Orange County Legal Community Mourns passing of the Retired Commissioner Thomas Schulte

Hon. Commissioner Thomas Schulte (Ret.) passed away on August 20, 2019. He was 74 years old. He retired in August 2011, having served the Orange County Superior Court for over 20 years.

“Commissioner Schulte served with distinction both as an active and as a retired judge when needed in some of the court’s most difficult assignments,” said Kirk Nakamura, Orange County Superior Court Presiding Judge. “His kindness, humility and work ethic will be missed by all who knew him. He was a man of deep faith and this was evidenced in everything he did. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to his wife, Judge Mary Schulte and his survivors.”

In 1991, Commissioner Schulte left the private practice of family law – after serving the Orange County community for 17 years – to become a commissioner with Orange County Superior Court. During his tenure with the Court, he served on the Family Law panel from 1991 to 1994 and again from 1997 to the day he retired in 2011. He was honored as the Orange County Family Law Judge of the Year in 1994 and again in 2011.

He also served in the Probate Department from 1995 to 1997 and received special recognition for his service in probate and in the domestic violence and elder abuse courts.

Commissioner Schulte was a member of the Orange County Bar Association and served as its Treasurer from 1990–1991.

He received his J.D. in 1975 and his LL.B. in 1973 from Western State University. He also attended Golden West Junior College from 1968 to 1971. Commissioner Schulte served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1968 as a Seaman, 2nd Class. 

He leaves behind a loving family, including his wife Judge Mary Fingal Schulte (Ret.) and the legal community of Orange County deeply mourning his passing. Funeral services for Commissioner Thomas Schulte have not yet been announced.