COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A giant of the Columbus business and philanthropic communities has passed away.
Marvin Schuster – the founder of Schuster Enterprises – died on Sunday.
Visitation will be Wednesday morning, starting at 9:30, in Edgewood Baptist Church, followed by the funeral service at 11.
Schuster owned and operated dozens of Burger King restaurants through his family company which was founded in 1967.
“Marvin Schuster’s life was driven by his faith. By his faith, and that’s who he was,” said Ron King, a longtime friend. “He was a man of deep religious convictions and faith. And it made a difference not just in his church and his business. It made a difference in this community because he was a man who not only believed that you practiced in your head and witness to what you believed, but you worked to make the world a better place and leave it better than you found it and make a difference, for God’s sake, in the process.”
A transplant to Georgia from Missouri, Schuster made Columbus home. And through his countless gifts and support of institutions and organizations, he made Columbus better.
He was a strong supporter of Columbus State University, his family’s name on the baseball facility, and the student life center.
“Marvin Shuster’s generosity over three decades has left an indelible mark on Columbus State and our students,” Dr. Rocky Kettering, CFRE, Vice President for University Advancement. “Marvin Shuster’s generosity over three decades has left an indelible mark on Columbus State and our students. While our Schuster Student Success Center and Burger King Stadium are outward signs of his support, Marvin’s legacy extends to all areas of the university — from athletics and the arts to student excellence, scholarships, and academics.”
He was a benefactor of Meals on Wheels and the Chamber of Commerce’s Partners in Education among many others.
Schuster became an important part of the Columbus community.
“I think part of it was the people here and he became part of a public, private, philanthropic community that’s like no other that I know of in the state of Georgia and maybe in the Southeast,” King said. “He and several other leaders, I’ll call them servant leaders, because that’s what Marvin was. He was a true servant leader every day. They practiced that public-private partnership. And if he thought he could help make a difference to improve the quality of life for a group or an individual organization, he would do it. He didn’t just talk about it. He acted on it.”
And his actions made a difference, King said.
“Marvin not only made Columbus better, but he also made a lot of people in this town better,” King said. “He would adopt people and mentor them and help them understand what life could be about and how their lives could be different if they learned to give as much as they get. And Marvin really believed that he had been truly blessed and he was going to give back and make a difference.”