Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Carl Schaefer Dies

Carl Schaefer, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology

Carl Schaefer, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology

Professor Emeritus Carl Schaefer of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology passed away on April 29, 2015, at the age of 80, after a battle with cancer.

Carl earned his B.A. in Zoology from Oberlin College and his Ph.D in Entomology from UConn in 1964. He was extremely well-read and had extensive familiarity with the works of Charles Dickens. He was also a musician, having played the viola in a string quartet with his siblings, and he also had a penchant for musical composition, composing, among others, a clarinet sonata.

Carl began his teaching career at Brooklyn College in 1963. He came to UConn, in what was then the Department of Entomology, in 1966 and stayed at UConn until his retirement in 2009.

Not only were all of his students’ lives impacted by his outstanding teaching ability, but he was also an influential figure in the town of Mansfield, as a member of the Mansfield Town Council for ten years, and a member of the Mansfield Historical Society.

Robert Colwell, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology, remembers Shaefer:

My lab at UConn was just next door to Carl’s, for the past 25 years, and we became good friends, invariably talking longer about whatever than either of us intended to as we dropped into each other’s labs for a chat. And “whatever” ranged from entomology (our common passion) to classical music, literature, politics, and of course, jokes and stories. Just one anecdote about his wry humor…when the University panicked about the (almost completely imaginary) threat of the Y2K computer virus when the millennium rolled around, every computer on campus had to be inspected and tested, then labeled with a bright orange sticker reading, “Y2K Ready!” By then, Carl did have a computer (after resisting it for years), but still loved his old manual typewriter. The last time I was in Carl’s lab, a year or so ago, the “Y2K Ready” sticker was still on his typewriter. This delightful man lives on in all our memories.

He is survived by his two siblings, Emily and Jon; his two daughters, Madelyn, Ann and her husband Mark; his seven grandchildren, Brandon, Chelsea, Carly, Briana, Jennifer, John and Justine; his six great-grandchildren, Kaliyah, Halie, October, Billie Ann, Harvey, and one yet to be named; and his numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5pm to 7pm on Friday, May 22nd, 2015, at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St., Willimantic, CT. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 at 10am, also at Potter Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society.


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