Feeding the birds is one of life’s pleasures for Judson Schuler, of Millersburg, Ohio.
By Bruce Stambaugh
In every way, Judson Schuler, 94, belies his age.
His mind is as sharp as a tack. He recalls incidences from 60 years ago as if they happened yesterday. And yet, he can more than carry his own in conversation about current events.
For a man is his 90s, Schuler has maintained his health, too. He attributes that to his regular physical workout routine three times a week at a local physical fitness facility.
“I like to stay active,” Schuler said. “I think it’s one of the secrets to staying healthy while getting old and enjoying it.”
He is true to his word.
“I still like to mow and help out with raking and gathering the leaves,” Schuler said. Given the size of his property, that is no small task. Schuler lives on Briar Lane in Millersburg, Ohio. His late wife, Beverly, was the daughter of the president of Briar Hill Stone in Glenmont.
“The original idea for our development was that every home would be built using their stone,” Schuler said. “It was to be a model for what could be done in construction.”
“Bev and I built this in 1956,” he said. “It still suits me well.” Accordingly, the home was built using the decorative, multi-colored sandstone. The Schuler’s were married 62 years. Schuler has a son, a daughter, four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
The living room and den to the back of the stately home both have large windows and sliding glass doors that afford Schuler good views of the wildlife that he so adores.
“I enjoy feeding the birds, especially the goldfinches,” he said. Indeed, he has a thistle feeder and a hopper feeder in the spacious backyard. His binoculars hang at the ready by his favorite chair.
Schuler also gets great pleasure from watching other wildlife, like squirrels and deer that scurry through his tree-studded backyard. Though he wouldn’t ever say so, Schuler certainly has earned his right to leisure away his days.
Schuler was a noted attorney in Holmes County for many years. He practiced law well into his ‘70s. His late brother, John, was one of his partners. Ray Miller was the other.
“I still have an office in the firm,” he said. “That was part of the sale, that John and I would always have an office to go to.”
Schuler said that when he began practicing law in 1946, Millersburg had six or seven attorneys.
“Now I think there are 20,” he said with an ornery smile.
Schuler said he no longer practices, but that he still goes to the office occasionally just to check in with the other attorneys. The Critchfield, Critchfield and Johnston law firm bought Schuler’s Millersburg firm when he retired.
“My middle name is Critchfield,” Schuler said. “I’m a second cousin to that family.”
Early in his attorney days, Schuler was once the Holmes County prosecutor. But his heart was in private practice.
With his successful career behind him, Schuler takes one day at a time and enjoys every minute of his experiences. That approach might be because his life has revolved around relationships with his clients, his friends, his community activities and his family.
Schuler has served in several civic capacities. He was the local veterans service officer. He served on the development disabilities board, the airport authority, and several years on the board of directors of the Commercial and Savings Bank.
Schuler was also appointed by the governor to serve on the Ohio Public Health Council, which processed all the rules for mental hospitals, nursing homes, and even public water supplies.
“That was an incredible experience for me,” Schuler said. “I learned a lot during those 12 years.”
Schuler is also a member of the American Legion Post 192 and was made a life member of the Killbuck VFW.
Schuler served in the Army during World War II and fought in the battle of The Bulge. He can rattle off details of war stories as if they had happened yesterday.
He likes to read a lot, too, focusing on “the great people at the beginning of the Republic.” Schuler also likes golf and of course, watching Ohio State football games. He has owned season tickets for 50 years, as he received both his bachelor’s and law degree from The Ohio State University.
Though he has traveled the world and had many exciting experiences, Schuler still considers himself “a small town guy.” Likely, there are plenty of local people thankful for that.