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Robert Leland “Coach” Schulte

Robert Leland "Coach" Schulte

SCHULTE

Robert Leland “Coach” Schulte, 84, of Marissa, IL; born on January 23, 1939 in Belleville, IL the son of Alvin and Frieda (Fritz) Schulte; passed away on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at Memorial Hospital in Belleville, IL.

Some remember him as Lee, but everyone remembers the man we all knew as Coach.  He was always known for the outstanding baseball teams that he coached from 1964 to 1997, but Coach did so much more for all the boys and girls athletic programs.  He began his coaching career at the grade school level with baseball and basketball.  After four years, he moved to the high school where he coached boys basketball, baseball, and girls volleyball.  He even went on to become the Athletic Director at one time.  In 1976, Coach took the Meteor Skyscrapers basketball team to the Super Sectional in Carbondale.  In his 33 years of coaching high school baseball, Coach had 535 wins and only 7 losing seasons. He earned 15 Conference Championships, along with 5 District and 6 Regional Championships.  Coach took 3 teams to state finals before winning the State Championship in 1986.  He was inducted into the Meteor Athletics Hall of Fame and the McKendree Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.  During his time at McKendree University, Coach received four varsity letters, the team batting crown, and was voted most valuable player.  After graduating McKendree University, Coach was selected to play on the Mon-Claire Baseball League All Star Team for 13 consecutive years.  He was also inducted into the Illinois High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Mon-Claire Baseball League Hall of Fame.  The Marissa High School baseball field was honored in Coach’s name for all he did with the program, naming it “Schulte Field” so that his legacy will live on.

He is survived by two children – Mark A. Schulte of Marissa, IL and Jennifer Weston of O’Fallon, IL; one granddaughter – Miranda Schulte; two nephews – Doug Derry and Kevin Derry, both of Kansas City, MO; other relatives and friends.

Coach was preceded in death by his parents; sister – Marilyn Derry; brother-in-law – Jim Derry; niece – Jannie Derry.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.heilschuessler.com.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Schulte Field.

The Visitation will be held at Marissa Jr.–Sr. High School on Sunday, December 31, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Funeral Services will begin at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Don Wagner officiating.  Committal Services will take place at Marissa Township Cemetery.

Heil-Schuessler & Sinn Funeral Home in Sparta, IL is in charge of arrangements

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  1. Brian Copple says:

    So sorry to hear about the loss of “Lee-Man”……Lee was instrumental in assisting us with the renovation of Sprehe Field-Jaycee Park in Centralia, IL. (late 1990s-2000) He quickly became a life long friend that I remained in contact with well after the field renovations were completed. He was one-of-a-kind! It was truly a privilege to have him be a part of my life. My friend Dave Agee and I have so many fond and hilarious memories of working with Lee and just being around him. He will truly be missed.

  2. Nanette Campbell says:

    Coach Schulte is a Marissa ICON.
    He took pride in our community and always strived to show that with his dedication to students and the Meteor athletic department.
    He will forever be remembered.
    My sincere condolences to Mark, Jennifer and his entire family. Coach recreated an amazing legacy!

  3. Darrell Phelps says:

    So sorry for your loss Mark and Jen. You can rest assured your Dad left his mark on all lives he touched. I have memories from Summers swimming, to picking up sod for the diamond. He always treated his players as his own. That means he not only made sure we had something to do with our free time, other than getting in trouble. He even sat at the edge of town on weekends to make sure we didn’t get in trouble. He had his entire team stay in his basement the night before departing for the state championship. I don’t know anyone else that invested in their team. He was a Coach and friend. He will always hold a special place in my heart. He was a true testament to being the best at whatever your endeavor.

  4. Gary Benedict says:

    Mark and Jennifer I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your Father. I too lost a good friend and will forever miss him. He was my coach in both grade school and in high school. He frequently stayed after practice with just me to work on my moves under the basket. The day you were born Mark, we got a knock on the door and in walked your Dad all smiles and so proud that he had a baby boy. In 1969 he spent a Saturday to take me to SEMO to meet the baseball coach who had some interest in me and then later he took another Saturday to take me to Olney Central College and convinced the baseball coach that I was good enough to receive one of the only 3 scholarships they had available. What other coach would do that? I later played baseball and softball with him and his enjoyment of the game and his will to win was contagious. When I started my practice I decided to treat all of the high school athletes for no charge out of respect for your Dad and to try in my small way to pay him back for all that he had done for me. I have known him now for over 60 years, he has been a teacher, a mentor, a coach, and most of all a great friend. I will truly miss him.

  5. Lela Neisler says:

    My sympathy to the family. Celebrating a life well lived, as the best a person can do is have worked at a job they loved and would have done for free, and we know Coach Lee would have done that. I agree with Mike Hewitt, as in 1964-65, when Mike was a Senior, I was in 10th grade at MTHS. Coach Lee talked with everyone and he had a great sense of humor.

  6. Debra Lee says:

    Jen we are so sorry for your loss , your father loved you with all of his heart may he rest in peace my friend ?

  7. Dennis Works says:

    I played basketball for New Athens in the mid to late 70’s when Lee was coaching for Marissa. Those were always some spirited games. It wasn’t until I became principal at New Athens High School that I became friends with Lee. I’m fairly sure that he coached at least one or two of my daughters in basketball, but it was as a substitute teacher that for New Athens that we really connected. Lee was well liked by the students and I always knew that they were in good hands. Probably my favorite and funniest memory is that when I would call Lee to sub, his first question wasn’t which grade, but rather what was on the lunch menu for that day. You gotta love him.

  8. Bob Vielweber says:

    So sorry to hear of the passing of Lee. Being a classmate of Lee for the 1956 class of the Freeburg MIDGETS. Lee was always a leader on the sports teams.

  9. David and Pat Edgar says:

    Our condolences at the passing of Coach Lee. He was without a doubt a unique individual who dedicated himself to teaching, coaching and mentoring countless young men and women over decades. His accomplishments and success will always be remembered. Our prayers and sympathy for your loss.

  10. Jon Lien says:

    Mark, sorry to hear about your Dad. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Jon & Dana

  11. Scott Lewis says:

    Deepest condolences Mark, Jennifer and family. Coach is a legend. Blessed to of been a part of one of those state finalists.

  12. Elizabeth Cornett says:

    Mark and Jennifer I am so sorry to hear about Coach. Coach would call me and I would go over and clean his house for him. Coach and my son Stevie Kiefer were friends, until he passed away in a car wreck in 1995. Coach was there for me when I needed a friend. He will be missed. Sending prayers to you and your family.

  13. jeff hacker says:

    MARK and JENNIFER, SO SORRY YOUR LOSS. GROWING UP A MIDGET HE WAS A ROLE MODEL MODEL. FOLLOWED HIM ALL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL BASEBAL&BASKETBALL FOR COACH HERRIN. THE 56 TEAM PLAYING LANE TECH. THEY HAD MORE TEACHERS THAN WE HAD STUDENTS> CALLED BASKETBALL GAMES FOR ME AT MT VERNON. HE AND KENT COACHING BASEBALL TOGETHER AGAIN IN HEAVEN. HIS MOM WAS MY 3rd GRADE TEACHER IN THE BURG, MANY STORIES!!! RIP MY FRIEND. COACH JEFF HACKER

  14. Ben Howes says:

    “You play to win the game!” I am very saddened to hear the passing of Coach Schulte. He was a great mentor and my friend. We have lost a legend.

  15. Mike Hewitt says:

    Mark and Jennifer, I am sorry for your loss! My first memory of him was the beginning of my 8th grade year at Marissa Grade school, his first year teaching and coaching in Marissa. Then I was fortunate enough to have him as a teacher and coach my senior year at the high school in 64-65. He was positive influence at that time of my life. He was a really good coach and a really good person. He dedicated his life to Marissa High School and the sports programs there. We remained friends over the years. I will miss miss him and always remember him.

  16. Richard Noffke says:

    I was very saddened to hear about Coach Schulte’s passing . He had a huge impact on me when I coached with him at New Athens . I learned so much from him in our time together. Though he had a sometimes tough exterior, I found that he was really sentimental and would do anything for anyone in need . He loved his family so much. He really cared about his kids and grandkids . He has left quite a legacy.

  17. Becky Gregory says:

    Mark and Jennifer,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was definitely one of a kind. He always made me laugh even on those days when he could be very trying. He was a great asset to Marissa athletics. Prayers for you and your family. RIP Coach

  18. Cathy Flowers says:

    Mark and Jennifer, there are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. Coach was a legend in Marissa. I was lucky enough to be in HS when he was still there. He looked out for me, as he did many others, always making sure we didn’t do anything stupid that would get us in trouble. He taught me how to swing dance. He was part of some of my most memorable times in HS. I am happy that I got to talk to him several times in the past few years when I was in town. You were blessed to be able to call him “dad”. My prayers for him and all who loved him. May he rest in peace.

18 Comments

  1. Mark and Jennifer, there are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. Coach was a legend in Marissa. I was lucky enough to be in HS when he was still there. He looked out for me, as he did many others, always making sure we didn’t do anything stupid that would get us in trouble. He taught me how to swing dance. He was part of some of my most memorable times in HS. I am happy that I got to talk to him several times in the past few years when I was in town. You were blessed to be able to call him “dad”. My prayers for him and all who loved him. May he rest in peace.

    Reply
  2. Mark and Jennifer,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was definitely one of a kind. He always made me laugh even on those days when he could be very trying. He was a great asset to Marissa athletics. Prayers for you and your family. RIP Coach

    Reply
  3. I was very saddened to hear about Coach Schulte’s passing . He had a huge impact on me when I coached with him at New Athens . I learned so much from him in our time together. Though he had a sometimes tough exterior, I found that he was really sentimental and would do anything for anyone in need . He loved his family so much. He really cared about his kids and grandkids . He has left quite a legacy.

    Reply
  4. Mark and Jennifer, I am sorry for your loss! My first memory of him was the beginning of my 8th grade year at Marissa Grade school, his first year teaching and coaching in Marissa. Then I was fortunate enough to have him as a teacher and coach my senior year at the high school in 64-65. He was positive influence at that time of my life. He was a really good coach and a really good person. He dedicated his life to Marissa High School and the sports programs there. We remained friends over the years. I will miss miss him and always remember him.

    Reply
  5. “You play to win the game!” I am very saddened to hear the passing of Coach Schulte. He was a great mentor and my friend. We have lost a legend.

    Reply
  6. MARK and JENNIFER, SO SORRY YOUR LOSS. GROWING UP A MIDGET HE WAS A ROLE MODEL MODEL. FOLLOWED HIM ALL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL BASEBAL&BASKETBALL FOR COACH HERRIN. THE 56 TEAM PLAYING LANE TECH. THEY HAD MORE TEACHERS THAN WE HAD STUDENTS> CALLED BASKETBALL GAMES FOR ME AT MT VERNON. HE AND KENT COACHING BASEBALL TOGETHER AGAIN IN HEAVEN. HIS MOM WAS MY 3rd GRADE TEACHER IN THE BURG, MANY STORIES!!! RIP MY FRIEND. COACH JEFF HACKER

    Reply
  7. Mark and Jennifer I am so sorry to hear about Coach. Coach would call me and I would go over and clean his house for him. Coach and my son Stevie Kiefer were friends, until he passed away in a car wreck in 1995. Coach was there for me when I needed a friend. He will be missed. Sending prayers to you and your family.

    Reply
  8. Deepest condolences Mark, Jennifer and family. Coach is a legend. Blessed to of been a part of one of those state finalists.

    Reply
  9. Mark, sorry to hear about your Dad. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Jon & Dana

    Reply
  10. Our condolences at the passing of Coach Lee. He was without a doubt a unique individual who dedicated himself to teaching, coaching and mentoring countless young men and women over decades. His accomplishments and success will always be remembered. Our prayers and sympathy for your loss.

    Reply
  11. So sorry to hear of the passing of Lee. Being a classmate of Lee for the 1956 class of the Freeburg MIDGETS. Lee was always a leader on the sports teams.

    Reply
  12. I played basketball for New Athens in the mid to late 70’s when Lee was coaching for Marissa. Those were always some spirited games. It wasn’t until I became principal at New Athens High School that I became friends with Lee. I’m fairly sure that he coached at least one or two of my daughters in basketball, but it was as a substitute teacher that for New Athens that we really connected. Lee was well liked by the students and I always knew that they were in good hands. Probably my favorite and funniest memory is that when I would call Lee to sub, his first question wasn’t which grade, but rather what was on the lunch menu for that day. You gotta love him.

    Reply
  13. Jen we are so sorry for your loss , your father loved you with all of his heart may he rest in peace my friend ?

    Reply
  14. My sympathy to the family. Celebrating a life well lived, as the best a person can do is have worked at a job they loved and would have done for free, and we know Coach Lee would have done that. I agree with Mike Hewitt, as in 1964-65, when Mike was a Senior, I was in 10th grade at MTHS. Coach Lee talked with everyone and he had a great sense of humor.

    Reply
  15. Mark and Jennifer I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your Father. I too lost a good friend and will forever miss him. He was my coach in both grade school and in high school. He frequently stayed after practice with just me to work on my moves under the basket. The day you were born Mark, we got a knock on the door and in walked your Dad all smiles and so proud that he had a baby boy. In 1969 he spent a Saturday to take me to SEMO to meet the baseball coach who had some interest in me and then later he took another Saturday to take me to Olney Central College and convinced the baseball coach that I was good enough to receive one of the only 3 scholarships they had available. What other coach would do that? I later played baseball and softball with him and his enjoyment of the game and his will to win was contagious. When I started my practice I decided to treat all of the high school athletes for no charge out of respect for your Dad and to try in my small way to pay him back for all that he had done for me. I have known him now for over 60 years, he has been a teacher, a mentor, a coach, and most of all a great friend. I will truly miss him.

    Reply
  16. So sorry for your loss Mark and Jen. You can rest assured your Dad left his mark on all lives he touched. I have memories from Summers swimming, to picking up sod for the diamond. He always treated his players as his own. That means he not only made sure we had something to do with our free time, other than getting in trouble. He even sat at the edge of town on weekends to make sure we didn’t get in trouble. He had his entire team stay in his basement the night before departing for the state championship. I don’t know anyone else that invested in their team. He was a Coach and friend. He will always hold a special place in my heart. He was a true testament to being the best at whatever your endeavor.

    Reply
  17. Coach Schulte is a Marissa ICON.
    He took pride in our community and always strived to show that with his dedication to students and the Meteor athletic department.
    He will forever be remembered.
    My sincere condolences to Mark, Jennifer and his entire family. Coach recreated an amazing legacy!

    Reply
  18. So sorry to hear about the loss of “Lee-Man”……Lee was instrumental in assisting us with the renovation of Sprehe Field-Jaycee Park in Centralia, IL. (late 1990s-2000) He quickly became a life long friend that I remained in contact with well after the field renovations were completed. He was one-of-a-kind! It was truly a privilege to have him be a part of my life. My friend Dave Agee and I have so many fond and hilarious memories of working with Lee and just being around him. He will truly be missed.

    Reply

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