BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — There are many people that are loyal to the institution they belong, the company they work for or even to their family. Steve Shaltz was one of those people.
“Steve was all about commitment and passion and he was very loyal,” said Rochester Adams Director of Athletics Jason Rapp. “He was an Adams guy through and through.”
Shaltz, a popular teacher and coach at Rochester Adams High School, passed away Monday in his Washington Township home just south of Romeo, leaving students, athletes, faculty and alumni stunned.
Shaltz was 51 years old.
“He had been here a long time,” said Rapp, who came to Adams in July of 1996. “He was a well-liked guy.”
Autopsy results are not available for Shaltz, who was born in 1960 in the tiny Upper Peninsula town of Ontonagon. Shaltz was also a 1978 graduate of Romeo High School and a wrestler there in the late 1970s.
Shaltz was an assistant wrestling coach for 11 seasons and an assistant track coach for 18 years. He taught mostly Philosophy and AP English at Adams.
He was also a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and even held public stock in the NFL franchise.
Mike Holtz, the head wrestling coach at Adams and a former wrestler at the school, said that a tight-knit family lost a loved one last weekend.
“Wrestling at Adams is like a family,” said Holtz, a 2001 Adams grad. “The kids are devastated. I know this is a part of life but you can never really brace for it. I know we have to remain strong for one another, just like a family.”
His funeral is planned for 5 p.m. Thursday at Henry M. Mahlburg Funeral Home in Romeo. Visitation is from 2-8 p.m. Thursday.
Shaltz came to the Rochester Community Schools in 1989, with teaching stints at West Middle School, Reuther Middle School and Brooklands Elementary School before moving up to the high school level. He received multiple teaching awards, including National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teachers award in 2007.
“I lost a mentor,” said Holtz. “He was someone that I could look up to and learned a lot from over the years.
“Steve meant a lot to our wrestling program,” continued Holtz. “He was fine with his role as an assistant coach and he was always handling the stat book, helping set up tournaments and doing a lot of the little things that people take for granted. It will be hard to replace him next season because of everything he did for us.
“He was one of those guys who put others first,” added Holtz.
When Holtz was still stationed overseas with a military assignment, Shaltz was interim coach for the Adams wrestling program until Holtz returned in late January of 2012.
Shaltz is survived by his daughter, Caroline Shaltz of Rochester; his mother, Marion Shaltz of Romeo; his brother, Tom Shaltz of New Hudson and his niece, Michaela, and nephew, William. He was preceded in death by his father, Warren Shaltz, in 1994.
“Steve touched a lot of people over the years, said Holtz. “He will be missed. We will keep moving forward. Steve would want it that way.”
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