Michael Roy Schonfeld, 75, of Duluth, MN and Reedsburg, WI, passed away on Friday, January 5, 2024, after a brief, gracefully-walked journey with liver cancer. He was surrounded by a holy blanket of love from his family, and the promise in Christ of reunion with his loving and mysterious Creator.

Mike was born April 25, 1948, in Detroit, MI. Son of Miriam Luella (Hougom) and Jack Harold Schonfeld, he grew up with his sister, Amy, and three brothers, Chuck, Pete and David in Imlay City, which, as he would proudly proclaim is, “the home of Chester Marcol, Vlasic Pickle, and Gateway to The Thumb of Michigan!” His great grandparents, who were farmers, midwives, lumberjacks, and railway men, arrived in the Great Lakes region from Germany, Norway and Sweden in the mid to late 1800’s. This was during a period when numerous land cessions and treaties were being negotiated with or contested by various tribal sovereign nations, including the Great Lakes Anishinaabe (Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Menominee), Ho-Chunk, Sac, Fox, Kickapoo, Dakota and others. His parents and Uncle Harold were muckland vegetable farmers and his mother Miriam was an accomplished pianist and teacher. They taught him to love the land as farmers, hunters, and observers; to serve their small community; and to love all people–leading by example as they served in church, on boards, marched for civil rights in Detroit, wrote letters to representatives, and welcomed migrant farm working families to their dinner table for meals together or backyard to play baseball.

In his youth, Mike loved to play football, basketball, tennis, run track, and participated in student council and Imlay City Congregational Church life. He worked hard as a student, always keenly listening to help him overcome what was likely a learning difference in reading and writing. His listening skills also helped make him a wonderful storyteller, which became a gift to all who met him. He graduated high school in 1966 as class salutatorian, Kalamazoo College in 1970, Detroit’s Wayne State Medical School in 1974, and completed Family Medicine Residency at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI in 1977. One of his greatest joys was building, by hand, a log cabin in remote Ontario with his brother Pete and friends Jim Clay, Bill Struck and Jeff Fishel.

The love of his life, Lucy (D’Arcy) Schonfeld, also grew up in Imlay City, MI. He caught her sympathies when her horse took him for a wild spring ride. They caught each other’s hearts through big conversations about all things under the sun and the music she played on her flute. They were married June 15, 1974, almost 50 years ago, under a big maple tree near Lucy’s family farm in Imlay City. After Mike completed his medical residency and Lucy, her student teaching, they moved to the Driftless Region of Reedsburg, WI to help start and serve in the Reedsburg Area Physician’s Group with dear friends and colleagues. Mike was grateful for all his patients; it was his joy to serve them in their journey from early life through to meaningful death. Their lessons helped him journey well through cancer and into his own final earthly breathing weeks and days.

Mike loved his wife, children, children’s partners, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews with all his being. “Do you know what I like about you? Everything!” He encouraged them always. Likewise, he loved his friends, acquaintances and even strangers. He had remarkable empathy and always wanted to hear your stories and share some of his, which, at least started with the truth.

Mike had a deep connection to the lands, waters, animals and plants of the Great Lakes region and the mountains of Colorado. In these places, he felt closest to God. He hunted deer, elk, turkeys, geese, and pheasant; fished; camped; foraged for morels or asparagus; biked; cross country skied; canoed; sailed; and gave wild rides on the tube behind the boat. He had infinite patience as he helped pass on hunting and fishing skills, and the joys and responsibilities of honorable harvests to his children, grandchildren and any curious friend. He loved teaching Hunter’s Safety and serving in the archery programs at the Reedsburg Outdoor Club.

Mike Schonfeld (“beautiful field”)–eres un poema; you lived a beautiful story-poem and taught us how to live and love so well. Happy trails until we meet again. We will remember your stories and special sayings: “Count your blessings!”; “You can’t figure everything out ahead of time”; “Remember people’s names–there’s nothing sweeter than the sound of your own name”; and “We could have more fun, but I don’t know how!”

Mike is survived by his wife, Lucy; their three children, all of Duluth, MN–Darcy (Christian) Murphy, Sally (Matt) Goodman, and Paul Schonfeld (partner Brooke); brothers Pete (Julie) and David (Leslie) Schonfeld, sisters-in-law Cynthia Errett and Marta Schonfeld; beloved cousins; exchange students Tuba Alpar Mandas (Turkey & UK) and Julien Tauban (France); nieces and nephews Jessica (Jesse) Kuchinski, Carlos (Devy) Schonfeld, Julia Hawley, Chris Logan and Heather Chinchilla; Jennifer Hawley and Sara Hawley-Flores; Matt (Meagan) Schonfeld, Katie (Craig) De Voto, Andrew, Ally, Mark, and Hannah Schonfeld, Elizabeth (John) Murphy; grandchildren Arthur, Emil, and Annie Goodman, William and Henry Murphy; great nieces and nephews Elisabeth, Margaret, Rohan, Randev, Anusha, Lucas, Emma and Adam; and many beloved friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents Jack and Miriam; Miriam’s second husband Raymond Cooper; brother, Charles Schonfeld and sister, Amy Schonfeld.

The family extends their heartfelt thanks to Mike’s wonderful doctors, nurses, aides and spiritual supporters during his final weeks in Reedsburg and Madison, WI; Iron River, MI; and Duluth, MN. You all were a gift to our entire family.

Those wishing to make memorial contributions may direct them to: The Reedsburg Outdoor Club (S2064 Luedtke Rd., LaValle, WI, 53941) or The International Committee of the Red Cross (https://www.icrc.org/en/donate).

Farber Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

A Visitation will be held Friday, February 9 from 3-7 p.m. at Farber Funeral Home in Reedsburg, WI. Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 10 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Reedsburg with a visitation from 9-10 a.m. prior to the service. Committal will take place after the service in Greenwood Cemetery. A luncheon, music and story sharing will follow at the Reedsburg Outdoor Club.