Thomas Schottman
Thomas Schottman
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Obituary of Thomas Schottman

Thomas A. Schottman, 93, died Nov. 28, 2017 while on vacation in San Jose, CA. An artist, educator, beloved spouse, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, he leaves his wife, Ruth; children: Ann (Joe Ranish), Elly (George Mastellone), Wendy (Daniel Marfisi), Tim (Janet Michel), and Kate (Phyllis Miller); grandchildren: Ben, Nick, Michela, Iza, Deny, Nora, Morgan, and Laurel; and great grandchildren: Liam and Sacha.
Born in New York City, Tom attended the High School of Music & Art, then earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in education at Cornell. He began his teaching career in the Finger Lakes region of New York. In 1959, the family moved to Burnt Hills and Tom became curriculum coordinator at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School. In 1971, he became principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Scotia. During these years he was a co-author of the Bookmark Reading program published by Harcourt Brace and active in many educational organizations. He continued to pursue his art, increasingly focusing on stoneware sculpture, and spent weekends with his family, exploring the natural and cultural assets of the area.
In 1981, Tom began a full time career as a sculptor, using the facilities of the ceramic studio of Skidmore College. He had many one-person shows in the area and his work was often shown in regional exhibits. His work is in the collection of the Schenectady Museum, the Albany Institute of History and Art, and many private collections. For many years he was an active member of the Oakroom Artists, a board member of the Saratoga County Arts Council and chairperson of the Arts in Education committee. The website tomschottman.com features a selection of his works and accomplishments.  
An avid hiker, photographer, reader, traveler, museum and concert goer, Tom was a lifelong learner engaged with people and the world around him. He was a devoted volunteer at Stevens Elementary School in Burnt Hills, tutoring children one-on-one in reading and sharing poetry with first and second grade classes. He was a member of the ACLU, Amnesty International, Planned Parenthood, Oxfam America, Adirondack Mountain Club and the Nature Conservancy.
As his granddaughter Morgan said, “My grandfather valued what was beautiful in life and taught me to do the same.” His family and friends will miss him greatly.
A memorial gathering will be held in the spring. Date and details will be posted on this website. For those who wish, contributions may be made to Schottman Art Scholarship fund of Skidmore College or your favorite charity.
 

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