In Memoriam Dr. Rudolph (Rudy) Schuster (July 22, 1934 – January 27, 2023)

In Memoriam

Dr. Rudolph (Rudy) Schuster

July 22, 1934 – January 27, 2023

Rudy Schuster

MAUI, HAWAII—Rudy Schuster, 88, DVM, of Oneonta passed away on Friday, January 27, 2023, in Maui, Hawaii with his loving wife, Gwen, and loving son, Chris, at his side.

Rudy was born on July 22, 1934, in Mt. Hope, New York to German immigrants Emil Schuster and Clara Wiest Schuster. He is survived by his wife, Gwen; son Chris Schuster; daughter-in-law Judy Schuster; and his three grandchildren, Abigail, CJ, and Julia of Groton, Massachusetts, as well as several beloved nieces, nephews, and many treasured friends and neighbors. He was predeceased by his parents, and his two sisters, Clara Ernstrom and Betty Reynolds. 

Rudy grew up in Afton, New York and graduated from Afton Central School in 1952. He was involved in many sports, was class valedictorian, president of student council and president of Future Farmers of America.  As president of FFA, he was selected as a delegate to the FFA national convention in Kansas City in 1951 and was an FFA empire farmer. Rudy was a founder of the Afton Alumni Association and served as the first president.

During summer vacations in high school and college, Rudy worked on his uncle’s farm and for a building contractor in Greene, New York. He later used his construction and carpentry experience to build two houses and his veterinary clinic in Oneonta, New York. Rudy loved agriculture and used his farming skills to create a massive garden that produced prize-winning dahlias grown each year. With a passion for his property’s upkeep, he was often seen riding his lawn mower or driving his tractors with lawn maintenance equipment in tow. 

Rudy attended the College of Agriculture and graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1959, a campus that remained hallowed ground for him throughout his life. Following college, Rudy established his veterinary practice in upstate New York and founded Oneonta Veterinary Associates in 1970. In his practice, he treated all types of animals, from wrestling with large dairy cows as a young veterinarian to a myriad of small animals at his Oneonta clinic. Rudy was a member of the Cornell University Tower Club and was active in organizing alumni reunions for his 1959 veterinary school class.  

A pillar of the Oneonta community, Rudy was involved with several organizations and boards.  He was a life member of the Elks Club (52 years) and the Oneonta Country Club. He was also a member of the administrative council of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra and the vice-president of the Board of Trustees of the Oneonta Plains Cemetery. After retiring, Rudy enjoyed hobbies that included downhill skiing and golf with his wife, Gwen. They also traveled extensively and enjoyed their winters in Maui, Hawaii.  

A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 1 p.m. in Craven Lounge, Morris Conference Center, SUNY Oneonta. A private burial service for the family will be held at Oneonta Plains Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Oneonta Dollars for Scholars, PO Box 1083, Oneonta NY 13820, Attn: Schuster Scholarship; Friends of Bassett, Heart Care Institute, 1 Atwell Rd., Cooperstown NY 13326; or Super Heroes Humane Society, 697 Winney Hill Rd., Oneonta NY 13820.

Online condolences may be made at, the website of Oneonta’s only family owned funeral home, Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono at 51 Dietz Street.

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