Father Thomas Schoen
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Marianist Father Thomas Schoen, a pioneer in computer science education, who founded one of the oldest computer science programs in the nation at the University of Dayton, died April 14, at Mercy Siena Gardens in Dayton. He was 78.
A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Father Schoen first professed religious vows in 1951, serving many years as a Marianist brother. He was ordained as a priest in 1987 at Immaculate Conception Chapel on UD’s campus. He graduated from UD in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in math and physics and taught both subjects for three years at Chaminade High School. Father Schoen earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Cincinnati in 1959, and then returned to UD to teach.
Father Schoen developed a strong interest in computers in the late 1950s, when the field was in its infancy, and initiated the degree program at UD in 1961, as one of the first 10 computer science departments in the nation. He taught computer science and math at UD for more than 50 years and served as department chairperson for 17 years. Father Schoen was active in teaching until 2006, and was named professor emeritus upon his retirement in 2009. He moved to Mercy Siena a few months ago.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Schoen will be celebrated on April 27 at Queen of Apostles Chapel at Mount St. John in Dayton. Burial will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery.