BAY ST. LOUIS --- The birds will miss Van A. Schultz, but not like his ex-wife and two daughters do.
Schultz, 69, was a nature lover, and when his wife owned Lydia's Audubon Shop in Waveland and then Gulfport, he made the copper feeders they sold. He kept feeders out for all types of birds at his home on Breeden Place near the beach, where he died when Katrina's tidal surge crushed the house.
"Right before the storm, he talked about how the birds were probably mad at him for picking up all the feeders," his daughter, Marie Schultz Clark, said.
Considered a successful and trusted businessman by his peers, Schultz bought his father-in-law's well-established business, Dillman Roofing, and expanded it from residential to commercial.
Contractor Carl Heitzmann said he used Schultz's company for complicated roofs. Schultz closed the business in 1999 and retired. His wife, Lydia, closed her shop in 2000 and they built the home he lived in on Breeden.
He was married to Lydia Schultz for 33 years and they had daughters Marie and Brooke. He was devoted to his family. Lydia called him her best friend, though they have been divorced for several years.
Marie called her father an Xbox junkie, a man who loved movies of all types, tenderhearted and private.
His humor could be silly and sarcastic. He enjoyed the company of his dog, Blue, who survived the storm. He visited his sister, Norma, in Utah shortly before Katrina and decided five days before he died that he wanted his ashes scattered at Mt. Zion National Park.