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Lois Zook Wauson

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100 years old still drive a car
By Lois Zook Wauson
Monday, August 31, 2015

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Mr.Schultze is 100 years old and remembers how he lived that long. Hard work and good family genes. I talked to him for a long time that day. He doesn't seem like a 100 year old man.

I sat in the kitchen in a house in Poth last week, and it was like dťjŗ vu for me. I was back in 1948, a sixteen-year-old girl sitting at a table in this very same kitchen with my friend Gay Johns, who also went to Poth High School with me. Nothing had changed much in the home, it was still lovely, cozy, and felt very homey. Gay was living there with her mother Opal Johns who had a beauty shop there. I shook my head and I was there now sitting at the kitchen table with a nice old gentleman, 100 year old Melton Shultze. But this was his house that he and his wife Elvira had bought 50 years ago in 1965.

I wanted to learn how Melton got to be 100 years old. I think it was his work ethic, because he never stopped working, starting when he was a little boy, when he started helping his daddy in the fields on the farm. Then continued after he left school, lived at home, still working on the farm, and after he married, in his 20ís, still farming the very same land for many years.

Melton was born in the Three Oaks Community in 1915. He started helping on the farm as a young lad, even before he started to school, feeding the hogs, chickens, and gathering the eggs. He started school in 1922, at the age of 7, but still did those chores before school and after school, which included milking the cows mornings and nights.

His family had no running water or electricity. The house was cold in the winter with just a wood stove to heat it. They let it die down in the night. In the morning the bucket of drinking water in the kitchen had frozen. They had geese and his mother made feather beds for comforters, which kept them warm in the winter. In December his daddy cut down a cedar tree for a Christmas tree, and they had homemade decorations with little candles that clipped on the tree for lights.

When Melton started to school he and his sister and brother drove a one-horse buggy three miles to Three Oaks School, They tied it up under the shade of an oak tree until school was out and drove it home.

Melton had one brother and seven sisters. Two of his sisters lived to be over a 100. One of those sisters was Gertrude Zahn, and the other was Viola Reiniger who used to work at Schneiderís Cafť with her husband. Then they opened up their own place in Poth, called Reinigerís Cafť, which they had for many years. Meltonís mother lived to be over a 100 years also.

Leaving school in the 8th grade, Melton continued to help his daddy on the farm for many years. He worked in the fields and took care of the animals and crops and on weekends, like most young people in the County went to dances at Three Oaks and Poth Hermanns Son Hall. But mostly he remembers working hard.

When Melton was 28 years old, in 1942, he married Elvira Zunker, whom he had known since they were kids going to Three Oaks School. During the preceding years he courted a few girls, but was not serious until he and Elvira fell in love. They were married in the Lutheran Church in Poth and continued to live on the family farm in Three Oaks, where Melton farmed the land.

Melton worked the farm, drove a school bus for Poth, in the mornings, then worked another job at the Floresville Hospital doing maintenance and yard work, after that until 3:00 then went back driving the bus in the afternoons, and after that he worked on the farm until dark. He worked all day Saturday on the farm. He worked three jobs for many years.

Elvira got her GED then went to school to become a dietician and went to work at the Floresville Hospital after that. They were still living on the farm. So both Melton and Elvira worked very hard all their lives. After their children graduated and left home, they moved to Poth. That is when Melton went to work in San Antonio doing construction making concrete forms for buildings. He proudly tells about making the forms for the USAA building. It was very interesting work and he loved it even though it was hard work.

Meltonís wife Elvira passed away 4 years ago, and his daughter Floy Dean Sekula passed away last year. He has one daughter, Sandra Smith who lives in N. Carolina with her husband and children. His son lives in Columbus, Tx. with his wife and children. So all his grandchildren also live in other cities. He has no relatives living in this area any more. His cousins have all passed away too. Thatís one thing about getting to be 100 years old, all your friends and family are gone. He lives alone in the house he and Elvira bought in 1965, 50 years ago.

But he has friends in the Lutheran Church down the street where he goes every Sunday and that makes him happy. Melton mowed his own grass up until last year, but now his knees have given out because of arthritis, and he canít mow grass any more. He is used to working hard. He misses it. But this is one strong amazing 100-year old man. I think thatís why lived so long. He loves hard work.

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