Herbert L. Shultz, aged 93, who headed several family-owned coal and oil companies based in Kingston, N.Y., during the mid 1900’s and who later was a vice president of both Vassar College and Storm King Art Center, died at home on March 5th, 2012.
Shultz was president of Rodie Coal Company and North River Coal Company, distributors of bituminous and anthracite coal to major industrial companies and retail fuel dealers throughout upstate New York and nearby states. He also was president of Kingston Coal & Oil Company and of Rodie Coal Company’s retail coal and oil operation based in Poughkeepsie.
Among other business interests he served as a director of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation and for 34 years as a trustee of Rondout Savings Bank.
Born April 4, 1918, he was the son of the late Edwin D. Shultz and Mary Smith, both of whom were natives of Kingston. His grandfather, Charles A. Shultz, owned the Shultz brickyard in East Kingston, one of the area’s leading brick manufacturers. On his mother’s side he was descended from David Schuyler, the first mayor of Albany, and from the earliest Dutch settlers of Kingston.
He grew up in Albany, was graduated from Albany Academy and in 1940 from Princeton, where he was campus correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other major papers. Following graduation, he returned to Albany as reporter for the Times Union, then joined the Associated Press Bureau as a political writer covering the legislature and the governor’s office. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a combat correspondent covering several Pacific island campaigns.
He was married for 54 years, until her death, to the former Barbara Hinkley Rodie, of Kingston, with whom he helped found the Kingston Boys Club—now the Kingston Boys & Girls Club. Among many other civic activities, he was a founder and officer of Mid Hudson Pattern for Progress, trustee and treasurer of the Kingston Hospital, vestryman of St. John’s Episcopal Church, chairman of the Kingston Human Rights Commission and life member of the Ulster Chapter NAACP and member of its executive committee.
In 1973, having sold the family fuel business, he became vice president for development at Vassar College, with responsibility for the college’s major fundraising. On retiring from Vassar at age 65, he assumed the same responsibilities as vice president of Storm King Art Center, the 500-acre sculpture park in Mountainville, N.Y., until his retirement in 2010.
He was a member of Winnisook Club, Big Indian, N.Y., where he and Mrs. Shultz maintained a summer home, and served as its president at the time of the club’s 100th anniversary celebration in 1986. An avid fly fisherman, he also was a member of the Anglers’ Club of New York and the Flyfishers’ Club of London. His other club memberships included the Princeton Club of New York, the Century Association, and the Nassau Club of Princeton, N.J.
He started collecting early jazz records as a young man, developing an interest which lasted throughout his lifetime. He wrote articles on jazz for national magazines including the Saturday Review and wrote liner notes for jazz albums issued by RCA Victor, Atlantic Records, and others. He lectured on jazz at Vassar and Bard Colleges and taught courses in jazz history at both Dutchess and Ulster Community Colleges. His other lifelong interest was following and rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. He became an avid Cardinals fan at age 8 in 1926, when the team won its first World Series. He traveled all over the country to watch them play, including many trips to their spring training camps in St. Petersburg and Jupiter, Florida.