Martin J. Schuster, 89, peacefully passed away in the Northern Montana Hospital in Havre on July 13 from natural causes.
Cremation has taken place and a funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church with a luncheon reception following at the Havre Elks Lodge. Martin Joseph Schuster was born Nov. 15, 1919, in Chicago, Ill. He came to Montana at age 15 to live and work for his ailing uncle, Joe Schuster, on his farm west of Box Elder. Martin often said that the year they sent Al Capone to Alcatraz, he was sent to Montana. He thought Capone got the better deal. However, coming from a large family in the heart of Chicago, Martin said his belly button was too close to his backbone for comfort. Martin served in the U. S. Army 343rd Engineers in England, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany during World War II and was honorably discharged as a sergeant after 3½ years. He declared after working on his uncle’s farm for seven years, going into the Army was like getting a paid vacation. When he returned from the service, he leased his uncle’s farm for four years and then began buying his own land west of Box Elder where he farmed until he sold it in 1980. Martin was an excellent, forwardthinking farmer who had a deep love and appreciation for the land. He was one of the first to begin fertilizing in his area and perhaps was a bit ahead of his time. Sports of all kinds were one of his interests. After returning from the service, he coached a Little League baseball team from Box Elder and had many fond memories of the games they played and the boys who were on the team. He was a diehard Chicago Cubs fan and returned to see them play as often as he could. He rarely missed a Cubs game (or any other sport) that was broadcast on TV. In his younger years, Martin was an avid bowler and golfer. He continued playing golf until he was 87 years old, and he was always looking for that second “hole in one.” He loved to read and was a highly knowledgeable, self-taught man who could converse with anyone on any subject. Open-minded, charming and affable, he was always the first to put out his hand and engage someone in conversation. With his sharp wit and kidding manner, Martin was well known and respected for his mannered ways and classy style a true gentleman. In 1950, Martin married Geraldine (Bebe) Kezar in Havre. From that marriage three children were born; Signa Schuster of Bar Harbor, Maine, Lee Schuster of Havre, Mont. And Michelle Schuster of LaJolla, Calif. The couple divorced in 1975. He married Merlyn Mann Schuster in 1989 after a 10-year courtship. Martin was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Knights of Columbus and a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Havre Elks Lodge. Left to mourn his passing, are his wife, Merlyn; his three children; two granddaughters, Britin Schuster and fianc, Jason Cross of Billings and Ryann Schuster of Havre; one grandson, Adam Torgison of Las Vegas and many nieces and nephews in the Chicago area. Also surviving are his stepchildren, Martina Christie, Laurie Bills, Vince and Steve Kaluza; five stepgrandchildren and two step great-granddaughters. Martin said he was “The Last of the Mohicans,’ as he was preceded in death by his parents, six sisters and three brothers. He was quite surprised that he had outlasted them all. The family suggests any memorials in Martin’s name to go to the Havre High School Education Foundation Golf Team, P.O. Box 7791, Havre, MT 59501 and/or The Boys & Girls Club of the Hi_line, 500 1st St., Havre, MT 59501