Obituary — Michael Anthony (Tony) Schork


Michael Anthony (Tony) Schork died peacefully in his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Feb. 25, at the age of 84, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Michael Anthony (Tony) Schork
Michael Anthony (Tony) Schork

Tony was born in Elyria, Ohio, on June 11, 1936, to Helen Marcks and Rudolph Joseph Schork. He attended Elyria Catholic High School and then earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from the University of Notre Dame in 1958 and 1960, respectively. It was there he met and married his first wife, Hely Merle.

The couple relocated to Ypsilanti and then Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Tony completed a master’s degree in public health in 1961 and a Ph.D. in biostatistics in 1963 at the University of Michigan. He then accepted a position as a faculty member in the School of Public Health.

Tony had six sons and one daughter from his first marriage, and later added into his broad family the three children of his second wife, Linda Fiebich (House). Tony was a major part of his children’s and stepchildren’s lives, and was particularly involved in their sports and academic journeys.

During his long tenure as a U-M professor, Tony made valuable contributions to teaching fundamental and applied biostatistics — an academic discipline at the interface of statistics and biomedical research. He co-authored one of the earliest, and still highly respected, textbooks developing the concepts, computations and interpretations of basic statistical procedures for researchers and students in the health sciences.

Tony was an important collaborator on many research projects in public health and medicine, most notably in the areas of cardiovascular, rheumatologic and pulmonary diseases. His work resulted in over 200 publications. He received the inaugural and now annual teacher-of-the-year award in SPH in 1996.

For the three years prior to his 1999 retirement as an emeritus faculty member, Tony also served SPH in the role of senior associate dean for academic affairs.

Appreciated for his quick wit and ability to laugh at himself, Tony was an avid trivia guru, had an immense memory, and loved to read, collect original art, do crossword puzzles and listen to classical music.

After his retirement, he completed his lifelong dream of living in Europe when he and Linda moved to Italy. There they restored an old farmhouse and taught English privately and through the British Institute in Conegliano, traveled throughout Eastern and Western Europe and beyond, and enjoyed hosting family and friends during their 10-year residency.

Tony is survived by his wife of 35 years, Linda Fiebich (House) Schork; seven children: Michael (Anne), Nik (partner Laura Goetz), Peter (Annette), Ted, Thad (Terri), Matthew (Mimi), and Anna Schork; three stepchildren: Jon (Lisa Green), Julie, and Charles (Jennifer) House; 14 grandchildren, four stepgrandchildren and two great-grandchildren; a brother, Rudolph Joseph Schork Jr., and a sister Carol Schork Mitola. Tony is preceded in death by his parents, sister Ann Schork Doherty, and brothers-in-law Charles Doherty and Dan Mitola.

A funeral mass will be held at a future date at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ann Arbor. Memorial donations can be made to the Leader Dogs for the Blind, Humane Society of Huron Valley or a charitable organization of the donor’s choice.

— Submitted by the Schork family


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