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Virginia M. Schultz (nee Rinaldi)

February 16, 2022

Visitation: No prior visitation.
Service: WEDNESDAY, December 16, 2020: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am at St. Gregory the Great Church, Williamsville. SCHULTZ – Virginia M. “Gini”
(nee Rinaldi)
December 11, 2020. Beloved wife
of Deacon Thomas Schultz; loving mother of
Catherine (Chris) Reinman, Karen
(Daniel) Sagun, and John (Ewa)
Schultz; loving grandmother of ten
grandchildren. No prior visitation.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be
celebrated on Wednesday, December
16, 2020, at St. Gregory the Great
Church, 200 St. Gregory Court,
Amherst, NY, at 10:30 AM. Flowers
gratefully declined. Memorials made
to Women’s Respite Program, 1301
Ferry Ave., Niagara Falls, NY 14301.
Social distancing and facial coverings
are required for Mass. Arrangements
INC., 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.
Please share condolences online at
Jan. 31, 1940 – Dec. 11, 2020

For four years, Virginia M. Schultz attended all the classes her husband, Thomas, was required to complete while studying at Christ the King Seminary to become a permanent deacon.

"It was unusual, but she loved learning, especially when it came to growing in her faith," said the couple’s daughter Karen Sagun.

"My dad said she took such good notes that when people missed classes for different reasons, they used her notes to catch up," Sagun said.

And there was more.

"Because of her passion for learning and her passion for the program," after she completed the program that led to her husband’s ordination Oct. 15, 1989, she was invited to teach a spirituality course in discernment for deacon candidates. She also developed a program for wives of ordained deacons, continuing both for 28 years.

Virginia M. Schultz, known to all as "Gini," died in her Cheektowaga home of 55 years after living with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 80.

Starting in 1965, the Schultzes were active in their parish, Christ the King in Snyder. In 1998, Mrs. Schultz and her husband served as volunteer coordinators in the Office of Family Life Ministries in the Diocese of Buffalo, a post they held until 2001, when they were hired as co-directors of the office.

"She fully embraced the life of a Permanent Deacon’s wife, supporting her husband, side by side in their ministries," said their daughter. "Even in her later stage of Alzheimer’s, she would emphatically point to the deacon wives’ logo on her favorite fleece jacket," which features a deacon’s cross with wedding rings and the words, "Together We Serve." Mrs. Schultz "would look at it, smile and nod," Sagun said.

She was born in Brooklyn, the only child of Eugene Rinaldi and May Ampel Rinaldi. She graduated from local schools, then enrolled in SUNY Buffalo State, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching exceptional children, cum laude. In 1979, she added a master’s degree magna cum laude from Buffalo State in teaching those with learning disabilities. In 1981, she was certified by Buffalo State as a reading specialist; she was also certified in American Sign Language.

Mrs. Schultz met her husband when Thomas Schultz was home from the Navy and looking for a date for the the Firemen’s Ball at Memorial Auditorium on March 17, 1960.

"He remembered a picture of a beautiful woman that his mom showed him when he was on leave a previous time," their daughter said. "Since his brother knew her, he asked him to ask if she was interested and available to go. She was!"

After the dance and a goodnight kiss on her cheek, they dated for six months, became engaged and were married July 15, 1961, in Blessed Sacrament Church in Buffalo.

Mrs. Schultz worked as a preschool teacher at Westminster Preschool from 1968 to 1972, then as a kindergarten teacher at Maryvale from 1972 to 1979. She was a resource room teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools from 1979 to 1981, and then continued as an educational specialist for the district from 1981 to 1996.

Mrs. Schultz filled many roles in her parish, including leading the Catholic Family Movement, teaching classes for parents and those about to be confirmed or married, and coordinating visits to nursing homes and the bereaved. She was a Eucharistic Minister.

For the diocese, she and her husband coordinated pre-nuptial programs and programs for married couples that included parenting and golden anniversary celebrations. She was a volunteer chaplain at Buffalo General Medical Center for 10 years and a board member and retreat leader at St. Columban’s Diocesan Retreat Center in Derby, where she led workshops and recorded prayer, exercise and meditation tapes for retreat participants.

For more than 20 years, starting in 1987, she was spiritual director for The 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a nine-month retreat through St. Michael’s Church in Buffalo that adapts the Spiritual Exercises of the saint into a format that can be accomplished by the average person, her daughter said.

Mrs. Schultz trained a team to carry on the work before her health declined, her daughter said.

Mrs. Schultz "loved her husband, family, her home, her God and bringing God’s love to other people," Karen Sagun said. Her favorite bit of advice was, "Always in life, remember who you are and whose you are!"

Besides her daughter and her husband of 59 years, Deacon Thomas Schultz, Mrs. Schultz is survived by another daughter, Catherine Reinman; a son, John Schultz; and 10 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Gregory the Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Court, Amherst.


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