Michael L. Schulze was born on Jan. 1, 1963, in Atlanta, Ga., to Miles and Gaynelle (Babb) Schulze.Mike attended Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas, and Sam Houston State University, where he was a proud member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.
Growing up in Dallas, Mike was a faithful member of Emanuel Lutheran Church where he was an active member of the youth group, and also was confirmed. Mike loved the Lutheran church camps and served two summers as a counselor at the Broken Arrow Ranch camp in Albert, Texas.
Mike’s favorite TV show growing up was the police drama “Adam 12.” While every little boy says, “I want to be a police officer when I grow up,” Mike never wavered. He majored in criminal justice at Sam Houston. It was during his college years that Mike got his first policing experience as an intern with the Port Aransas Police Department in Port Aransas, Texas.
Mike graduated from Sam Houston in 1986, and got his first full time law enforcement position with the Bedford, Texas, Police Department. Mike served with Bedford from 1987-1993, making connections and gaining valuable experience. His next stop was the Texas Department of Public Safety, where he graduated from the academy in 1994.
Mike served as a DPS officer for more than 27 years, retiring as a corporal days before his death. His first DPS assignment was in Oak Cliff, south of downtown Dallas where Mike worked in criminal investigations. Mike excelled in Dallas, but the call to West Texas was undeniable, and Mike moved with his family to Andrews, Texas, where he served from 1997-2004.
It turned out that Andrews was not far enough west, and Mike assumed the trooper position at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas, in 2004, a position he would hold for the next 17 years. Mike’s duties at the Pine Springs station included frequent hikes to find and rescue lost or injured hikers. He was also deployed to significant wrecks, difficult situations along the border, and to cities damaged by hurricanes Harvey and Katrina. Mike loved his DPS work, and considered everyone in DPS and the Guadalupe Mountains community his extended family.
Mike was well known and well loved by everyone he met in the national park and Van Horn communities. Known for his service and kindness, Mike took a special interest in the Dell City School District in Texas. Though it wasn't part of his official duties, Mike served as a school resource officer, and focused on improving basic security. Mike loved Dell City, and considered the school a special place. In return, Mike was recently honored by the Dell City School Board for his service and dedication.
Mike enjoyed collecting Western art, barbecuing, and being outdoors. On trips to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to visit his children, he never missed an opportunity to attend a Texas Rangers or Cowboys game.
Mike passed away on March 29, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his parents Miles and Gaynelle Schulze; wife Elizabeth Garcia (Lisa), his partner of 16 years; brother Carl (Jeanne) Schulze; children Alyssa (Cole) Moody, Maris (Tad) Darland, Mikenzi (AJ) McInerney, and Macy Schulze; and grandchildren Madden and Claire Moody. Mike is also survived by his stepchildren Liza Vejil, Leilani (Patrick) Pornan, Andrea Lopez, and Aaron Lopez; and his step grandchildren Kyrie Escajeda, Kash Hernandez, Kallie, Koa, and Koi Pornan. Mike is also survived by his beloved dog Bella.
Mike was a blessing to all who knew him, and he leaves the world better because of his life. A celebration of Mike’s life will be held at the Van Horn High School Auditorium at 200 West Seventh Street in Van Horn at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 8. Mike will be laid to rest on a later date at the Dell City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Mike and his family request that donations be made in his memory to Dell City ISD, 110 North Main Street, Dell City TX 79837, or the Mike Schulze endowment at Sam Houston State University, 1905 University Avenue, Huntsville TX 77340.
Online condolences may be left at vanhornfunerals.com.
Services were entrusted to Heritage Funeral Home in Van Horn, Texas.