In Memory

Gideon Schein

Gideon Schein

Many of you may have learned via a Facebook post from one of Gideon's long term friends, that he ran out of Miracle Recoveries on Monday afternoon.

I previously posted the ups and downs of the past two months of Gideon's life on Home Page announcements.  

As our long time and frequent (!) Class President and Lead Class Agent, I thought his recent determined battle to live deserved that recognition.

Now he joins other esteemed members of our class on this In Memory Page.

It's been my honor to have known him for so many years, and, for the last seven years, to be his friend.

There will be a small funeral and graveside ceremony at a family plot in New Jersey this weekend, pending the return of his body from California.  Memorial Services, via Zoom, will take place at a later time.

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12/18/20 10:10 PM #5    

Paul Safyan

An announcement that may be of interest to some of you.

12/19/20 04:13 PM #6    

Ted Morgan

I appreciate Joan's inclusion of the lines from Ulysses (recalling how Robert Kennedy quoted some of those same lines back when we were at Oberlin) –especially:

"We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are we are,

One equal temper of heroic hearts

Made weak by time and fate but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find - and not to yield.' 

Gideon certainly was of “heroic heart” in living those last two lines through his long health struggles.  He fought the good fight –for life.

12/19/20 09:26 PM #7    

Jeffrey Liebman

During our freshman year at Burton, I knew Gideon as a leader and take-charge person during and as an excellent communicator, infused with positive energy.  Although I didn’t follow his theatrical career, evidently these qualities propelled him to success and personal fulfillment.  Years later, when he became involved with Oberlin alumni activities, I sat down with him for brunch on the upper West side of Manhattan.  I was impressed by his understanding of Oberlin issues, his grasp of details, and his devotion to Oberlin.  Truly this is a big loss in the Oberlin family. 

12/27/20 07:56 PM #8    

Susan Scheinman (Leonard)

Gideon was the bookends on my time at Oberlin, From opening day of Freshman orientation to graduation, with alphabetical seating, we sat next to each other: Schein and Scheinman. In the four years in between, we went to France together and shared moments. We sat in Finney Chapel and listened to Rostropovich play. We talked and walked and forged a deep friendship. I lost track of him for a while. I got married and moved one way and he moved another. And then one day I got a call from his mother. She was helping him with an Oberlin fundraiser at the New York Public Library. And we reconnected.

From then on, in some ways, our lives intertwined . We celebrated birthdays together every year, as his was the day before mine. My 50th birthday was a huge party celebrated in his apartment. He was with me from beginning to end of the party I threw for myself to celebrate 70. We went to concerts. We ate well. We shared emotional pain and highs. We supported each other through thick and thin. Divorces-his, breakdowns-mine, illness-his. I connected him with a friend, a cardiologist, who became so important in his life for many years.  I spoke with him last week, after he came home from the hospital, and before he returned for the last time. It seemed he would beat the odds yet again. But it was not to be. My rational mind accepted the inevitable on Monday and Tuesday. Every day since then has been harder to bear. He could be infuriating. Seemed to know everything. Had all the answers. He knew and I knew it wasn’t so. But he was so smart, so well read, so educated, in all ways. My life is emptier right now. But so much fuller for having him in it.

Sleep well my dear friend. You deserve it.

12/28/20 11:04 AM #9    

Paul Safyan

Thanks, Susan.  I was anxious for you to check in.

12/30/20 02:39 PM #10    

Roland Higgins

I was really saddened to learn of Gideon’s death in Pasadena on Dec.14.

Lynn (Anthony,’69) and I carry many fond memories of Gideon both from college days and after. At Oberlin we got to know him through French House and anti-war activities and in addition became fans of his innumerable theatrical productions whether as actor or director. Many will recall his fondness for musical theatre (esp. Gilbert & Sullivan) and his own Waiting for Godot.

Beyond Oberlin, however, Lynn and I will never forget the wonderful performances he shared with us over the two years we overlapped in grad school in Minneapolis. He was just recovering from long-postponed surgery that repaired a congenital heart defect (who knew?) and, with this second chance at life, was launching enthusiastically into an MFA program that included interning at the renown Guthrie Repertory Theatre where we saw many extraordinary productions together. He often got us better seats than we could afford and once snuck us into an amazing cast party full of costumed celebrities. As part of his McKnight fellowship in directing, he produced two memorable plays at the University. Afterwards, we kept in touch as he ventured off to work at the Berlin State Opera and subsequently as Artistic-Director of a theater in Rochester (Geva, I believe).

He was very loyal and devoted to his beloved mother, one reason he could never wander for long away from NYC and similarly from brave mother Oberlin and especially our classmates, on whose behalf he performed many valuable services, including his very thoughtful handling of memorial services. We will surely miss seeing and catching up with him at reunions. We will always remember him as a dear friend.

Hint: We would willingly contribute to a scholarship or prize in his name for French and/or the Performing Arts.

01/08/21 03:43 PM #11    

Paul Safyan

A tribute to Gideon from his partner, Rebecca Eddy.



01/26/21 05:11 PM #12    

Paul Safyan

Memorial Service Information

-----Original Message-----
From: Rebecca Eddy <>
To: Rebecca R Eddy <>
Cc: Suzanne McGee <>
Sent: Tue, Jan 26, 2021 4:10 pm
Subject: Memorial Celebration for Gideon Y. Schein - February 3, 2021 at 3 PM - via Zoom

Dear Friends of Gideon:


There may be a few of you who have not been informed that Gideon passed away on December 14, 2020 in Pasadena, CA where he had been living for the last year or so.  I am sorry for the delay in letting you know.


A private funeral was held in New Jersey on December 21st.


All of you are invited:

A memorial celebration is scheduled on Zoom for Wednesday, February 3rd at 3 pm Eastern Time - with an "open" ending time.

It will be an opportunity for people from the many parts of his life (family; friends from the performing arts, elder care, Oberlin College, etc.) to come together and celebrate Gideon.  

  • Please spread the word. 
  • If anyone wants to speak, please let Suzanne McGee (cc'd here) know.  
  • If you have personal photos of Gideon that you would like to see in the slideshow being prepared, please send them to Suzanne by Friday, January 29th.


Here is the link:

Memorial Celebration for Gideon Schein

Meeting ID: 826 3398 6826
Passcode: 542779

Join Zoom Meeting


Wishing you all the best for 2021,



cell: 917-414-1237                       

01/28/21 02:59 PM #13    

Paul Safyan

This is a posting from William Harmon which somehow had disappeared from this area.

My apologies to Bill and everyone else.


Gideon was for me a commanding presence, in equal parts intimidating and inspiring. I spent time with him in French house where he showed an impressive command of the language. And I recall that he was always surrounded by women who seemed attracted to him because of his respect, kindness and sense of purpose. He knew what he was about and demonstrated amazing talents in directing (I believe) a German language play on campus. We weren't really friends, but I admired how thoughtful he was, never without a well-considered opinion about language, literature, living arrangements at name it. His was an effortlessly imposing presence. He lived life at 140%, and I marveled at where he got all his energies and his talent. He was a driving force on the French House soccer team and offered explicit directions to those of us who knew little about the game. I remember once asking myself, ''How does he know all this stuff?'' He enriched my life at Oberlin as a model for what a classmate could be and do but I recall keeping him at some distance the way you would keep a revered teacher or guru at a respectful distance. To say that he was awesome is no exaggeration. 



02/01/21 09:08 PM #14    

Ted Gest

I join our many classmates who have expressed their appreciation for our classmate Gideon. I think I first ran into him as a WOBC radio colleague, when he ran the popular Sunday morning program "Broadway Music Hall."

With some help from the alumni office, I want to pay tribute to Gideon's extraordinary record of service to the college. The digital alumni records apparently don't go back before the 1980s, so we're probably missing something but for many years Gideon was our lead class fund raiser.
I had been class president, and back in 1998, Gideon and I essentially changed positions: He was elected president and I switched to fund raising.
Many of you may not be aware of the many hours of behind-the-scenes work involved in planning reunions and conducting fund raising. Gideon did it all. He served at times as an alumni admissions rep and a career counselor, was on the alumni association executive committee, the communications committee and former President Krislov's advisory council. 
He won an alumni association distinguished service award in 2006, funded his own winter term fund and a scholarship.
Before our 50th reunion, Gideon had been hospitalized for cancer and wasn't able to take part in many meetings. He generously offered his NYC apartment to host a long planning meeting involving Susan Gardner, myself, and a college staff member.
We've all had triumphs and setbacks in our lives. Here's a minor example of the latter. For an earlier reunion we set up a brunch meeting involving Gideon, me, and then-class officer Bridgie Barry on the morning after an Oberlin Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall.
Bridgie and  I arrived on time but no Gideon. He then called to say that he had lost his wallet at Carnegie Hall and was frantically trying to find it. He eventually made brunch, and later recovered his wallet, but we joked that he had gone to great lengths to avoid paying for brunch.
This was just a tiny fraction of Gideon's illustrious career. I hope some of you can join in his memorial service this Wednesday.
--Ted Gest

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