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William Schutz: Los Alamos’ living history book

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By The Staff

William Joshua Schutz is a living history book of Los Alamos. He was born in Silver City on Feb. 17, 1927.   He spent time in both the United States Navy and Marine Corps prior to his arrival in Los Alamos in 1947.

Schutz served in the United States Postal Service beginning in the 40s with a stop in Santa Fe overlooking the infamous box 1663 when the town wasn’t officially of record. Schutz also recalls special box numbers allocated to the AEC (P.O. Box 1539) and the FBI (P.O. Box 427).

When he arrived in Los Alamos on May 16, 1947, he served as a clerk, which was located on the west side of Ashley Pond, where the Community Building stands today. According to Schutz, mail delivery was called general delivery, meaning you came to the post office and mail was looked up alphabetically.

Schutz met and married his wife Edna in Los Alamos where they were married and together they have four children.

After Schutz served as a general clerk, he was promoted to Superintendent of Mails, overseeing all of the mail carriers and working to establish the home delivered routes.

Schutz originally mapped out the first home deliveries, establishing route one in the Western area and later created route two in the Barranca area.

Schutz, known to most as Bill, was a primary fixture throughout the community.

Schutz’s memory is astounding, filled with the history of the people and places that created this town.

Many may not realize that White Rock was a thriving community that essentially built itself up, closed and then re-established many years later.

Schutz also tended bar for private parties for Norris Bradbury in a room known as the “Red Room.” While performing this work, Schutz met astronauts, the Queen and King of Sweeden and more.

Schutz recalls fondly the old White Rock, when Chamisa Elementary School was a shopping center complete with barbershop, cafeteria, drugstore and post office.

He remembers the addition of the rock in White Rock, which today is painted daily to welcome visitors, announce the arrival of babies and herald community events. It arrived approximately in 1957, brought in by two local businessmen Max Chavez and Bert Bertram, when the men were willing to have a backhoe bring in the community staple.

Schutz lived in the dormitories, paying $12 a month and an additional $1 a week for maid service. He then received a rent-free two-bedroom house for doing a good deed and delivering a much-awaited package for the Clairemont Construction Company.

He continued to do many good deeds, heading to the post office on Christmas Day and personally calling families who had packages arrive the night before. Schutz had as many as 50 families who would arrive and wait in line for their much-awaited gifts.

Besides work, baseball is a Schutz’ pastime, with all four of the Schutz children in the game and adding to the family a legacy of current players – the Walterscheids. Schutz umpired for 22 years, working with Little Leagues, Babe Ruth and American Legion teams.

He has been asked to throw out the ceremonial pitch to launch the White Rock Little League baseball season and can be seen on the sidelines cheering on his grandchildren.

Schutz retired from the United States Postal Service in 1988 and holds many awards recognizing his service from each governor throughout the 43 years.