Valentin Schoen, 98, Former GC
Lay Activities Director, Dies
Native of Estonia served church for 46 years (Posted July 18, 2012)
Adventist Review staff
Valentin W. Schoen, former director of the Lay Activities-Church Ministries Department in the General Conference from 1962 to 1976, died in St. Helena, California, on June 27, 2012, just six months short of his 99th birthday.
Schoen was born on December 23, 1912, in Pernau, Estonia, on the Baltic Sea in northern Europe, and graduated from the Baltic Union Seminary in 1933, with ministerial and business administration majors.
He first served the college as associate business manager. From there he was called to active gospel ministry in the Estonian Conference, where he served as a pastor, evangelist, departmental director, and editor of the youth magazine for eight years.
After three years of active service, he married Gerda Elsie Gruenberg, who at the time was secretary to the president of the Baltic Union Conference. His wife preceded him in death on February 18, 2002.
During the Second World War, Schoen was transferred to what is now known as the Euro-Africa Division, where he spent eight years as pastor, evangelist, and chaplain of the hospital in Berlin, Germany.
In 1949 he was called to the Adventist Church’s Inter-American Division, starting his ministry in the Dominican Republic, first as a departmental director and later as conference president.
From there, the family moved to the Antillian Union in Havana, Cuba. He was responsible for the departments of Education, Youth, Temperance, and Public Relations, and labored there for three years, followed by a year of service as Puerto Rico Conference president. At the General Conference Session of 1958 he was assigned to the Inter-American Division office staff to lead the departments of Lay Activities Church Ministries, Temperance, and Public Relations.
In 1962 at the General Conference Annual Council he was elected director of the Lay Activities-Church Ministries Department, serving until his retirement in December 1976 when he and his wife retired together.
His son, Arvo W. Schoen, survives.