Obituary: Melvyn ‘Mel’ Shutz

Melvyn “Mel” Shutz. (Courtesy)

Melvyn “Mel” Shutz. (Courtesy)

Melvyn “Mel” Shutz, 84, of Prescott, Arizona, passed away on Aug. 30, 2023.

Mel was a furniture designer, dog lover, educator, artist, opera enthusiast, philanthropist, author, and a good steward of the communities he has lived in. His charitable donations spanned many organizations and causes.

Mel was born on April 13, 1939, to Edward Shutz and Sara Bennett Shutz. He was preceded in death by his parents and many beloved rescued dogs, including Crosby, Tillie, Max, Brando, and many more.

In his career, Mel worked for the Samuel Berman Company’s interior design division in Philadelphia, PA. He also worked for several office furniture companies in various roles, including management, marketing, design, and sales. Mel retired at the young age of 56. He later taught close to 100 classes at Yavapai College through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Mel’s passion for education led him to donate scholarships to the Art and Music Departments at Yavapai College, as well as seed funding for the program “Education Now!” He also provided generous grants to Wildhorse Ranch Rescue in Gilbert, AZ, allowing the charity to purchase 100 acres in Ash Fork, AZ. Mel served on the Advisory Board for Wildhorse Ranch Rescue. Additionally, Mel wrote two books, “Retribution Road,” published in September 2021, and “Without Remorse,” published on August 3, 2023.

Mel was a talented watercolor artist, and his work has been displayed in various shows and events. He had a deep love for dogs and rescued many throughout his lifetime. Mel also enjoyed the opera, theatre, trivia, and hosting classes and events on those subjects. Later in life, he became a published author of two books.

A Celebration of Life for Mel Shutz will be held: Sept. 26, 2023, from 3 pm to 5 pm at The Finn Restaurant at Touchmark located at 3180 Touchmark Blvd, Prescott, AZ 86301.

In lieu of flowers, Mel requested that donations be made to one of his favorite charities. These include Wildhorse Ranch Rescue (, (480) 503-5497, and the Yavapai Humane Society (, (928) 445-2666). For a complete list of charities that Mel supported, please contact Dewey Darwin at or (480) 922-4205.

To sign Mel’s guestbook, please visit

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