In Memory

Mark Schomer

Mark Schomer

I am very sad to report that Mark Schomer died on May 8, 2021. The cause was COVID-19, which he contracted after returning to Guatemala from Hawaii, where he had stayed with his daughter, Nadia, to ride out the pandemic. Everyone who knew Mark loved him. He was a man of peace. He was an inspiration to us all.

Greg Stanton

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05/17/21 09:17 AM #8    

Paul Safyan

NOTE:  I enter this on Dwight's behalf, as I have for some of our other classmates, because it has been hard for them to navigate the technical aspects of this parts of our website while struggling with their feelings of loss.

Paul Safyan


I have a hard time believing that Mark has left us. When we graduated from Oberlin in 1968, Mark went to work in the Congo and I went away to work Japan. We kept in touch by mail, which took time. 

Later, email made communication a lot quicker and easier. No matter where we were in the world, we were able to communicate almost instantaneously. The Internet also made our communication less complicated when both of us moved around the world to work in various countries and/or in the U.S.

After Mark moved to Guatemala to manage Ana Maria’s family coffee plantation, I was able to visit a couple of times and to enjoy Mark and Ana Maria’s hospitality. Email made communication quicker and easier. Mark visited me in Milledgeville, Georgia, where I was directing international programs at Georgia College, and we drove a couple of hours to hear Jimmy Carter preach at his church in Plains. 

Most recently, Mark and Ana Maria stayed with me at Kendal at Oberlin when we had our 50th class reunion and we enjoyed catching up in person.

Mark was a very kind and generous person, reflected in his various job selections around the world. I’m very sad to learn of Mark's passing.

Dwight Call

05/19/21 02:40 PM #9    

Gregory Stanton

Vera Cardinale, Mark Schomer's daughter asked me to post the URL for the My Keeper Online memorial for Mark Schomer, where you may leave your thoughts in a place accessible beyond the Oberlin community. The URL is                                                                                      Mark's family is planning to hold a Zoom memorial service for Mark, which they will announce on My Keeper and which I will also announce on the Class of '68 In Memory site. They will welcome your attendance.               Greg Stanton



05/19/21 03:24 PM #10    

Gregory Stanton

Mark Schomer and I used to hitchhike to Chicago together. Mark's Dad, Howard Schomer, was President of the Chicago Theological Seminary. Mark's mother, Elsie, invited me to stay overnight before I took the Santa Fe down to Streator, Illinois, where I had grown up and my father, Howard Stanton, was the pastor of the Park Presbyterian Church.
We had some pretty wild rides. We used to go up to the Howard Johnsons on the Ohio Turnpike north of Oberlin dressed as neatly as we could (a relative term in those hirsute days) and stand near the exit and ask people if they were headed for Chicago. If they said yes, we would tell them we were Oberlin students hitchhiking home, and ask them if they might have room to ride with them.
The most memorable ride we got was with a divorced couple who were driving out together to their daughter's wedding. They had decided to drive out together to save money. It became immediately clear why they were divorced. They fought the whole way.
Mark decided he would try to mediate. (He ignored my hand on his knee, and my subtle hand signals to stay out of it.) A little way into the "mediation", Mark took the side of the wife. [Both of us had noticed that the husband was a flaming asshole.] I just sat in the back seat and kept quiet, coward that I was.] I thought we might get left out on the side of the road by the husband, who of course was exercising his divine right to do the driving. It was winter and I hoped that wouldn't happen. But Mark finally gave up his peacemaking attempt at mediating this apparently endless argument. Fortunately we survived the trip because the husband didn't pull out a gun or drive into the ditch.
Mark and I remembered and laughed heartily about that ride for many years.
I have lots of other stories about our adventures together, and would love to share them. Like the time the two of us tied a bicycle up on the topmost roof of the Peters Hall tower. Or the time we switched the American and UN flags in Finney Chapel so that the UN flag was in the place of honor. [It stayed there for the rest of our college careers.]
I loved Mark. So did everyone else who knew him.

05/21/21 05:16 PM #11    

Ted Morgan

Great story, Greg!  Brought quite a chuckle...

05/23/21 01:09 AM #12    

Edward McKelvey

I didn't know Mark very well but he seemed like a likable person.  I'm enjoying reading about him by those who knew him better than I did. 

05/25/21 12:58 AM #13    

Stephanie Kaza

When we were planning our 50th reunion and I was putting together the memorial service, I asked Mark to help with the singing of the names of our deceased classmates.  I remembered that he had a beautiful lyrical tender voice and I thought he would add a wonderful presence to the service.  It is hard to believe he is gone so soon, when only a few years ago he was so vibrant and loving to all he met.  I am grateful I had a chance to sing with him and offer something meaningful to our classmates in 2018.  May his sweet spirit rest in peace.

05/25/21 12:26 PM #14    

Amy Rothstein

I have a beautiful memory of Mark's singing the names of our classmates who have passed away. I didn't know Mark well before rehearsing and performing those tributes, but I will always remember how moved I was playing the piano accompaniment to his beautiful voice. I'm so very saddened by his loss. 

05/25/21 10:24 PM #15    

Paul Safyan

Click Here to listen to a recording of the Class of 1968 Memorial Service in Clonick Hall

 If for some reason that doesn't work for you, let me know.  I can email a file that is small enough for most emails to handle.



11/04/21 08:58 AM #16    

Gregory Stanton

Posted by Greg Stanton from an e-mail from Karine Schomer, Mark's sister, Oberlin '65 or '66:

From: Karine Schomer <>
Subject: New story "Music and Memory on My Late Brother's Birthday"
Date: November 3, 2021 at 8:12:35 AM PDT


Dear friends,
Today, November 3, would have been my brother Mark’s 74th birthday. As I’ve shared before, he died from COVID last May. 
We’re remembering him in various ways in the family, but my own special way is through the songs he and I used to sing together in the early 1960s.
So I’m sharing with you my piece on Medium titled “Music and Memory on My Late Brother’s Birthday”.
Click on the link for the story and the YouTube link to a collection of songs that will take you back to another time and another era!

This is the YouTube link for the recording:

This is the link for the story:

11/04/21 08:12 PM #17    

Donald Salisbury

I wish I had known Mark. Just read his sister's reflections - and I have written to her. I'm just amazed at some of tthe parallels in our lives. I too was a conscientious objector - an also did my alternative service in a church school in the Congo. Our times there must have overlapped. And perhaps even more surprising, I did not know that he was born in Le Chambon sur Lignon where I did my French training - at the school with which his father must have been associated!

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