Cover photo for Ronald David Schultz's Obituary
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1944 Ronald 2024

Ronald David Schultz

April 21, 1944 — April 26, 2024

Verona, WI

It is with great sadness that the family announces that Dr. Ronald (Ron) David Schultz passed away at the age of 80 after a long fight with Alzheimer's.

Ron was born and grew up in Freeland, PA, the son of a coal miner. The youngest of four children, his passion for animals was evident at a young age. He loved to share stories about taking the losing roosters from the local cock fights and nursing them back to health. He was also known as a bit of a prankster in school, where the school principal (i.e. his eldest brother) often had to reprimand him. During his teenage years, he loved racing cars, sometimes into trees, taking cars apart and often putting them back together without all their parts. He never grew out of that. 

He received his Bachelor and Master of Science in 1966/67 from Pennsylvania State University, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology with minors in Biochemistry and Veterinary Pathology from Pennsylvania State University in 1970. While working at E.C. Geiger Wholesale in North Wales, PA, he met Carolyn Chambers. Despite Ron’s affinity for cars without floorboards or working parts, Carolyn married him in 1966.

After a brief stint in the United States Army Medical Core, Ron joined the faculty of the School of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, in 1971 where he was also director of the Human Health Services Clinical Laboratory. By 1977, he rose through the ranks to become a tenured Associate Professor of Immunology at the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health Research at Cornell. He remained the Director of Clinical Immunology Service Laboratory. When it was time to paint the house, he decided to accept a faculty position at Auburn University.

From 1978 to 1982, Ron was a tenured Professor of Immunology and member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Microbiology and Animal Health Research Unit at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. During their short time in Auburn, Carolyn and Ron made lasting friendships with many people including Phil and Patty Klesius. They have fond memories of their time in the South.

After 2 persistent years, Dr. Tass Deuland finally convinced Ron to be the inaugural chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin when the school opened in 1983. He remained chair until 2016. Ron was instrumental in building an outstanding and supportive department culture that was internationally recognized. He recruited the highest caliber faculty that shared his passion for mentoring and fostering the careers of trainees, veterinary students, and junior faculty and staff and was a staunch advocate for his faculty. His leadership was recognized across campus earning him the Walter F. Renk Distinguished Professor Award in 1989 and a seat and leadership position in PROFS; the University Faculty Senate. Although, I’m not sure the PROFS position was an “award”.

As a scientist, Ron made extensive contributions to animal health. His discoveries led to fundamental new information on the immune system and immunomodulators and immunopathology associated with viral diseases. His internationally recognized work on infectious diseases of companion animals (dogs and cats) and cows resulted in groundbreaking new discoveries including diagnostics tests and vaccines that are still used today. One of his lifelong research projects recently came to fruition – a treatment for parvovirus; a devastating disease of puppies. Ron published over 250 papers in highly respected scientific journals and trained more than 50 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. His body of work was recognized by receipt of the Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist Award from the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists and election as President of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases. He was also recognized as an Honorary Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. Ron dedicated his life to improving animal health and by proxy, human health. His work made a difference.  

Despite being a workaholic, Ron always made time for his family. Ron and Carolyn’s first child, Stacey Lynne was born in 1967. She was followed by Kimberly Nicole in 1970 and Scott David in 1972. 

He also made time to pursue his favorite pastime – auctions. Each member of his family could tell you stories about the “treasures” he purchased at auctions. Important items such as toilets, shutters, broken cars, and many different types of animals that often went home with the grandchildren despite the protests of their parents. If you ever visited his farm, you may have had the opportunity to meet his fainting goats, peacocks, hedgehogs, fancy chickens, and highland cows as examples. He loved spending time at his farm. If he wasn’t at auctions, he was at Menards.

Ron is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carolyn; his children Stacey (Kyle), Kim (Michael), Scott (Michelle); and their five grandchildren: Sean (Ana), Nick (Kate), Emily (Luke), Maddie, and Will. He is also survived by his brother Raymond (Erin); his sisters-in-law Mary and Madeline (Michael); and many beloved nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, Fred and Hilda Schultz, his brother Robert and sister Lois.

The family very much appreciates the excellent care provided by the loving staff at All Saints Memory Care and Agrace Hospice. A visitation will be held from 1 – 3 pm followed by a memorial service at 3 pm on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at Cress Funeral Home at 3610 Speedway Road, Madison.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in Ronald D. Schultz’s memory may be made payable to the 'UW Foundation' with a note to direct as a tribute to the "Ronald D. Schultz Pathobiological Student Award Fund 132840000." Mail to UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox Box 78807 Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807. Gifts can also be made online at

Please also consider participating in a Walk to End Alzheimer's® by joining team CowRDS (2024 Walk to End Alzheimer's: Search for a Participant or Team | Walk to End Alzheimer's).

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services


Saturday, June 1, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service - Madison - West

3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI 53705

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Memorial Service

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service - Madison - West

3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI 53705

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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