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Ernst Schoen-Rene

Ernst William Schoen-Rene, age 86, beloved husband, father, uncle, professor, poet, songster, and drama critic, who lived in Kingston, N.Y. since 2006, died peacefully, October 27, 2023 of complications of Alzheimers. He was born October 13, 1937 in Milwaukee, Wis. to the late Otto and Molly Schoen-Rene.

Ernst grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and moved to Geneva, N.Y. in 1945 where his father had become Head of the English Department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Ernst attended Geneva's public schools, graduating in 1955.

While at Yale University (1955-1959) he joined the Russian Chorus. During the summers, beginning in 1957, the chorus traveled to the Soviet Union, one of the first American groups to do so. Ernst sang with them whenever he could for the rest of his life.

In 1964, Ernst married Betty Sherk, and they moved to Seattle to attend graduate school at the University of Washington. In 1970 they moved to California, and he joined CSU-Chico's English Department. He became an admired teacher who taught a broad range of subjects and students. During the 35 years Ernst and Betty lived in Chico, he volunteered in elementary school classrooms for which he wrote child-friendly musical versions of Oedipus, Macbeth, and Hamlet. He also wrote catchy lyrics to well-known classical music.

Most summers he and Betty and their two sons drove across the US visiting family and friends along the way. At retirement, Ernst and Betty moved east, happily settling in Kingston, New York. There he participated in poetry and play readings, senior college, and was active in Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Episcopal Church.

In addition to his wife, Betty, he is survived by his children, Ernst R. Schoen-Rene of San Francisco, Calif., Erich Schoen-Rene New Paltz, N.Y., his grandchildren, Laszlo Diamond, Neva Schoen-Rene, and Oscar Schoen-Rene; his sister, Juliet Baker of Northport Maine, two brothers, Karl Schoen-Rene of Colchester, Conn., and Augustus Schoen-Rene of Geneva, N.Y.

There will be a Memorial Service for Ernst at 11 a.m., Saturday, (November 18) at Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Episcopal Church on 30 Pine Grove Avenue, Kingston, N.Y., 12401.