Wescott town chairman remembered for commitment to community

Schuler passed away Saturday from leukemia

Leader File Photo Mike Schuler, right, walks along Lake Drive during the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the town of Wescott, a tradition he participated in for many years. Schuler passed away Saturday at the age of 75.

Friends and acquaintances of longtime Wescott Town Chairman Mike Schuler remembered him this week not only for his three decades of service to the town, but as well for his dedication to Shawano County and a host of community organizations.

“It’s a tremendous loss to our community and to his family,” said Shawano Alderman Bob Kurkiewicz.

Schuler passed away Saturday at the age of 75 after a battle with leukemia.

“He was involved in so many community service things,” said Ron Stuber, who became head of the Department of Social Services back when Schuler was a county supervisor.

“Then I got to know him when Social Services moved over to the job center and we were able to get state grants to start a nonprofit to actually manage that and he was on the board of directors and had been the chairperson since that initial startup,” Stuber said.

Stuber also worked with him on the Wolf River Treatment Plant Commission.

“I got to know him even better when he started playing senior softball just like I did,” Stuber said. “So we knew each other both professionally and privately.”

Stuber said Schuler was a great resource on the job center board.

“When I had a question, I didn’t have to spend all the time looking it up,” he said. “I just called Mike and asked him. When you have a person that’s been involved 30-35 years in community functions, you rely on them instead of having to do the research. You can get an answer right away.”

But it wasn’t only Schuler’s commitment to various boards and commissions that he will be remembered for, Stuber said.

“It was what he did out in the community,” he said.

Stuber said all of Shawano County will miss him.

“He’s been involved in so many of the projects going on,” he said.

Wescott Town Supervisor Marlene Brown worked with Schuler on the town board for about 14 years.

“He was a great guy,” she said. “He was a wonderful mentor for all of us. Very knowledgeable.”

Brown said Schuler helped keep the tax rate down, improved roads and improved the town’s equipment.

“He was an asset to the entire community,” she said. “He did a wonderful job. He was very dedicated. We’re going to miss him greatly.”

Terry Moede, Wescott’s zoning administrator and a friend of Schuler’s, said Schuler was very involved in the community at multiple levels.

“He had a very giving heart,” Moede said.

Schuler’s participation in community groups like Toys for Tots, the Shawano County Humane Society and Navarino Nature Center were just a few of many, Moede said.

“He’s helped so many people,” he said. “It was pretty much a constant for him, being involved with things, helping people out if he could. He was a kind-hearted guy.”

Moede, who had known Schuler since the early 1980s, said Schuler worked well with the town board.

“He’ll be missed, but he’ll still be overseeing things, I’m sure,” Moede said.

“Mike was a good leader,” said Jerry Weisnicht, administrator of the Shawano Lake Sanitary District.

“He served as president for years on our commission,” Weisnicht said. “He always looked out for the customers’ well being and tried to keep the rates low. He was always looking out for the future, also, to make sure that the equipment and the system got updated when it needed to be updated. He was always looking long term and had a good eye for the future. He’s going to be s0rely missed that’s for sure. He had a wealth of knowledge.”

Former Shawano mayor Lorna Marquardt said she and Schuler enjoyed a strong political friendship.

“I considered Mike a true friend of the city of Shawano,” she said. “He was a dedicated public servant who served with integrity and enthusiasm. I respected him as a mentor and I loved him as a friend.”