DELMAR — Long-time business owner, insurance agent and Delmar resident Douglas A. Schulz died at his home on Friday, June 24, at the age of 56.
He operated the Schulz Insurance Agency at 163 Delaware Ave for many years. His father Donald started the agency in 1963 and Doug took over the business upon his retirement in 2005. In an interview with The Spotlight in 2015, Doug explained the deep relationships his family formed with the community.
“We’re working on our second and third generation of members (customers),” he said. “Our members are not going to be considered a 1-800 number. They’re going to be considered part of the Schulz agency.”
Doug Schulz interacted with businesses as well as individuals.
“At the chamber we are sad to see the loss of a long-time member of our community,” Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce Chairman Vince Crisafulli said. “He will be missed.”
He was also known to ride his bike around town even to dinner, especially his favorite local restaurant My Place and Company on Delaware Avenue.
“We were shaken at the news at My Place,” Owner Jim Giacone said. “He was loved by everybody.”
Doug also was active politically as a member of the Bethlehem Republican Committee and a valued member of the Lions Club.
He served as a committee member for many years and ran for County Legislature twice, in 2015 and 2019.
“He was such a Republican party person,” Albany County Deputy Election Commissioner and Bethlehem Republican Committee member Melissa Kermani said. “He was always willing to go above and beyond what needed to be done.”
Even though he wasn’t successful in his runs for office, he was not ready to give up.
“I think he wanted to run again in the next cycle,” Kermani said. “He was talking about it at our last outing. He had so much energy and life. That is what makes this such a shock.”
Kermani said she met him in 2005 when she first joined the committee, but he also helped her as a professional.
“He also was my insurance agent and I remember being frantic after a hailstorm damaged the roof of my car and called Doug,” Kermani said. “He came right over and helped me get things fixed. That was who he was.”
He also gave back to many charities, such as the Bethlehem Food Pantry, American Heart Association and many charities involved with animals.
According to Bethlehem police, on Friday, June 24 an employee at his office was concerned after he did not arrive for work. He was found later that day.
“It is under investigation by detectives,” said Bethlehem police Commander James Rexford on Saturday. “All preliminary indications appear that he died of Natural Causes.”
The Albany County coroner’s office has said there is no evidence of foul play and will give an exact cause of death upon the return of toxicology reports, Rexford said.
Applebee Funeral Home in Delmar will be handling the final arrangements. Click here to read Doug’s obituary.