Edward Charles Schults Jr., 81, of Manahawkin, N.J., proprietor of the Schults Bird Farm in Bucks County for many years, died of acute leukemia Sunday, Dec. 11, at home.
Born in Philadelphia, he graduated from Northeast High School in 1947. He attended college classes before being drafted into the Army in 1951.
Mr. Schults served as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. A sergeant, he was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
In 1953, after discharge from the Army, he settled in Philadelphia to start his first business, Active TV Service of America. The company repaired TVs in the Philadelphia area, his family said.
In 1978, he and his second wife, the former Dorothy Palmatary, created and ran the exotic-bird company in Langhorne.
When his wife died in 1991, four of the Schults children took over the business. The business was sold and later closed. Mr. Schults went back to finish his last year of college; he had dropped out when drafted.
In 1995, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in Bible studies at Philadelphia College of Bible. He went on to earn a master's degree in teaching from the University of the Arts.
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Schults taught art at Kings's Academy in Wrightstown, Burlington County.
In 2007, Mr. Schults was ordained a minister. From 2007 to just weeks before he died, he volunteered as assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel of Southern Ocean County, in West Creek, N.J.
He performed the wedding of his adopted son on Aug. 14, 2011, and officiated at the baptism of his adult cousin just a month before his death.
"He was the kindest, most wonderful man I have ever known. In the 16 years we were married, I never heard him say an unkind word to anyone," said his third wife, Aase Schults.
Surviving in addition to his wife are sons Edward C. III and Kirk; daughters Debra Gutterson, Lydia Prussel, and Shirley Purcell; stepsons John McTamney, Raymond Schults, and Jesse McTamney; stepdaughters Melissa Ferguson, Marianna Boudreaux, Judy Trout, and Machree Paul; 23 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A stepdaughter, Melody McTamney, died earlier. He also is survived by his first wife, Doris Kirby Schults Brown, from whom he was divorced.
A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at Calvary Chapel of Southern Ocean County, 610 Route 9, West Creek, N.J., followed by a potluck supper.
A viewing will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 19, followed by an 11 a.m. service, at Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Ave. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Park, Feasterville.