As grandparents, they said they pride themselves in reinforcing the expectations set by the parents at their homes all the while that they are with them as well.  Grandma and Grandpa shared that their greatest joy comes when they hear the words, “this is the best day ever” or the grandchildren come running into their arms.  Their hardest moments are being the disciplinarian when needed, but “the grandchildren need to understand their environment and respect their parents’ values, and as grandparents it is our responsibility to help,” they added.

“Grandma and Grandpa Schultz find a way to make us all feel special no matter where we are,” said the family in their essay.  “Sometimes we sew or build projects, play card games, go hunting, ply sports in the yard, swim, go to the park, watch movies or just hang out together.”  The grandchildren also said, “Most of us agree that Grandma is the best cook and we love to help her in the kitchen.”

Some of their specific memories are shared.  Kayla, age 13, said, “Grandma is always willing to play a card game with us or teach us a new game.  She always likes to show us how to cook things as well.  Grandpa is willing to play basketball or any sport with us.  One time we even went to the Granton ballpark and he and Grandma played baseball with us for the afternoon.  Grandpa has taught me a lot about hunting.  It’s been quite an experience to be in the woods during deer hunting with him and my dad and other Schultz family members.”

Kelsey, age 11, said, “I loved the afternoon that just Grandma and I spent sewing me a purse.  We spent an hour or two making sure it was just right.  She always spends time with me.  I liked when Grandpa came to watch my basketball tournament last year.  He always would tell me what I did right and what I could work on.  He also plays outside with us at their house too.”

Addison, age 10, shared, “Grandpa and Grandma take the time to play with us whenever we visit.  We usually play softball or badminton and Grandpa usually wins,” while her sister Ansley, age nine, recalled, “We spent an entire weekend together sharing experiences like touring Lambeau field and visiting the Packers Hall of Fame.  We played games and chatted.  Grandma and Grandpa will always be a part of my memories of that full weekend.”

Avery is the youngest granddaughter at age seven and she said, “Grandma chooses to spend time with us even though she might not love the different things we like to do.  We swam at the lake and spent the afternoon on the beach even though the flies were biting her the whole time.”

The three grandsons each also shared a special memory, Jared, age 10, said, “Grandpa is a good hunter, and I like it when he takes me in the woods to check things out.  He is always ready to play sports with me.  He comes to watch me play basketball and baseball when he can.  Grandma is a really good cook.  She knows how to make anything.  She makes the best pancakes.  Whatever I want to eat when I’m there she will make.  She also will always play UNO and cards with me.”

JJ and Landon are both five and are the youngest two grandchildren.  JJ said “I love when Grandpa and Grandma play games with me.  They play spoons and cards with me.  They also have some Star Wars Legos to play with at their house.”   And Landon shared, “I love to play on Grandma and Grandpa’s tablet.  My favorite game is Pixels, but sometimes it’s hard for Grandpa to share the tablet with me.”

Just a few weeks ago the grandkids sent a message asking if we could add something to their story, as they had just spent the night in Granton and it generated another memory.  They said, “You can always count on Grandma and Grandpa to always have a supply of spaghettios and ‘magic’ oranges.”

The connection and bond the grandchildren feel for Mike and Coleen can best be summed with with the following words, taken from the end of their essay submission, “Grandma and Grandpa Schultz are a one-of-a-kind duo because they are willing to do anything for us.  But, most importantly, we know we are loved by Grandma and Grandpa Schultz and that’s all we could ever ask for.”

From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 31, 2016

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, September 3, 2016

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, September 8, 2016

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