ST. PETER — When Ivan Schultz met up with people, they most likely were gifted with fresh produce and prayers to God on their behalf.
Schultz, an Assembly of God minister and a retired truck farmer, died July 29 at Hennepin County Medical Center. He was 73.
“He was quick to pray for anyone and everyone — on the street, on the phone or at the hospital,” said Susie Akland, a friend and fellow member of Sunrise Church in St. Peter.
Schultz’s love of gardening rooted when he was growing up in rural Le Sueur County. The family truck farm he operated for many years sold produce to area stores, including the St. Peter Food Co-op. His locally grown pumpkins and squash were in demand during the fall harvest season, Akland said.
After Schultz’s retirement, he was able to be more active in church ministries.
“Ivan didn’t use his title routinely, but he was a reverend.”
Sunrise’s family pastor, Zach Claussen, and Schultz had gardened together when the church had plots on its property.
“He spent a lot of time back there and he gave away lots of what he grew,” Claussen said.
Akland said her friend also would buy bags full of rhubarb and sweet corn to bring to others.
“He was an excellent person all the way around. If anyone needed help, he was right there,” said Howard Anderson, of St. Peter.
“I met him 30 years ago when he had a truck farm near Le Sueur County Road 8. He was growing vegetables. When I joined the church (Sunrise), that’s when we became close friends.”
Anderson suffers from heart problems, and Schultz dealt with painful arthritis. The two bonded over their health issues and their shared religious faith.
For the past few years, the two men had lived on separate floors at Parkview Manor.
“Ivan led a Bible study in our apartment building; he’d recently turned its leadership over to me.”
Schultz and Anderson also got together often to share meals.
“Ivan loved to eat. The week before the accident, when I cooked him orange chicken, he told me it was the best,” Anderson said.
Schultz was struck July 23 by a vehicle as he was crossing Broadway near its intersection with Highway 169 in St. Peter.
No charges were filed against the 71-year-old driver, said St. Peter Police Chief Matt Peters.
“That Tuesday night (before the accident), we had talked for more than an hour and that Thursday before, I was in the hospital and he came and prayed over me,” Anderson said.
Claussen said memorial services for Schultz took place Sunday.