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Ruth H. Schultz, pastor’s wife and piano teacher, dies

Ruth H. Schultz was an active member of Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Severna Park.
Ruth H. Schultz was an active member of Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Severna Park. (handout)

Ruth H. Schultz, a pastor’s wife and piano teacher, died March 16 of complications from dementia at The Village of Augsburg in Lochearn. The former longtime Original Northwood resident was 94.

The former Ruth Helen Pollnow, daughter of Edwin Pollnow, a schoolteacher, and his wife, Martha Pollnow, a homemaker, was born and raised in Michigan City, Indiana, where she later graduated from high school.

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She attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where she studied music. “She loved music and especially church music,” said a daughter, Gretchen Ruth Schultz of Baltimore.

During the 1930s, Mrs. Schultz was one of 16 members of Indiana’s Olsen Studio Accordion Band.

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In 1948, she married the Rev. Edward E. Schultz, a Lutheran minister, and assisted her husband, who pastored churches in Buffalo, New York; Grand Bahama Island; Edison, New Jersey; Kennebunk, Maine; Allison Park, Pennsylvania; and Baltimore.

From 1952 until 1976, she worked in a variety of outreach programs at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, now All Saints Evangelical Lutheran Church, on Loch Raven Boulevard, which was pastored by her husband.

She hosted Bible study classes and women’s club events at the church, where she taught Sunday school, played the organ and piano, and sang in the choir. She enjoyed decorating the church with banners and flowers, and maintaining the churchyard gardens.

She was also a leader in nascent Northeast Community Organization groups and attended political demonstrations, including the historic 1963 March on Washington where she heard the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech.

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Mrs. Schultz and her husband moved to Annapolis in the 1980s, and she became an active member of Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Severna Park in 1988, and remained so until moving to The Village of Augsburg in 2017.

While living in Annapolis, she taught piano until she turned 90. Her grateful students and their families would join in her birthday celebrations, clean her yard and plant her gardens, her daughter said.

She enjoyed painting, writing poetry and stories, and making greeting cards. She also “composed dozens of narrated journals of family events, particularly of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Ms. Schultz said.

Mrs. Schultz had been an active member of the Green Door Poetry Society in Annapolis. At Augsburg, she played the piano for the choir and participated in the Bible study and writing groups until her death.

Her husband died in 2002.

Plans for a celebration-of-life gathering to be held on what would have been her 95th birthday in June are incomplete.

In addition to Ms. Schultz, she is survived by two other daughters, Amy Lydia Schultz Warner of Church Hill, Frederick County, and Elizabeth Ann Schultz of Westbrook, Maine; a sister, Jean Pollnow Williams of Annandale, Virginia; six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and six nieces and nephews.

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