May 22, 1935 - February 5, 2022
Raymond Eugene Schoenfield, 86, passed away Saturday, February 5, 2022, in Rockford, IL. Raymond was born to Chester and Violet (Coates) Schoenfield on May 22, 1935, in Huron, SD. Upon graduating from Redfield High School (Redfield, SD) in 1953, he attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD for just one semester because "he did not know why he was there." He joined the United States Air Force in 1954, and faithfully served the U.S. as a member of the support squadron stationed at Goose Bay, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Upon receiving an early discharge in 1957, he returned to Northern State University where he earned a B.S. in English and German in 1961. He later went on to earn his Master's degree in English from UW-Madison in 1970. Raymond spent thirty-six years as an educator at Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) in Beloit, WI where he taught a variety of classes including, German, English 12, College Prep English, AP English, Creative Writing, World Literature, Media, and Journalism. He began teaching at BMHS in 1961, was appointed head of the English Department in 1981, and served in that capacity until he retired in 1997. During his thirty-six years at BMHS, Raymond served as the advisor to the school newspaper, The Increscent--Wisconsin's oldest high school newspaper. During his tenure, The Increscent frequently earned the top honor of being named Wisconsin's Best High School Newspaper by the Associated Press and received numerous awards from the Quill and Scroll Society, and the National Press Association. Nicknamed "Schoeny" by his students, Raymond enjoyed taking The Increscent staff members to the Annual National High School Journalism Convention in Chicago and keeping The Increscent office open late at night on the eve of the publication's deadlines. He also encouraged newspaper staff to attend summer high school journalism workshops at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he taught journalism seminars. As an educator, Raymond served in many professional leadership capacities including that of State Representative and State Director for the Journalism Education Association, Vice-President of the Wisconsin Journalism Teacher-Advisors' Council, Co-Chair of the National High School Journalism Convention, and panel member of the Wisconsin Humanities Council. Raymond also received numerous professional accolades. In 1966, the Beloit JayCees recognized Raymond as "Beloit's Outstanding Young Teacher Educator." In 1967, he received honorary awards from the Journalism Education Association and the Wisconsin Journalism Teacher-Advisor Council. He was named Wisconsin Journalism Advisor of the Year in 1974. In 1982, the school administration named him a Teacher of the Month and in 1992 he was named Wisconsin PTA Teacher of the Year. He ended his teaching career in 1997 with a School District of Beloit Hall of Fame Award. Upon his retirement, a Scholarship Fund for graduates of BMHS who worked on The Increscent and who have a strong interest in pursuing a career in Media/Journalism was set up in his name. The scholarship is administered by the Stateline Community Foundation. Raymond met his wife, Joyce Schreiber, by chance while dining at The One Horse Shay in Palatine, IL with college friends in 1961. Joyce entered the restaurant with a friend who knew one of Raymond's friends, and was introduced to "Ray." For Ray, it was love at first sight. The couple dated for a few years before marrying on June 27, 1964, in Aitkin, MN. Together they enjoyed scrabble nights, New Year's Eve dinner party soirees with friends, listening to "The News from Lake Wobegon" narrated by Garrison Keillor, and taking Sunday rides through the rolling hills of southern Wisconsin with their children, Peter and Sarah. Ray especially enjoyed picnics and hikes with his family at Rock County's Magnolia Bluff Park. From 1976 through 2005, Ray was an active member of Atonement Lutheran Church in Beloit where he sang in the choir, taught an adult Bible study class and served in numerous leadership capacities such as Sunday School Superintendent, council member, and Vice-President of the Church Council. When he retired from teaching Ray joined the Kiwanis Club and enthusiastically wrote and produced the club's newsletter for many years. He also enjoyed volunteering for Caritas and Meals-on-Wheels. A life-long learner and educator with an interest in the U.S. Civil War, Ray co-founded the Rock Valley Civil War Round Table with six other Civil War buffs. He researched and wrote numerous battle summaries for the group's discussions. Ray's interest in history led him to teach a Rock Valley College Elderhostel course on the history of "The Hutterites" and to serve on the Beloit Historical Society's Curatorial Committee for several years. Ray was an avid reader who carried a book with him everywhere he went. He was a frequent patron of the Beloit Public Library and served on the Library Board during the 1990s. When his service on the Library Board ended, he served as Vice-President and President of Friends at Beloit Library. Ray also participated in monthly Great Books discussions. Ray and his wife, Joyce, lived in Beloit until 2001, when they moved to Rockton, IL. They lived in Rockton until their move to Wesley Willows in Rockford, IL in 2012. The move to Rockford resulted in the joining of a new church, Grace Lutheran Church of Loves Park, where the couple made numerous friends. Ray enjoyed their "Sunday Morning Breakfast Group" that went out for breakfast together after church services. He also enjoyed eating with his "Lunch Bunch," a group of retired teachers that met bi-monthly for lunch, and his political discussions with his like-minded friends at their bi-monthly "Breakfast with the Guys." Ray enjoyed spending time with his wife, especially their day trips into Chicago, IL via the Chicago Metra train from Harvard, IL, to visit museums, attend plays, and eat at restaurants. Gardening, reading, traveling, and visiting relatives took up much of Ray's retired life. He was a caring, compassionate, and generous husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend with a remarkable memory and the gifted ability to tell a good story and share interesting facts with anyone he met. Ray is survived by his wife, Joyce; children, Peter Schoenfield (Sonia) of Mundelein, IL and Sarah Kallas (George) of St. Charles, IL; and grandchildren, Carl Schoenfield, Claire Schoenfield, Hannah Kallas and John Kallas. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Dale and David Schoenfield; and sister, Maryann Jacob. A Celebration of Life for Raymond will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 in the Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Rd., Beloit, WI, with Pastor Brent Dahlseng officiating. Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery. Visitation of Remembrance will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service Wednesday in the funeral home. Masks are required. Memorial gifts may be directed online to Stateline Community Foundation at https://statelinecf.org/ for the Raymond Schoenfield Media/Journalism Scholarship Fund, or via mail at 690 Third St., Suite 110, Beloit, WI, 53511.
Raymond Eugene Schoenfield, 86, passed away Saturday, February 5, 2022, in Rockford, IL. Raymond was born to Chester and Violet (Coates) Schoenfield on May 22, 1935, in Huron, SD. Upon graduating from Redfield High School (Redfield, SD) in 1953,... View Obituary & Service Information
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