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Deacon Thomas Edward Schultz

January 05, 2024
A Visitation will be held on Thursday January 11th, 2024 from 3-7pm at St. Gregory The Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Ct., Amherst, NY
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday January 12th, 2024 at 10:30am at St. Gregory The Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Ct., Amherst, NY

Deacon Thomas Edward Schultz

Passed January 5th, 2024. Beloved husband of the late Virginia M. “Gini” Schultz (nee. Rinaldi). Loving father of Catherine (Chris Reinman) Schultz, Karen (Daniel) Sagun, and John (Ewa) Schultz; loving grandfather of 10 grandchildren. Loving great grandfather of 2 great grandchildren. Brother of the late Edward (Patricia) Schultz and Mary (Frank) Insera. Also survived by nieces and nephews. A visitation will be held on Thursday January 11th, 2024 from 3-7pm at St. Gregory The Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Court, Amherst, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday January 12th, 2024 at 10:30am at St. Gregory The Great Church. Please assemble at the church. Flowers gratefully declined. Memorials may be made to Women’s Respite Program, 1301 Ferry Ave., Niagara Falls, NY 14301. Deacon Tom was a Director of the Office of Family Life for the diocese of Buffalo for over 10 years. Online condolences may be made at


Thomas E. Schultz, 89, systems manager, leader in Catholic family programs


The lessons in teamwork and cooperation that Thomas E. Schultz learned as a young ballplayer later served him as a computer systems manager and as a leader in family programs for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Director of data systems at Erie Community College from 1979 until he retired in 1992, he was ordained as a Catholic deacon and with his wife led the diocesan Family Life Department for many years. He died Jan. 5 at the Brothers of Mercy Wellness Campus, Clarence, after a period of declining health. He was 89. Born in Buffalo, the oldest of three children, Thomas Edward Schultz attended St. Teresa’s School and was a member of the second freshman class at Bishop Timon High School, where he played varsity basketball and baseball. His first baseball coach was his father, Edward J. Schultz, a Buffalo firefighter, and All-American Amateur Baseball Association commissioner for the Buffalo area. A standout left-handed pitcher and first baseman, Mr. Schultz was nicknamed “Jake,” after Jake Wade, a southpaw pitcher for the Buffalo Bisons in 1950. He threw a no-hitter in 1951 and received offers from the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals when he graduated from Timon that June. Instead, he played baseball for four years at Canisius College, now University, where he led the Griffins to Little Three championships and was co-captain his senior year. He also played on three American Legion teams that went to the state finals and many champion Muny League teams, including Al Maroone in 1954 and Simon Pure in 1956, 1960 and 1961. He was inducted into the Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. After graduating from Canisius with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1956, Mr. Schultz enlisted in the Navy, entered officer candidate school, and was commissioned as a lieutenant junior grade. He was stationed in Guam as a naval aviation observer and flew tens of thousands of hours on reconnaissance. He also played baseball with the U.S. Navy Island champions from 1957 to 1959. Just after he returned from service in 1960, he went on a blind date to the firemen’s ball in Memorial Auditorium, where his father was receiving an award. “He remembered a picture of a beautiful woman that his mom showed him when he was on leave a previous time,” his daughter Karen Sagun told Buffalo News reporter Anne Neville in 2020. “Since his brother knew her, he asked him to ask if she was interested and available to go.” His date, Virginia M. “Gini” Rinaldi, became his fiancée. They were married July 15, 1961, in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Buffalo. Mr. Schultz first found a position at the General Motors Tonawanda Engine Plant, where he gained valuable experience with computer systems as an internal auditor, cost accountant and analyst programmer. In 1967, he became supervisor of data processing for Conax Corp. The following year he went to Curtiss-Wright Corp. as data processing manager, then returned to Conax in 1970. Two years later, he was appointed senior electronic data processing manager for the Erie County Comptroller’s Office. He joined ECC in 1975 as a systems analyst.

Active in Christ the King Catholic Church in Snyder, he was a special minister of the eucharist. He also was a lector, an officer in the Holy Name Society and parish supervisor for Catholic Charities. As girls’ basketball coach, he started the Christ the King Invitational Tournament. He also played regularly in the church golf league. After a weekend retreat with Marriage Encounter in 1972, he and his wife felt it transformed their relationship and became deeply involved in the program. They were team leaders for 11 years and leaders in Engaged Encounter for four years. When Mr. Schultz decided to become a permanent deacon in 1986, his wife attended all the classes with him at Christ the King Seminary. Instead of being assigned to a parish after he was ordained a deacon in 1989, Bishop Henry J. Mansell appointed him and his wife to the Family Life Department in the diocesan office. From 2002 to 2010, they were co-directors of the Family Life Department. They coordinated numerous marriage and family programs throughout the diocese, including Retrouvaille and all Pre-Cana programs. Mr. Schultz also was a chaplain at Buffalo General Medical Center and a member of the board and retreat team at the former St. Columban’s Retreat Center in Derby, where he performed liturgical services and prayer and Communion services. During the past year at Brothers of Mercy, he gave the homily at worship services. Survivors include two daughters, Catherine Schultz and Karen Sagun; a son, John; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, a teacher in Buffalo schools in addition to her religious volunteer work, died in 2020. A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Jan. 12 in St. Gregory the Great Church, Amherst.



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