In Memory

John R. Schuetz VIEW PROFILE

John R. Schuetz, 60, Topeka, passed away Sept. 14, 2011 at his home. He was born to Ivan and M. Ann Schuetz in Horton, Kansas on Dec. 5, 1950. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1969 and married Pamela Templer in Topeka on Dec. 30, 1971. He was a skilled carpenter and had worked for Winston Brown and Castlewood Construction. In addition, he was a self employed carpenter for many years. He was a trustee at University United Methodist Church. He is survived by his wife, Pamela; 2 daughters, Shannon (Miguel) Arellano and Erin (Andy) New; 3 grandchildren, Jacob and Natalie Arellano and Gracelyn New; mother, M. Ann Fox; brothers, Eric, Kirk, and Clay Schuetz; sisters, Ruth Schuetz and Myra Stauffer. He was preceded in death by his father, Ivan Schuetz. The family will receive friends at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, 2401 SW Kingsrow Rd. Topeka, KS on Friday, September 16, from 6:00 8:00 p.m. A celebration of his life will be held October 1, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at University United Methodist Church, 1621 SW College Ave. Topeka, KS. To leave condolences for the family visit

Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on Sept. 16, 2011

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06/02/14 05:46 PM #1    

Roger K. Kipp

John was a good friend. The world is a lesser place without you. RIP my friend.

09/25/14 04:31 PM #2    

Mark W Neis

I met John Schuetz under fortuitous circumstances years after high school.  I don't think I knew him well at THS but when our paths crossed in 1986, he said he recalled me in some classes.  John was an absolute gentleman.  I am so glad I got to see him and converse at the 2009 40th reunion at McHenry Farm.  I wish I had taken the time to really update.  I recall he mentioned he was diabled to work.

On a cold January morning, in 1986, my wife and I left the house for work.  About 1:15 pm I got a call from my secretary reporting that our neighbor called in a fire alarm on our house.  Well, John by then was working with Winston-Brown Construction as a master finish/detail carpenter.  He was part of the fire restoration team who rebuilt my fire damaged house.  He was a skilled finish carpenter, with a millwright shop in a box van he drove out to construction sites, giving him a big edge on projects, large and small.  As I type this tribute to my buddy John, I am looking at rough cedar beams in my dining room that were smoke and fire damaged but only as to appearance.  He mitre cut perhaps hundreds of feet of rough cedar boards to cover over the damaged beams, in so doing making the beams look as though they were built that way by design.  Of course, it was John's design genius and millwright skill that restored our fire ravaged house back to its pre-fire appearance.  John's boss told us flatly rough cedar wood boards were gnarly, difficult to make straight cuts through, unwieldly to work with, and in general were not susceptible to fine detail inside finish carpentry. He advised the job of covering up the damaged beams would be done by "boxing" around the damaged beam, more akin to a commercial building where a steel girder or support beam is boxed by wood boards. Nice enough looking, but obvious.  Boxed beams would have starkly contrasted with the new beams that were burned too deeply and were replaced.   Standing near but behind the boss was John Schuetz, slowly shaking his head as the boss spoke, and looking at me.  After boss retired, John assured me the blemished beams would look as original as could be accomplished.  He also said "I haven't really shown the owners everything I can do yet".  

Standing with a cedar board in his left hand and a skill saw in the right hand, John literally walked along the length of each board mitering the edge as he went until it was a mitred along the length of the board, ready to fit neatly around the blemished beams. The finish nails are nearly invisible.  There is little if any detectable difference in the new beams and repaired beams.  I must point out the difference to visitors or they would never notice.  Those repaired/restored beams are a lasting tribute to John's mastery of the carpentry wood work trade.   

I doubt I saw John again until 2009 at the 40th reunion.  If there is no other reason to go to reunions, seeing my buddy John the carpenter one more time before he passed is my justification.   John used his carpentry skills to repair and restore a central design feature of my fire ravaged home.  I have his craftsmanship gift to us, which still looks new almost 30 years later, as a way to remember a good man with a kind heart.  I thank you again, John, for giving us back our home in the best condition one could expect.  I will be looking at his craftsmanship every day, but I will remember just as much John the person who put his artistry to good use.  

Mark Neis  



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