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Seated at his well-kept desk in his third-floor office in the Franklin
Building at Market Square, Louis Shulterbrandt was the picture of quiet
efficiency. He was surrounded by a few objects of art and selected cita-
tions received from presidents and other dignitaries; but there was no
question but that a portrait of his daughter, Michele, was a favorite point
Some of his friends called him "Shulty;" others preferred to call him
Louis. Everyone in public life knew him as a consummate diplomat, a
skilled government official and someone who was simply successful in
getting things done.
Shulty was born in Frederiksted, St. Croix, but grew up and lived all his
life in St. Thomas. He was another one of those grass-roots "Savaneroes"
who, from modest beginnings, scaled the heights of achievement in this
community through hard work and real commitment.
His early education was at Dober School in Savan and Lincoln (now
Jarvis) School. He graduated from Hampton Institute in 1934 with a
bachelor's degree in business administration. In his junior year, he was
president of Hampton's student council and he was the president of his
Mr. Shulterbrandt recalled that the turning point in his life came after
graduation from Hampton when he was called upon by the Virgin Islands
government to return to St. Thomas immediately to establish a commer-
cial program at the Charlotte Amalie High School. His sacrificial service to
the Virgin Islands began at this point, for in accepting this mandate, he
was forced to give up the full two-year scholarship he had won to pursue a
course of graduate study at Harvard University, which would have lead to
a master's degree in business administration.
He organized and taught the school's first three-year commercial pro-
gram and in 1937 sent into the Virgin Islands community the first group
of high school graduates well-trained in business and secretarial skills.
Later on, he developed and implemented the full Vocational Division of
the Charlotte Amalie High School, recruiting Raphael Wheatley as a
supervisor in the program. His service with the high school included
administration of the National Youth Administration Program and a term
as assistant principal.
Mr. Shulterbrandt, as were all his brothers, was actively involved in
music. His favorite instruments were the clarinet and the saxophone. His
interest in music inspired him to organize and direct the island's first high
school marching band and symphony orchestra, as well as a community
dance orchestra. His dance orchestra, whose members included such
well-known musicians as Ramon Gabriel, John Maduro, Jose Kean, Leopold
Benjamin and Carlos Classen, may have been the first Virgin Islands
orchestra from which a group was contracted to play aboard a cruise ship
on cruises between St. Thomas and other Caribbean islands.
Mr. Shulterbrandt's public service extended over most of his adult life.
Between August 1934 to February 1944, he served in many capacities as
an administrator in the Department of Education, including two years as
Assistant Superintendent of Education. He succeeded Morris DeCastro as
Commissioner of Finance in 1944. At that time, this office included the
duties of Budget Director. During his tenure, the Office of Tourism, with
Harry Goegel as its first director, was established as part of the Depart-
ment of Finance. As Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Shulterbrandt pulled
together all the functions of tax administration and instituted the Tax
Division as a separate organizational unit, recruiting young college gradu-
ate Reuben Wheatley as its first supervisor.
Another of Mr. Shulterbrandt's achievements as Commissioner of
Finance was the initiation of re-
lationships with the federal gov-
ernment that were pertinent to
the improvement and mainte-
nance of the fiscal integrity of
the territory. These included the
institution of annual audits by
S the General Accounting Office,
t collection and tax administration
assistance from the Internal Rev-
enue Service, and the utilization
of systems experts in the Depart-
i ment of the Interior in the mod-
ernization of the local account-
ing and operational systems pe-
During the 10 years that he
held the position of Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Shulterbrandt served
concurrently as the Assistant Government Secretary and was the first
native to serve as Acting Governor. In his book "Trials and Triumphs,"
Earle B. Ottley stated: "It marked the first time in the islands' history that
a black man had occupied the position, although temporarily."
In May 1961, when Ralph Paiewonsky was inaugurated as governor of
the Virgin Islands, Louis Shulterbrandt was asked to leave a lucrative
private travel and insurance practice to take the post of Assistant to the
Governor. He served in that capacity for the full eight-year term of
Among the projects to which Mr. Shulterbrandt felt deep commitment
was the College of the Virgin Islands. He contributed time and expertise
to the negotiations and planning leading to its establishment, and he
served without interruption as an adviser to it Board of Trustees from its
inception in 1962 until his retirement in 1988.
Mr. Shulterbrandt's private sector contributions go back to his return
from Hampton, when, in spite of his work at the high school, he found
time to encourage and assist in the modernization of local business. He
helped his friend David Chinnery, a pioneering businessman of his day,
install the first modern glass-front grocery on Main Street and open
Chinnery's Food-O-Mat, the first modern supermarket in St. Thomas. He
ir itiated and helped his brother Frank establish Frank's Bar and Grill, the
first modern business of its kind in St. Thomas and the first restaurant
here to serve hot dogs.
Shulty was among the first small group of local Certified Public Ac-
countants and was among the earliest real estate and insurance agents in
St. Thomas. In 1954, after an extended period of public service, he concen-
trated on the organization of his own private enterprise and established a
business that included real estate, insurance and travel services. He was
instrumental in getting British West Indian Airways to operate in the
Virgin Islands and managed local operations during the early period. In
conjunction with his travel services, Mr. Shulterbrandt was the first local
representative of American Express, handling all of their island tours.
This particular activity lead him to play the role of pioneer in getting taxi
operators to organize for servicing of cruise ship tours. After his second
tour of public service in 1969, Mr. Shulterbrandt opened a real estate and
business consulting office.
In March 1978, Louis Shulterbrandt was appointed Civilian Aide to the
then-Secretary of the Army, the Hon. Clifford Alexander, during the
Carter administration. He was the first Virgin Islander to serve in this
important and prestigious capacity and served until 1990, when he was
given emeritus status.
On June 2, 1984, Mr. Shulterbrandt was honored by the Lion's Club of
St. Thomas and on May 28, 1991, the 19th Legislature of the Virgin
Islands honored him by passing Resolution 1451 in recognition of his
service. On its 25th anniver-
sary on Aug. 30, 1991, the
Caribbean Conservation As-
sociation honored him for his
outstanding contributions to
conservation in the U.S. Vir-
gin Islands. Having done
graduate study at New York
University, Mr. Shulterbrandt
was largely responsible for
the organization of the active
St. Thomas-St. John chapter
of the NYU alumni federa-
In his typical behind- p
the-scenes manner, he
worked with his wife, Eldra, and Ron deLugo to revive the Virgin Islands
Another area of Louis Shulterbrandt's contribution to his community
and its people is well-known to many of us, although he was too modest
to talk about it: his kindness and caring for others and for his community.
Almost every single day, Shulty devoted some time to helping someone.
Many a young person has been guided along the way toward higher
education and a satisfying career by the counsel and support of this man;
many a person has been helped to deal with problems through Shulty's
advice and assistance; many a person well-established in business in this
community has been helped by Mr. Shulterbrandt in some way.
He spent a great deal of time counseling, advising and encouraging
small local business people. His assistance to people ranged from finding
jobs to finding housing. He knew the government and governmental
procedures; he knew how and where to get information; he knew the local
traditions to be observed; and he had the vision to foresee the direction
we should take for the continuing economic, social and educational growth
geared toward the upliftment and edification of the people of the Virgin
Islands. He was so committed and so sincere that somehow, in spite of his
busy schedule, Louis Shulterbrandt found time for others.
Louis Shulterbrandt has been referred
to as a "charmer." This personal charac-
teristic amassed for him a wide range of
Friends in every walk of life. He was
selfless, amicable and unaffected. He was
a sincere, compassionate and humble
man. He worked tirelessly for his com-
munity and his people without concern
for reward, recognition of credit.
It is apparent from his life accom-
plishments that Louis Shulterbrandt was
a leader of his time. In some respects,
o to he may have been ahead of his time. His
leadership abilities contributed not only
to his own successes, but to the suc-
s cesses of others.
DAUGHTER.. Michele Shulterbrandt Agurkis
BROTHERS ... Ernest Schulterbrandt, Rudolph Shulterbrandt
SISTER... Rita Shulterbrandt Smith
SON-IN-LAW... Matthew M. Agurkis
GRANDCHILDREN ... Elizabeth, Zachary
and Ian Agurkis Shulterbrandt
NEPHEWS ... Irving, Ernest, Jr., Kenneth, Franklin, Joseph, John,
Frank, Dean, David, Ariel and Roy Schulterbrandt, Stanley, Derrick,
Andre and Michael Smith, Errol O., Oliver V.,
and C. Sosthens Sebastien and John L. Maduro, Rudolph Glenn
Shulterbrandt, Shelton Shulterbrandt, Stewart Shulterbrandt
NIECES ... Isabelle, Helen, Joy, Eleanor, Muriel, and Ariel
Schulterbrandt, Josephine Ottley, Marie Osborne, Estrelda Petersen,
Elma Gumbs, Marie Branningan, Desiree Hill, Jacqueline Dowe,
Helen C., Olive, and Eulalie Sebastian, Carmel Sebastien DeSane,
Elise Sebastien Zephir, Joan Sebastian Canton, Alda Monsanto,
and Yvonne Pilgrim, Gail Shulterbrandt-Rivera, Nicole Shulterbrandt,
OTHER RELATIVES ... Shulterbrandt, Sebastien,
Maduro, Francis, Callwood and Smith families
Clive Banfield, Franklin Schulterbrandt,
Dean Cole, Kenneth Schulterbrandt,
Fred Thomas, Joseph Schulterbrandt
Dr. Alfred O. Heath, M.D., Mario Watlington, Ernest Schulterbrandt,
Rudolph Shulterbrandt, Reuben Newton, John L. Maduro
Basil Ottley, Winthrop Maduro,
Henry Honigfort, Kofi Brannigan
The Most Reverend Elliot G. Thomas
BLESSING OF THE BODY AT THE DOOR OF CATHEDRAL
ENTRANCE HYMN .......... Crown Him With Many Crowns, #506
GREETING AND OPENING PRAYER
FIRST READING: Isaiah 25:6-9 ......... Anna Mae Brown-Comment
RESPONSORIAL PSALM 23:1-6 ........... Gail Shulterbrandt-Rivera
SECOND READING: Romans 6:3,9 ............ Dr. Alfred O. Heath
HOLY GOSPEL: .......................... Deacon Frank Veraart
HOMILY .................... The Most Reverend Elliot G. Thomas
Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
OFFERTORY HYMN .................... For All The Saints, #344
HYMN OF PEACE ................. Prayer of St. Francis, #286
COMMUNION HYMN ............. The Lord Is My Shepherd, #286
SOLO: Ave Maria ................................ Faye Moon
POST COMMUNION PRAYER
EULOGY ................................... Calvin Wheatley
SOLO .................................. Alwin "Lad" Richards
FINAL COMMENDATION AND FAREWELL
RECESSIONAL HYMN .............. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
CANTOR ......................... ............. Viola E. Smith
---~-----n1~ j --- s __
In Memory of Louis Shulterbrandt... From
the depths of my sadness over your leaving us,
There arises a sense of profound gratitude, for
having had the privilege and pleasure of know-
ing you and being able to spend some time with
you. For me personally, for many others and for
our community as a whole you were a friend, a
true giant and one of our unsung heroes.
By the dignified, quiet way in which you
applied your keen intellect, your integrity and
your good humor to everything, you made an
enormous difference to the well-being of the
Virgin Islands and to many of our lives.
Your thorough understanding of our community, your knowledge of
the ways of official Washington and your excellent relations with the
leading personalities there plus your genius at handling matters of public
finance enabled you to help our Islands get through some of the most
difficult times. You made the critical difference in getting the University
of the Virgin Islands started and in keeping it going. The list of your
accomplishments is interminable. Yet you did it all without ever seeking
credit or the limelight while leaving fame and fortune to others.
For me, one of the joys of spending time at home was to chat with you
privately or to be in meetings with you and to tap your treasure of
wisdom. It was great to hear you converse with such ease and knowledge
not only about developments at home, but also about policies and actions
on the national and international levels, including those involving the
Armed Forces or foreign affairs establishments. The marvel was that you
could communicate more with a short, gentle phrase or question than
most people can do with volumes. My meetings with you always left me
truly enriched. What I learned from you will stay with me and I'll be
Rest In Peace!
(Ambassador) Terence (A. Todman)
The entire University of the Virgin Islands family mourns the recent
passing of Louis Shulterbrandt and our condolences go out to the mem-
bers of his family.
Mr. Shulterbrandt was a staunch and enduring friend and supporter of
the University. Together with his wife Eldra and Governor Ralph
Paiewonsky, both now deceased, he developed the framework for the
College of the Virgin Islands in the early nineteen-sixties. Over the years
his ideas and actions contributed much to the rapid rise of the institution
from its initial status as a two year, associate degree granting junior
college to its current status as a university with graduate programs and
Officially, Louis served as a consultant to the Board of Trustees for
thirty years. In truth he functioned more as a full-fledged member of the
Board than as a consultant. He never spoke a discouraging word nor did
he encourage them. By urging us to focus on the positive, he inspired us
all to transcend perceived limits. The University of the Virgin Islands is a
much greater institution because of his contributions. May he rest in
Orville Kean, Ph.D
President, University of the Virgin Islands
Dear Uncle Louis, ... You will be remembered as a distinguished
Native Virgin Islander of many accomplishments, and whereas your ca-
reer achievements are illustrious, I realize that there are attributes of your
character which truly made a difference in the lives of Virgin Islanders. It
is these same qualities you possessed that are so lacking in our society
today and consequently our Virgin Islands community is paying the price:
Love of God and Country; human decency; respect for one's family and
elders; making sacrifices; studying hard and/or learning a trade in order to
be self-sufficient; helping your fellow man. I always enjoyed our little
tete-a-tetes and there are two words of wisdom which you mentioned to
me that to this day make a lot of sense:
1. Back in the 1980's when I told you that my husband Romeo and I
had started to build our home you said: "Oh, that's wonderful news!
Somehow or the other, when you acquire a home and move in, it effectu-
ates order in your life and everything else tends to fall in place."
2. I smile to myself when I think back to your second words of wisdom
to me: "Now Gail, if you truly want to accomplish a particular goal in life,
firstly acquire the perquisite skills and then be the Director, Chairperson
or the President of the Institution that is the only way you will be in
position to formulate policy."
Rest in peace with God, beloved Uncle Louie. We will all miss you
including my mother Leonia and my Daddy, your brother Rudolph who as
tIlttlM Ttll ff i t 1t "1t11
you know is not feeling well. Please give my best to Aunt Eldra.
Your loving niece, Gail Shulterbrandt-Rivera
Dear Teacher ... When you came home from college, your first service
to the community was as our teacher. You were the first teacher and we
the first students in the first Commercial Class of the Charlotte Amalie
High School. That was in September of 1934. You were the only commer-
cial teacher, giving us lessons in typing, shorthand, bookkeeping and
business law. So it was that we spent most of our school day in one your
What a happy experience you made our school days to be! You not only
taught us well; you gave us love and good advice for our personal lives.
When we graduated in 1937, each one of us was able to assume, and carry
out well and responsibly, positions in business or government.
Over these more than 60 years our lives have touched in many ways
and we have held you in our hearts with respect and gratitude. So shall
you remain in our memories.
Members of the Charlotte Amalie High School Commercial Class of 1937
My Best Man ... He welcomed me openly to the islands forty-five years
ago, accommodated me in his home, introduced me to one of his former
high school students who became my wife, established a Travel Agency
providing me with gainful employment and gave me a free hand to run it.
After the agency expanded to represent American Express and several
airlines as their first General Sales Agent in the Virgin Islands, he was
saddened to see me leave for San Juan to head up the airline of Puerto
Rico and we kept in close touch with each other.
He was a motivator, a consummate diplomat, and a people person par
excellence. During his many years in public service and private enterprise
he always inspired those he came in contact with to strive to improve their
lot in life so that the community would become a better place in which to
life. He believed that family gave continuity. He adored his daughter and
He gave of himself to everyone and sought nothing in return. He was a
humble man, a peace maker, and indeed a statesman. He believed in
principle and in politics and that if you push anything hard enough and far
enough principle turns into politics. The fact that it ends up as politics
meant that how we do our politics matters.
Over the years, we visited with each other regularly and he shared with
me that friends continued to encourage him to write his memoirs but he
was never ready for that.
After my wife of thirty-seven years passed away, he shared my grief and
a year later, when I told him that I was going to marry a young lady whom
he adored and who was a close childhood friend of his daughter, he was
Months later at eight-seven years of age, he was Best Man at our
wedding. Until his passing, he was my Best Man for forty-five years. May
God continue to bless you Louis for what you have accomplished in life
and for the lives you have enriched for so many people in all walks of life.
With love and appreciation,
Clive E.C. Banfield
Your guidance and counsel over the years were a very important com-
ponent in our growing lives. You brought me into your world of
high-powered politics and negotiations and showed a confidence in me to
permit me to assist in the beginnings of your consulting office in Riise's
Alley. Those were exciting days as I watched you meet and counsel
persons from every walk of life, including very important visitors from
Washington. You taught me the art of total discretion as you exuded quiet
strength and confidence to all who came to see you.
Denis and I shared in the love, laughter, and good food, good wine and
most of all wonderful conversation with you, Mrs. Shulterbrandt and
Michele. A visit to "see Mr. Shulterbrandt" was a most for all our off-island
visitors. Though language was sometimes a barrier, they remembered
your warmth and hospitality and always inquired about you years after.
The much used phrase "a man for all times" is no useless cliche' to us,
but a fitting metaphor when we think of you. You will always bold a
treasurecdplace in our hearts. Our sincere sympathy and love to Michele,
MatthewElizabeth, Zachary, and Ian. We feel your loss very deeply.
Denis and Anna Mae Comment and Family
In April of 1962 I was asked by Virgin Islands Governor Ralph
Paiewonsky to take on the assignment of converting two legislative acts
from paper into a functioning college. When I reported for work he told
me, "When you need assistance, talk with Louis Shulterbrandt."
I did need assistance. I did talk with Louis. We both knew that in the
early 1960's, there was much opposition to the concept of a public-
supported post-secondary institution. Louis's great contribution, in which
he was warmly and enthusiastically supported by his wife, Eldra, was to
help convince the public that a college would greatly enhance the quality
of life in the islands.
Once the college opened its doors in January of 19963 he served for
many years as consultant to the Board of Trustees, one of whose members
was Eldra Shulterbrandt. I and firmly and confidently state that they were
two of perhaps a dozen people who were essential in creating what is now
the University of the Virgin islands and helping it through its early years.
Working with Louis and Eldra was for me a privilege and a pleasure. I
spent many evenings sharing the hospitality of their cheerful home "at the
top of the steps." My entire family became close to their family. We
shared a deep sense of loss at his passing, unhappily preceded by the loss
of Eldra a few years ago.
I deem it a privilege to have known them, worked with them, and
assisted them during the years of birth and growth of today's outstanding
University. Even as I mourn their death I rejoice at having had the
privilege of working so closely with Louis and Eldra. We shall not see the
likes of that couple for years to come.
John A. Wallace, Ed.D., Litt.D, Putney, Vermont
to Magdalene Bryan, Helen Sebastien, Olive Sebastien,
Eulalie Sebastien, Carmel Sebastian de Sane,
Anna Mae Comment, Dorothy Felix,
Viola E. Smith, Donna Miles, George Munzar,
Gina Mangieri, Gloria Loberg, David Monoson and Vania Thomas
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