Joseph Lawrence Schuster

A person’s true value is the good they do in this world, and Joseph Schuster touched many.
Dr. Joseph Lawrence Schuster, known by his friends as a caring and earnest man who loved his family, died Feb. 3, surrounded by his children and the love of his life, Sylvia. He was 85 years old.
Joseph was born in Teague on May 21, 1932, to Michael and Anna Schaffer Schuster. Raised on a diverse farm in East Central Texas, Joseph learned the value of family and working together, and developed a love for land, natural resources and conservation.
He received an A.S degree in Agriculture from Tarleton State College 1952; a B.S. in Range and Forestry from Texas A&M University in 1954; a M.S. in Range Ecology from Colorado State University in 1959; and a Ph.D. in Range Science, with a minor in Soil and Plant Physiology from Texas A&M University in 1962.
Upon graduation from Texas A&M University in 1954 with a military commission, he served 3 1/2 years’ active duty in the Army in fixed wing airplanes and helicopters. After his 32 years of service, he retired as full colonel.
In September 1969, Joseph established the first department of Range and Wildlife Management, Texas Tech University; in 1972 he moved to the Rangeland Ecology and Management department at Texas A&M University as a professor; in 1973 he was designated as the department head; in 1997, he began serving as a consultant for the department.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sylvia Needham Schuster, of Tehuacana, sons and daughter-in-laws David and Carla Schuster, Stanley and Sherrie Schuster, James Kent Schuster, and daughter Suzanne Darrow; grandchildren Carter, Cameron, Garrett, Meredith, Abby and Will; his brother Edmund and wife Roxanne Schuster, and sister, Helen Schuster Matthews.
The family is requesting in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Joseph L. Schuster Rangeland Ecology Management Scholarship at Texas A&M University.
A visitation will be held 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, at Hillier Funeral Home, of Bryan, with a funeral service to begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, at First United Methodist Church of Bryan, followed by a reception at the church. Graveside services with Final Military Honors will begin at 1 p.m. at Bryan City Cemetery.
Visit Joe’s tribute page at to share memories and stories.