Sy Schuster

Seymour (Sy) Schuster, age 94, of Northfield, died October 31 after testing positive for Covid-19. His children and grandchildren were permitted time with him the day before his death. Sy, along with his wife Marilyn, came to Minnesota in 1958 to teach at Carleton College. His passions included mathematics, teaching, social activism, art, music, fly-fishing, his family and, above all, his grandchildren.

Born July 31, 1926, in the Bronx, Sy grew up in Spring Valley, N.Y. He served in the Navy during WWII. After graduating from Penn State, he attended Columbia University, the University of Toronto and ultimately received a Ph.D. from Penn State. He met and married Marilyn Weinberg while teaching at the Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute.

Sy's contributions to the field of mathematics included publication of several books and 30 papers, editorial positions with several journals and the production of award- winning instructional films. Former students remember Sy fondly, both for the rigor of his advanced courses and for the attention he gave non-math majors. Except for an absence when he led the College Geometry Project, 1963 to 1968, he remained at Carleton until retiring in 1994. Sy also played influential roles as a campus citizen, in state and county politics and on Paul Wellstone's campaigns for U.S. Senate.

Sy is survived by a son, Paul Schuster; Paul's children, Perrin and Rae Schuster; a daughter, Eve Schuster; a brother and sister-in-law, Abe and Faith Schuster; and his dear friend of eight decades, Lillian Lester. He is preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn; and by his parents, Oscar and Goldie Schuster.

The family will hold an online memorial on Sunday, November 29, at 1:00 pm central time. To attend, please RSVP at 

Memorials are preferred to the Sy Schuster Diversity and Inclusion Fund. Information about the fund, and about how to contribut is available at

Visitors to also may share memories, read a more detailed biography of Sy and see photos and videos from throughout his life.

Published on November 15, 2020