By Sue Moore
“Paul Schutter has been a standard bearer of service for the Vicksburg Lions Club,” said former club president Brett Grossman. Schutter was honored with the Melvin Jones Fellow award, the highest the Lions give. Schutter hasn’t missed many meetings, having had perfect attendance for many years.
The honor, named for the service club’s founder, represents humanitarian qualities such as generosity, compassion and concern for the less fortunate. The Club last awarded a Melvin Jones Fellow to Mike Frederick for his contributions to the community in 2015.
A member of the Vicksburg club for 49 years, Schutter came to Vicksburg in 1959 to coach and teach math in the high school. Then-Superintendent Ken Otis recommended that Paul and his wife Marilyn should live in the village; that’s how they came to love this community, his wife said.
“I coached every sport there was but started with wrestling and golf,” Schutter said. “Then it was football for 17 years and assistant in track for another 15 years after that.” He is from Muskegon, where he played football and left to attend Kalamazoo College and then the Army. Upon his return, he enrolled at Western Michigan University where he played football and track, throwing the shot and discus. Marilyn worked as a secretary in the chemistry department. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from WMU.
Schutter has accepted most every job in the Lions Club: president, vice president and treasurer, all the time helping with the Summer Festival better known as the B & B. “This is a great group of guys and now gals,” Schutter said. “Every Sunday morning after our big fundraiser we would be there to help clean up. We just did everything to help.”
Schutter played every sport he could think of but loves to play golf the most. He has been in a league at States for many years and won a couple of championships. He retired from teaching in 1992. The couple has three children, all married and living in Michigan. They boast nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren with two more on the way. A grandson is in the Navy and based in Bahrain. They are anxious to have him back home, Marilyn said.