Janice M. “Tootie” Schultz, 86, died February 15, 2023. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, February 27, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church, Bismarck. A Celebration of Life will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, February 26, 2023, at Parkway Funeral Service, Bismarck.
Tootie was born in Bismarck on January 1, 1937, to John and Alice Meisner. She graduated from Bismarck High School in 1954, and from the University of North Dakota in 1958 with a journalism degree. She was a choir member who could harmonize with anybody and a cheerleader at BHS and UND. She worked for General Mills in Minneapolis for one year before marrying Jay Schultz in April 1959. The couple spent a year in Fort Lee, Va., and then moved to Minot where Tootie worked for the local television station and got her teaching credentials.
That education degree came in handy when Tootie returned to work. She started teaching at Century High school in 1979 and would work there until 2009. She taught English, led the Century Star student newspaper and was the Northern Intercollegiate Press Association (NIPA) Advisor of the Year in 1984-85. In 1994, she was awarded the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship for her proposal to combine holistic learning with critical thinking in a seminar-style class, which CHS offered for many years. Tootie was also an adjunct English professor at Bismarck State College, both in person and online, for 15 years.
Tootie loved to read and write; she was a founding member of her 20+ yearbook club and she often wrote for local publications. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and in 2009, she led the push to restart the First Presbyterian Fine Arts Festival. She also helped with the church’s Higher Power lunch. Tootie served on the Board of Directors of the Bismarck Library Foundation for seven years and earlier, served on the YMCA Board of Directors.
Tootie was active. For years, she was an avid golfer; Wednesdays were reserved for golf league for many summers. She was a member at the YMCA for decades, loved the camaraderie and exercise of gentle yoga, took advantage of weights and cardio, and walked daily.
Tootie will be remembered for her love of jazz, old movies and “medicinal scotch.” She loved deep conversations and pushed us all to be better.
Survivors include children, Charles (Sandra) Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Tracy (Kent) Spaulding, Portland, OR, Stephanie Schultz (Andy Smith), Austin, TX; and five loving grandchildren, Sydney and Axel Schultz, Kayleigh Spaulding, Gracie and Drew Smith. Tootie is also survived by her sister, Laurel (Ron) Baranko, Phoenix, AZ; and three nephews, Mike Lawyer, Joel Baranko and Chris Baranko.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jay; brothers, Jim Meisner and Wayne Struble; and nephew, Ben Lawyer.
Tootie had many friends who were family to her. She loved meeting the gals for coffee on Saturday mornings, and for numerous dinners and happy hours.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the Bismarck Library Foundation in Tootie’s honor.