In Memoriam: John Reilly Schultz

In Memoriam: John Reilly Schultz
John Reilly Schultz

September 30, 1963 – November 5, 2020

On November 5 John Schultz died of heart failure at his home in Ortega Forest. In addition to his twin children, Rick and Reilly, John leaves behind his mother, Nancy, sister, Catherine, and brothers Frederick and Clifford. His father, Governor Frederick H. Schultz, predeceased him. 

For 35 years John worked in real estate development, management, construction, and brokerage, both commercial and residential. Together with many partners, he built numerous shopping centers and some six hundred houses. He also managed the extended family’s investments. 

John attended The Bolles School and the University of Florida. He served as a director of Jacksonville Bancorp, Metro YMCA, the Daniel Companies, the Museum of Science and History, St. Vincent’s Foundation, Junior Achievement of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Intrepid Capital Corp., Bolles School Alumni Board, and Southeast Atlantic Corp. He was a board member of our local NAACP chapter, the Trust for Public Land, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and was a founding member of the Ribault Group. He was voted one of 20 outstanding young men in Jacksonville. 

Unusual for a real estate developer, for decades he was active in conservation. In particular, he championed St. Johns Riverkeeper, the Nature Conservancy, and Jacksonville University Marine Science Research Institute. 

John knew every street and block in Jacksonville and seemed to be on a first-name basis with a thousand friends and colleagues. He sincerely loved the people of Jacksonville and took every opportunity to expand his circle of friends. Those who enjoyed his friendship knew that if they needed help, they could call John night or day. 

His devotion was legendary. When Stella Lodesky, the family babysitter, fell victim to dementia, John visited her bedside every day for years. With his Uncle Jack who was mentally handicapped, he arranged “vacations” — trips taken together to Disney World, Las Vegas, sea cruises, and other colorful destinations. 

He adored his twins and rarely missed their performances or games. Nearly every day he stopped by to see his mother. He helped to raise five step-children. 

From kindergarten friends to fraternity brothers (SAE) to fellow Rotarians, once he made connections he held onto them. A friend wrote to us this week saying “John had the biggest heart of anyone I ever knew.” To that must be added his keen wit, rousing sense of fun, and a remarkable memory for personal details. He leaves behind dozens who counted him as their best friend in the world. 

In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be sent to Riverside Presbyterian Day School, 830 Oak St., Jacksonville, FL 32204.

A memorial service will be scheduled post-pandemic. 

By Frederick Schultz Jr.
Resident Community News

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