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Lewis Scheffey

Lewis Scheffey

1924-2012 Lewis Scheffey, Monterey artist, investment advisor, and protector of Berkshire landscapes, died on November 6 at his home in Monterey. He was 88.

Lew was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on January 31, 1924, the eldest of five children of Dr. Lewis C. Scheffey and Anna Thun Scheffey. He grew up in Merion, Pa., and graduated from the Haverford School where he was a member of the all-schoolboy crew team. He attended Williams College. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Lew interrupted his college studies to enlist in the Marine Corps and received officer training at Dartmouth College. During WWII he was stationed on Truk Island (now known as Chuuk State in Micronesia) in the Caroline Islands of the Western Pacific. On his return after the war, he completed his studies at Williams and graduated with the class of 1946. He began his career working for Textile Machine Works in Wyomissing, PA, one of three companies - including Berkshire Hosiery and Narrow Fabrics - founded by his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand Thun, a German immigrant and industrialist. In 1950, he married Caroline (Lynn) Cox, of Princeton Junction, NJ, the daughter of Caroline and Howard Cox, the publisher of the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy books written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle. Lew and Lynn built a modernist, cutting-edge home on a hill in the midst of an apple orchard overlooking the Schuylkill River in Leesport, PA. They had three sons, Thomas, Stephen and Daniel. Lew moved back to Merion with his family in 1957 where he began his work in the investment business in Philadelphia. He completed graduate study in economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and worked for Delaware Management and Delaware Investments a group of Philadelphia-based mutual funds, where he was instrumental in launching the Delta Trend Fund, which focused on emerging technology companies. In the early 1960's, Lewis studied art history, visual literacy and artistic traditions at the Barnes Foundation, under Violette de Mazia. His study at the Barnes was a transformative experience and launched his life as an artist. He worked for the rest of his life both oil and watercolors in the "plein air" tradition. One of his favorite subjects was the landscapes of The Berkshires. In the 1970's, he embarked on new investment ventures in California, and married the former Velma DeBoer, a teacher in San Francisco, where they lived briefly. Lew had, however, left his heart in The Berkshires and returned to Massachusetts with plans to settle near his family's land in Monterey and New Marlborough. He purchased a farm in Monterey on Wellman Road that was slated for development. Later he purchased, from the widow of Eugene Ormandy, the former conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Ormandy's 150 acre summer residence, "Fiddletop." Much of this acreage was conserved in perpetuity and the rest Lew divided and sold to "abutting" neighbors, thereby preserving all the land. After the sudden death of his second wife, he married Joyce Skeyhill Brown, also a fierce advocate of rural land preservation. Over the years, they have made gifts of hundreds of acres of pristine land and development rights in the southern Berkshires, working with the Trustees of Reservation, the Monterey and New Marlborough Land Trusts, and the Berkshire Natural Resources Council. In 1981, Lew purchased the Monterey General Store, which they owned for twenty years. Very active in Monterey civic life, Lew spearheaded the fundraising effort to re-build the Monterey Volunteer Firehouse and was President of the Board of Directors of Gould Farm. In 1992, he was named President of the Board of Directors for the Berkshire Natural Resources Council after the untimely death of his close friend and BNRC co-founder Fred Crane. He was also a founding member of the Monterey Land Trust.

Lew is survived by his wife Joyce, of Monterey, his first wife Lynn, of Princeton, NJ and his sister Cornelia St. John of Berkeley, CA; sons Thomas, of Bolton, CT, Stephen, of Boulder, CO, and Daniel of New York City; stepdaughter Kristin Brown, of New Paltz, NY, and stepson Jason Brown of Monterey; four grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and two step-great grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his sister Julia Buckman; his brother Andrew Scheffey on March 19, 2012; and his sister Hildegard (Bootsie) Ryals on November 1, 2012.

FUNERAL NOTICE: On Sunday, November 11, 2012, there will be an opportunity for family, friends and loved ones to gather to remember Lew at the Monterey Church, United Church of Christ, 449 Main Road in Monterey, MA. There will be a Visiting Hour with family members in the Church's Community Room from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. A Memorial Service will take place in the Church Sanctuary at 2 p.m., followed by a reception in the Church's Community Room. The family is planning a memorial celebration for Lew and his paintings in May 2013.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Lew's memory to Gould Farm, Monterey MA, and/or to the Monterey Church, United Church of Christ.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Nov. 10, 2012
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