Dementia took his mind, COVID took his health, but our gentle Lord took his soul on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, at Powell Valley Healthcare, surrounded by his loving family.
Art was born in Lovell, to Chris and Lois Gifford Schatz on Feb. 4, 1942. He was the oldest of four siblings. He grew up in Kane, Wyoming, until the Yellowtail Dam took out that farming area. He started driving tractors when he was 6, which began his life-time habit of being a hard worker.
Art enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 8, 1960, serving on the catapult crew on the USS Hancock until he was honorably discharged on Dec. 6, 1965. He stayed in California for a couple of years building steel towers for PG&E. He then moved to Boise, Idaho, and went to barber college. However, Wyoming life and family soon pulled him back to Lovell.
After a 12-hour blind date in 1972 with Judy Jerger, a school teacher from Ohio, “Miss Vega” had Art wrapped around her finger. They were married on June 1, 1973. Their union was blessed with the three C’s: Casey, Christy and Cody, and lasted for 47 years!
Art had many occupations over the years. He worked road construction, drove semi-trucks, was a miner for American Colloid and WYO BEN, worked 40 plus campaigns with Great Western Sugar, starting out on the dinky engine and later loading the rehaul trucks. Along the way, he also started three of his own businesses: A&J Custom Haying, Action Auction and Cottonwood Realty. He worked nine years for Yellowstone National Park running the honey wagon and working the roads.
He was a man who never met a stranger. His kids tell about how they could go anywhere and he would run into someone he knew. Art loved people and always had a story to share. He was a prolific reader and was a collector of coins, stamps and license plates. He also enjoyed studying rocks while a member of the Shoshone Rock Club.
During his long term of service in the Lions Club, Art helped many people, serving as the Wyoming Lions state governor in 2000. He also received the Melvin Jones Fellow award.
He was very proud of his three children, especially of the fact that they all graduated from college. His five grandchildren were the highlight of his life, and Poppy loved reading to them and telling them stories.
The crowning achievement of his life was finishing a book in 2015, Raising Kane in Kane, a collection of stories from his growing up years. While hand writing little stories for five years, people tried to get him to use a computer. Art would point to his pencil, saying this is my computer and the eraser is my delete button.
After having lived across the river from Byron for 40 years, Art and Judy moved to Powell in 2018, but he missed his many friends at the Lovell Senior Center.
He is survived by wife Judy; son Casey; daughter Christy (Scott) Landwehr; son Cody (Angela) and five grandchildren: Abby and Maya Landwehr, and Beau, Luke, and Taya Schatz; as well as brothers Chris (Lynda) Schatz and Gene Schatz; and sister Grace (Roger) Lowry; numerous nieces and nephews, and Judy’s family in Ohio.
His funeral will be held at the Lovell Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Viewing will be at 9 a.m. and the service at 10 a.m., with burial following at the Lovell Cemetery. Haskell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Donations can be made in his memory to the Lovell Senior Center or the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp. The family wishes to thank everyone for their loving messages and prayers during this sad time.