Albert Philip Shulte, PhD.  October 19, 1934 to May 4, 2017 Age 82, married for 60 years to Joann Shulte (Holtan), survived by sister Phylis Rice (Shulte), daughters Sharon Alair Bergman, Vickie Armstrong and son-in-law, Paul Armstrong. Grandchildren William and David Armstrong, Alair and Robert Bergman. Nieces and nephews Michael Rice, and Jeralyn Cleary with her husband Jason, Grand Nieces and Nephews: Cailyn and Thomas. Al and Joann also over the years opened their home and welcomed others to participate as family. One, such person was Kyle Forrest whom holds a special place in the family. Al was a strong supporter of his family and is deeply loved and missed by all.

Al has lived in Waterford, MI for 50 years. Al was a member of Bethany Baptist Church for almost 50 years. Al frequently held leadership positions in his local church as well as in the American Baptist Churches of Michigan. Al’s faith ran deep. He had come to Christ in high school through a Campus program run by a man named Paul. Al did not speak much about his faith, rather he lived it. He deeply considered everything he did to be in step with being a Christian.

Al was known and loved in his position as a math educator for Oakland Schools. Al was active in many mathematics associations including: NCSM (National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics), NCTM (National Council Teachers of Mathematics), MCTM (Michigan Council Teachers of Mathematics), NCSM (National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics) ICOTS (International Conference on Teaching Statistics) and additional national/international mathematics and statistics organizations. In addition, he wrote a number of mathematics text books including: What are my Chances? Al was most proud of his contribution of getting Statistics in curriculum in Elementary teaching nationwide. Dr. Shulte, as he was professionally known also taught as an adjunct professor at many area Universities including Wayne State and U of M. He was known for having a brilliant mind and he used it to teach others keys to knowledge.

For the last 20 years Al has mentored elementary students in reading and math as part of the “HUGS” program at Riverside School in Waterford. He loved his continued work with children, especially when he was able to work with math education.

Albert was born in Vacaville, California and grew up in California and Oregon. He has one sister, Phylis Rice (Shulte), ten years younger than himself. He took care of her and raised her as his parents were often gone and unavailable. She speaks of his great dedication to family, which started early. Al himself, when starting school in first grade, could already read so he was promoted a couple of grade levels. He attended Springfield High School and Graduated in 1951 at age 16. Going on to college, he received a Bachelor’s in Mathematics (1955) and a Master’s degree in Education (1956) from Linfield College, another master’s degree in Mathematics (1960) and a doctorate in Math Education from University of Michigan (1967). Al worked his way through school particularly working night shifts in a cannery. He also received scholarships and fellowships through his brilliant academic career.

He met his wife Joann Holtan at Linfield College. They were married after her sophomore year, on August 12, 1956, at McMinnville Baptist Church. They spent their first year in California where he taught high school math. Next, they returned to McMinnville for Jo to finish college, while he taught math and science in a neighboring town. Continuing his education at U of M, was the original reason they moved to Michigan.

Al was an avid fan of the Pistons and the Tigers and enjoyed many years of season tickets. He himself was very active in sports throughout his life, including softball and tennis, in his younger years into adulthood. He was also a strong tennis player and a golfer for most of his adult years.

He loved a wide variety of music. He took seven years of piano as a youth. He frequently attended folk concerts, with the Ark in Ann Arbor, a favorite venue. Al and Joann were active in the Paint Creek Folklore Society. Additionally, a connoisseur of classical music, he was a season ticket holder for the DSO, with his wife. His commitment to music and the arts was constant.

At the age of ten Al had taken a ride in a plane. When in his 40’s he finally began a lifelong dream of learning to fly. He took his solo flight and eventually bought a small plane. After a few years the plane needed a lot of repairs so he sold it and continued to fly, but not as frequently. He had a good friend Jerry, that would go flying with him. When his friend developed health issues and had to give up flying, Al did as well, because the relationship was more important than the activity. They met for breakfast instead of going flying for several years.

Al had a varied ethnic heritage of English, Irish, Dutch and probably German, but most identified with his Scottish Ancestry. He went to Highland Games and encouraged both daughters to learn Highland Dancing, which they did. His Grandmother was a MacDougall and he proudly wore that tartan in a jacket Joann made for him.

Al Shulte was also a generous man. Not only did Al give his tithe to his church, he gave donations to many organizations. He believed in supporting the World Wildlife Fund, with strong sense of morality to protect creatures of the earth with which God had blessed us. He also gave to many Native American programs, Veteran programs and a variety of missions. Feeling strongly that the word of God needed to be given to the world, he was a strong supporter of The American Bible Society.

Al and his wife Joann were world travelers, usually to Math organization events. Continually using his personal funds to extend his own learning and promote math education issues internationally. Their travels covered most of the US and Canada, including Hawaii for their 25th anniversary. Additionally, they traveled to Australia, throughout, Europe, Great Britain and into Eastern Block Countries. Furthermore, to Egypt and Morocco. Their home is filled with artistic mementos of these travels. Al particularly was interested in learning about other people and cultures. He would learn the local pronunciation of places he visited and interesting historical facts.

Most of all Al was dedicated, had personal integrity, was a true man of character and of great stature. He was a self proclaimed eccentric and true intellectual. This was a man who made a difference.

One of Al’s favorite stories was of the boy throwing starfish back in the ocean. When a person told this boy it was useless, he could not make a difference as there were hundreds of starfish on the shore. The boy’s answer was “well, I made a difference to this one” as he tossed one in. Al was a starfish thrower. He made a difference one starfish at a time.


Thursday, May 11, 2017, 4-8 p.m. at Donelson, Johns and Evans Funeral Home, Waterford

Friday, May 12, 2017, 9-10 a.m. at Bethany Church, Waterford

Funeral Service:

Friday, May 12, 2017, 10 a.m. at Bethany Church, 1375 Hiller Rd., Waterford, MI 48327

Send Private Condolence

This website designed and maintained by IGD Solutions Corporation