Peter J. Schultz, D.D.S.

 United States

  • Date Of Birth: December 15, 1920
  • Date Of Death: January 26, 2015
  • State: Montana

PETER JAMES SCHULTZ, D.D.S., 94, died just as handsome as he had lived on January 26, 2015 at Peace Hospice in Great Falls, Montana. He was surrounded by and in the presence of his daughter and love. Born on December 15, 1920 in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan to Mary Rose Halleran, of Chicago, IL and Peter Schultz, born in Hungary, Peter started life in Hatton, Saskatchewan, now a ghost town. His family moved to Vegreville, Alberta where he spent his early years and graduated from Vegreville High School. He attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington for predental work, and sang in the men’s choir. He then traveled east, and obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1950 from the Loyola School of Dentistry in Chicago, IL. He returned to Montana to begin practicing dentistry in 1950 at Wolf Point, Montana, then returned to Loyola in Chicago for his post-graduate oral surgery degree.

Dr. Schultz completed his residency at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago in 1953, where he met Lilyan Parma, the love of his life, and a registered nurse working across the hall. Born in New York, a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, and the Manhattan Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital in New York City, where she received her post graduate nursing degree in 1949, and a nurse who had worked at hospitals as varied as the Cedars of Lebanon in Hollywood, California, Lilyan landed at Cook County Hospital across the hall from the most handsome man in the world, and remembered their first date as: “He came across the hall for lunch, took my hand, and said ‘Let’s go.’ And that was that.”

Peter and Lilyan were inseparable, and married on April 24, 1954 at St. Justin’s Church in Chicago. Peter went on to finish his second residency in oral/maxillofacial surgery at the University Hospital/Crippled Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, completed officer orientation for the United States Army in 1955 at Brook Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, TX, was promoted to Captain and sent to Ft. Lewis Washington, where he became the Chief of Oral Surgery. He was on the full time clinical faculty at the University of Washington’s School of Dentistry in Seattle.

After son Peter was born in 1957 in Olympia, Washington, and daughter Mary Elizabeth was born in 1958 in Seattle, Washington, the family moved to Great Falls, where, in 1958, Dr. Schultz created his oral/maxillofacial surgical practice, and flourished, working for patients throughout Montana and at and for the Columbus Hospital. He was a professionally skilled and devoted doctor, whose dedication to his craft and his patients was greatly admired. He and his family built their home at 4010 6th Avenue South, and Dr. Schultz devoted himself to his family, his work, his patients, and his staff. He served as the President of the Fourth District Dental Society and as an Oral Surgery Consultant to the VA Hospital at Ft. Harrison, MT. He was admitted into the American Society of Oral Surgeons in Las Vegas, NV in 1964. His wife’s admiration was unfaltering. “Your father is a saint,” she told her children.

Wife Lilyan died in December of 1979 from cancer in their 25th wedded year. Peter had kept relentless vigil over her throughout mornings, noons, and nights, while continuing to care for his patients and ensure that his children, then in college, remained stable and supported. By the time his own father died in 1984, Peter’s daughter Mary had obtained her law degree at Gonzaga University in 1983, and was on her way to following in his footsteps by establishing her own practice in Spokane. His son Peter was finishing college at Montana State University in Engineering.

With his family stabilized, Peter remarried–Kathryn Demille, who died in 1989, Esther Shoquist, they later divorced, and, in September 2002, he married Lois Hamma, with whom he drove back and forth to Yuma, Arizona, purchasing his own home there and loving life “on the road” as a snowbird. His passion was travel, dancing, and jazz. His curiosity about, and joy for, life, places, people and things, led him to the road throughout his life both professionally and personally. In his early family years, he took his family on expeditions throughout the Northwest and Canada to favorite places– Flathead Lake, Banff, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay, Yellowstone, the World’s Fair and Ice Capades in Spokane, various Hot Springs, Glacier Park, Waterton Peace Park, Big Mountain, Disneyland and Seaworld. He traveled every Thursday night after his work to Conrad, MT, where his father owned and operated the Schultz Lumber Company.

His son remembers boating on Flathead Lake each summer, his father attending his motocross races, using his car to tow motorcycles down the street to get ignition, snowmobiling in the early days, and the long hike/camping trip they took together through Glacier Park in the early 70’s. His daughter Mary, who had early on caught his same travel passion, traveled with him from the early 80’s through his death, meeting in places like Austin, Texas, where she attended the University of Texas, Yuma, Scottsdale, Schweitzer Mountain, and Spokane, and they began their annual pilgrimage together each late fall to Glacier Park to hike and tour the Park and Waterton. In his last years, at ages 91 and 92, he and she road tripped together from Great Falls to Canada to explore his birthplace.

Dr. Schultz was an indomitably happy, welcoming, tolerant, curious, and unerringly supportive spirit who was never too busy for anyone to pull up a chair. He adored his family, reveled in his children and grandchildren and their accomplishments, and tenaciously enjoyed and talked about just being alive every single day. His greatest pleasure was seeing his children grow self- reliant and successful under his wing, exploring, experiencing and finding joy in the world, its challenges and its offerings. He spent his life providing for them, and ensuring they had the tools to make it on their own. He was greatly admired by anyone who had the fortune to meet him. And for years, he has waited to be reunited in peace and in God with his beloved wife Lilyan, with whom he will now be joined forever.

Dr. Schultz is survived by his wife Lois Hamma of Billings, son Peter T. Schultz (Cynthia) of Great Falls, daughter Mary Schultz of Spokane, Washington, and grandchildren Molly Ann Hillig of Chicago, Illinois, and Peter Matthew, Mikaela, and Samuel Schultz, all of Great Falls.

“I can never lose one whom I have loved unto the end. One to whom my soul cleaves so firmly that it can never be separated, does not go away, but only goes before…”

St. Bernard of Clairvaux.


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