Obituary: C. Deem Schoenfeld, 1928-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: C. Deem Schoenfeld, 1928-2024

Longtime physician at Rutland Hospital loved travel, golf, family gatherings and supporting independent bookstores

Published May 27, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.


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C. Deem Schoenfeld - COURTESY
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  • C. Deem Schoenfeld

C. Deem Schoenfeld, 96, died on May 19, 2024, at Porter Medical Center in Middlebury. He was born on April 12, 1928, in Bruin, Pa., the son of William Wayne and Mildred (Deem) Schoenfeld.

After Deem’s early years in Bruin, the family moved to Butler, Pa. Having never seen a football game prior, Deem became a captain of the football team in his senior year and lettered in golf.

His sense of adventure emerged at an early age and included an impromptu hitchhiking trip to California at age 17. He spent early years working jobs that included washing dishes at Chautauqua Institution in New York, working shifts at the Armco Steel Plant in Butler and delivering mail at Christmas.

Three days after getting a summons to join the U.S. Army in April 1946, Deem enlisted in the U.S. Navy, in which after high school graduation he became a hospital corpsman, stationed at naval hospitals in St. Albans, N.Y., and Oakland, Calif. He graduated from Allegheny College in 1952, where he was a four-year letterman in football. During college, he married J. Carol “Toots” Robb, whom he had met years earlier, when — having seen her excellent softball-throwing skills — he decided that she was the girl for him.

Deem graduated from medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and after his internship at Geisinger Hospital in Danville, Pa., he spent five years in general practice in Butler. Deciding he wanted more time with his growing family, Deem moved the family to Jericho, Vt., where he spent three years in radiology residency at the University of Vermont before settling in Rutland. He spent 25 years at the Rutland Hospital, including several years as head of the radiology department. He took pride in the hundreds of technicians he helped train, as well as in his early specialties in mammography and nuclear medicine.

In 1990 Deem and Carol moved from Rutland to Middlebury, where Deem retired in 1994.

Deem and Carol have five children, and they spent years attending countless sports games and concerts. They passed on to their children a love for travel, sports, music and the arts, adventure, learning, great meals, and engaged conversation. They loved traveling, taking many trips across the United States and to Europe, Canada and Mexico. They delighted in their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, traveling often to visit them and welcoming everyone home for beloved holiday gatherings. His immediate family includes 37 people — each of whom he delighted in gifting a book of their choice each Christmas, ardently supporting independent bookstores by shopping exclusively at the Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury. ​

His love of sports included years of skiing, hiking, cycling, running, tennis and, most importantly, golf, especially in his 32 years of retirement, where he was a long-time ringleader of weekly matches at the Ralph Myhre course in Middlebury and courses around Vermont and New York. He helped organize group golfing trips to Scotland and Ireland. He shot his most recent hole in one in his nineties and regularly shot his age. His competitive fervor extended to duplicate bridge, which, along with golf, he played with dedication and focus until his death.

He is predeceased by his wife. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Mary Ann Monfre of Butler, Pa.; children, Michael Schoenfeld (Jane Schoenfeld) of Middlebury, Vt., Susan Schoenfeld (Larry Kupferman) of South Burlington, Vt., Robin Schoenfeld-Fox (Mark Fox) of Rutland, Vt., John Schoenfeld (Laura Schoenfeld) of South Burlington, Vt., and Mary Margaret Schoenfeld (David Low) of Arlington, Va.; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by dear friend Pat McCafferty of Butler, Pa., and countless golfing friends who live in and around Middlebury.

A memorial service will be held at a later time, and the family requests no flowers. Deem’s family is grateful for the excellent care he received from nurses at Porter Medical Center, especially Blair, Rachel, Grace and Julia. To send condolences, visit sandersonfuneralservice.com.

If you want to honor Deem, go buy a book from an independent bookstore!

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