George C. Schoolfield ’46

George C. Schoolfield '46

George C. Schoolfield, Professor Emeritus Yale University, passed away at home surrounded by his family in Hamden, CT after a long illness on July 21, 2016. He was 90 years old. He is survived by his beloved wife Gloria Della Selva Schoolfield. Cherished father to Susan Schoolfield (Tony Hines) and Marguerite Compton; treasured grandfather to Melissa and Benjamin Osborne and Tyler and Matthew Compton; step-grandchildren Tony Hines Jr., Jillian Hines Oakes; three step great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was known to his family and friends for his kindness, wonderful story telling, intellectual curiosity and love of Snickers bars, and playing the French horn. He is predeceased by his parents Raymond Schoolfield and Bernice Stalnaker Schoolfield, sister Nellie Lou Schoolfield Edelman, and brother Raymond Rand Schoolfield all of Charleston, West Virginia. He was born on August 14, 1925 in Charleston, West Virginia. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1946 in Classics and German and received his PhD from Princeton University in German Literature in 1949. He began a longstanding successful teaching career in German and Scandinavian literature and languages at Harvard University, followed by Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University in 1969, where he retired in 1995 as Professor Emeritus. A meticulous researcher and talented writer, he received a Guggenheim in 1955. He has written and contributed to over 400 books and articles on German and Scandinavian literature concerning such literary figures as Rilke, Edith Sodergran, and Elmer Diktonius. He is the author of A Baedeker of Decadence: Charting a Literary Fashion, 1884-1927 (2003), and books and articles about Finnish history and culture; such as Helsinki and the Czars: Finland’s Capital 1808-1908 (1996). Up until his death, he labored to finish his final work on Finland Swedish poet Runar Schildt, which will be published this fall. He served as both Managing and Review Editor of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies Journal from 1969-1984. He served on the publications board on the American Scandinavian Foundation (1965-1985). He was knighted by the Finnish government Order of the White Rose twice and received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Helsinki, and recognition from the Swedish Academy for furthering Swedish literature abroad. His lasting gift lies in the kind of scholarship that he created for the promotion of Scandinavian Studies in the United States. His writing about seemingly obscure topics inspired the interest of specialists and non-specialists alike. Friends are invited to MEET DIRECTLY at First Presbyterian Church, 704 Whitney Ave. New Haven, CT at 11 am Tuesday, July 26th for a funeral service honoring George’s life. Interment to follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hamden. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be sent to The National MS Society, P.O. Box 4527, New York, NY 10163.