LAHAINA - Historic Lahaina celebrated the life of Uwe Schulz on Dec. 8 at a filled Holy Innocents Church.
The service was held a short distance from landmark buildings the architect helped restore during a 40-year career on the island that ended with his passing last month.
"You could fill this church many times over with the lives Uwe touched," fellow Rotarian and longtime friend Joe Pluta said in a eulogy.
"The value of what he did is immeasurable. You can't go from one end of Front Street to the other without seeing something Uwe did," Pluta said.
One of the architect's most memorable achievements was rescuing the old Seamen's Hospital. The historic building had become a pile of stones ready to be hauled off until Schulz volunteered to restore it, mortgaging his own home to finance the reconstruction. Years passed before rental income from Paradise Television Network and others allowed the mortgage to be paid off.
Will Juergen, owner of Saltwater Signs in Lahaina, who migrated with Schulz from California and went along with him to lead a full life in Lahaina, noted that the two attended first grade together in war torn Berlin, Germany, during World War II. "We would play in bomb shelters. You learned quickly to appreciate what you have," Juergen said.
One of the architect's last contributions to the community was helping advise Lahaina Rotary Club on its restoration permits for Lahaina Public Library.
Uwe's comment at an early Rotary committee meeting that "we've got to do it right" led a decision to remove a tile floor filled with asbestos rather than cover it over. The gleaming new concrete floor that resulted is one of the most noted features of the remodeled library.
Schulz took great pride in his children, Pluta said. Both his son and daughter attended the celebration with their mother, Pam. Uwe's first wife was with him in his final days.