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302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Carl Schnee

Carl Schnee, age 85, of Wilmington, DE, died on May 30th at Country House of Wilmington. He was born in Philadelphia on January 2, 1936 to Lee Rockower and Abraham Schnee.

After graduating from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Mr. Schnee received his B.A degree from Muhlenberg College and his law degree from Villanova University School of Law. In May 2000, he received a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Delaware. Mr. Schnee had been a member of the Delaware Bar since 1962, practicing in the areas of general litigation, personal injury, professional malpractice, and criminal law. After serving in the Office of the Public Defender of Delaware, he was a partner with Tybout, Redfearn, and Schnee; then with Schnee and Castle; and later was managing partner with Prickett, Jones, Elliot, Kristol & Schnee, where, during an 18-year tenure, he was the senior member of the firm’s litigation section. He was appointed by President Clinton as the United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, serving from 1999–2001. After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s office, Mr. Schnee joined the Wilmington office of Duane Morris, and in January 2003, joined Bifferato, Bifferato, & Gentilotti. Carl retired from the active practice of law in 2008.

Aside from his extensive legal career, Mr. Schnee served as chair of the board for the YMCA Resource Center, the Delaware Art Museum, the Juvenile Re-Entry Program, each for several years, and for nearly a decade on the Delaware Criminal Justice Council. Carl was also a board member of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Delaware Center for Justice, and the Delaware Bar Foundation, among other organizations.

His numerous awards and honors include the Distinguished Service Award from the Delaware State Bar Association, the Outstanding Service Award in Criminal Justice from the Delaware Council on Crime and Justice, and the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the YMCA of Delaware. Carl was the 2014 recipient of both the John Gardner Lifetime Achievement Award from Common Cause and the Order of the First State – Excellence in Serving Your Community and Your State from Delaware Governor Jack Markell.

Later in life, Mr. Schnee turned to teaching at the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where he instructed courses in criminal law, government, and programs on Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, and others. He was also a long-time student at Osher. Carl was known for his boundless energy, love of a good joke (or a bad one), devotion to hiking, biking, and running, and his ability to befriend everyone he met.

Carl is survived by his wife Doris, of 62 years; his children Michael, of Wilmington, DE; Paul (Amy), of Brooklyn, NY; and Linda (Martin), of Takoma Park, MD. He is also survived by his sister Judy Arsht of Santa Barbara, CA, and three grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Muhlenberg College, Villanova University, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the YMCA of Delaware. The family wishes to thank the staff of the Country House for all their assistance and special care during Carl’s residence there. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in his memory to The Carl and Doris Schnee Foundation Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation.

Funeral Services

Well-wishers can pay their respects on Saturday June 19, from 10:00 am–12:00 pm at Chandler Funeral Home, 2506 Concord Pike, in Wilmington.

Memorial contributions may be made to Muhlenberg College, Villanova University, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the YMCA of Delaware. The family wishes to thank the staff of the Country House for all their assistance and special care during Carl’s residence there. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in his memory to The Carl and Doris Schnee Foundation Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation.


    Irene Lipperini lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Doris and family, We are deeply sorry to hear of Carl's passing. His loss is palpable, especially after we read about his numerous accomplishments, many of which we were not aware, and we are humbled. We will miss him dearly and think of him often, and when we do, we will recall our favorite memories of him since meeting Carl and Doris at the Country House...his welcoming ways and warm smile, stimulating conversations ranging from presidential history to running to the Eagles, his tremendous sense of humor, love of country music, and enjoying the outdoors on a sunny day. We are grateful for those memories, and will imagine Carl's spirit continue to be a force for good. Fair winds and following seas, dear friend. With deepest sympathy and love, Irene, Rich and mother, Tamara
    06/05/2021 04:26 am
    Barbara Wingate lit a candle and writes,
    Carl was a wonderful man . I have memories of sharing Christmas with him and his lovely family in England on Manressa Road in London . I was rescued from a small flat that I had while doing a medical school rotation at the Maudsley for two weeks in a glorious home filled with love laughter and fun excursions out Carl always carried a boiled potatc in his pocket in case he wanted a snack! Years later when retired he helped a dear friends daughter look for work as a lawyer She was from Trinidad and not having much luck Carl’s support was a thoughtful part of her path . Stacey is now part of UPenn hospital legal team ! Forever grateful for such love fun and kindness 🙏 love to you Carl! You are another Angel watching over so many of us. Love, Barbie (as Doris calls me to this day)
    06/05/2021 05:53 am
    Edward Pankowski lit a candle and writes,
    Carl .... a great lawyer with whom I had several criminal cases when I was a prosecutor. A great friend also. Ran/biked many miles with Carl over the years. Carl headed the “ Biking Blue Hens “ cycling club on our many visits to Ragbrai, the annual 500 mile bike ride across Iowa. I have fond memories of Carl dancing in the Iowa streets and enjoying it all ! He was that way ... He enjoyed it all ! He was a great teacher and helped many of us. Doris and Carl friends for many years. R.I.P. my good friend... May Peace be with you and your family
    06/05/2021 07:54 am
    Wade Scott lit a candle and writes,
    Carl was very much a part of my development as a rookie trial lawyer to one of his partners at Prickett Jones. He was a very real, witty man with a great sense of humor. Carl brought honor to our profession. He will be missed.
    06/05/2021 10:29 am
    Patricia Farren lit a candle and writes,
    Doris - thinking of you. What a wonderful, bright couple you were. His presence & smile will be greatly missed. RIP Carl Sincerely Pat
    06/05/2021 01:12 pm
    James Natalie lit a candle and writes,
    Carl and I didn’t always agree, but the discussion was always a pleasure. Carl was an icon in Delaware. My condolences to Doris and the entire family.
    06/06/2021 06:35 am
    David McBride lit a candle and writes,
    A great lawyer and a fine man. He lived his life to the fullest. He was such a wonderful addition to our community.
    06/06/2021 08:23 am
    Jim Liguori writes,
    A lion of our bar. A gentleman always.A friend and mentor. You will be missed. My sincerest condolences to Doris and family. RIP my dear friend.
    06/06/2021 09:15 am
    I met Carl professionally and was eternally grateful for his expertise, compassion and friendship.
    06/06/2021 10:01 am
    Dirk Durstein writes,
    Carl was a great friend and mentor, not only in law but in biking. He was a legend in the courtroom, and also in Iowa for the RAGBRAI bike ride. He persuaded me to go, and I ended up riding across Iowa seven times with the Biking Blue Hens. I also had the honor of handling a long jury trial with Carl, who worked harder than any lawyer I have ever known, in his methodical way. It was an absolute pleasure to watch him in the courtroom. He made it look easy. He had a playful witty sense of humor, and never took himself too seriously. My heartfelt condolences to Doris and family. He will be missed by all of us.
    06/06/2021 09:36 pm
    Diana Stevens writes,
    Carl was a learned, enthusiastic teacher at Osher and a leader with vision whom I got to know at the YMCA of Delaware. He was always genuinely interested in people, eager to engage them in conversation. His smile was ever present.
    06/07/2021 09:27 am
    David Drexler writes,
    Judie and I were deeply saddened this morning to read of Carl's passing. My respect for him as a fellow attorney was enormous and both of us valued his friendship. We especially appreciated the annual luncheons he arranged in recent years for senior members of the Bar. It was a wonderful way to renew old acquaintances and we shall miss them
    06/07/2021 11:34 am
    Anne Redick writes,
    One of the nicest man to work in law. I met Carl while working at Prickett Jones and it was a pleasure. A very fine person who will be missed. Doris and family, my heart and prayers to you all.
    06/07/2021 05:02 pm
    Aida Waserstein writes,
    Dear Doris and family: Eric and I are so sorry to hear that Carl passed away. The mold used to make him is gone. There will not be another Carl. He impacted so many with his vigor, vitality, friendliness and profound interest, translated into action, on important issues that are still with us today. With love, Aida
    06/07/2021 05:48 pm
    Carol Bernard writes,
    Dear Doris and Family, I am saddened to learn of Carl's passing. I have fond memories of both Carl and you, Doris, enlivening the hallways at Arsht Hall at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Delaware. I spent many hours talking and laughing with Carl while scheduling his numerous OLLI courses which were always in high demand. He was a beloved teacher. I will remember him fondly for the rest of my life as a bright spot during my years at OLLI. Carol Bernard, OLLI Manager, Retired
    06/07/2021 05:51 pm
    Charlie and Barbara Keil writes,
    We extend condolences to Doris and your family. Glad to have known Carl for many years. Last time we saw him, was a couple of years ago when he organized a small lunch meeting of 3 or 4 lawyers in our age group. Cherish your happy memories. Charlie and Barbara Keil
    06/07/2021 06:25 pm
    Don Squires writes,
    I met carl at THE YMCA when we worked on forming a drug action line for the state. Found him to be a professional and friendly person. Praying for the family that they may be comforted. Don Squires
    06/08/2021 03:39 pm
    John Humphrey writes,
    So sorry to hear of Carl’s passing. Not listed among Carl’s many accomplishments were as Chairman of the Board of The Children’s Advocacy Center of Delaware. It was only through Carl’s connections that this organization survived. As a result, child victims of child abuse usually only need to be interviewed once while a multidisciplinary team watches in an adjoining room minimizing the trauma to child victims and their families. I can attest as the former Executive Director, this organization would not have survived and expanded statewide without Carl Schnee. RIP Carl.
    06/08/2021 06:18 pm
    Sharon K. Baker lit a candle and writes,
    The last time I saw Carl we were having lunch with my colleague at the Hollywood Diner. Carl was holding court! Ever kind, wise and very funny, he was one in a million! Thank you Doris for sharing this treasure of a guy. I'll think of you Carl...
    06/08/2021 08:57 pm
    Ben Raphael lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Doris, Although I only knew Carl only from Osher Lifelong Learning, it did not take long for me to realize that I had the pleasure and honor of knowing an extraordinary "mensch" and a dedicated instructor. I attended as many of his stimulating classes as I could. You, Doris, were always there to help him. Carl never lost his sense of humor. Once, after being elected to a high office on our Council, he wondered if he now had to address me as “Your Highness”. I don’t think I will ever be able to visit Arsht Hall without thinking of him.
    06/10/2021 10:00 pm
    Roseanne Fortunato Dougherty lit a candle and writes,
    Our friendship goes back to our childhood days, but we never let our geographical distance interfere with keeping touch. Thinking of you at this difficult time, but know you are wrapped in warm memories and a legacy from Carl that will always keep you and your family filled with love and pride always.
    06/13/2021 10:44 am
    Sally Coleman writes,
    We have fond memories of Carl and Doris. Our sons - Paul and Tommy - were such good friends and Carl often interacted with them - as did Doris. We pray that your family will be comforted by all the good memories! Such a great family!
    06/13/2021 02:48 pm
    David Baker writes,
    We are very sorry to hear this news. My parents and I were neighbors with the Schnee's during his early career. I would occasionally see Carl over the years and he was always inquiring about our family. He was a fine person. He was humble and treated everyone as if they were most important. We are sorry for your loss. God Bless Sincerely, Dave Baker
    06/14/2021 03:05 pm
    Bess Beste writes,
    Doris, I was so sorry to read that Carl left us.I always enjoyed working with him. He was very funny and always cheerful. I know you certainly will miss him. I am hoping to get over to the Country House and have a visit with you soon. I will be out of town on the 19th. Please know that Bob and I are thinking of you and your children and grandchildren. I know he is in a better place and at peace. Bess Beste Xoxo
    06/16/2021 06:53 am
    Julie Caputo writes,
    My deepest condolences to Carl's family, friends and colleagues. He was a wonderful person and a great role model.
    06/16/2021 11:39 am
    Michael Hanrahan lit a candle and writes,
    I have such wonderful memories of Carl as my partner at Prickett: the bike rides he would organize to Leipsic for crabs and beer; the pranks he would pull like dressing up as Scrooge; the legendary trip to RAGBRAI; serving on the firm compensation committee together for years; learning so much about litigation from talking to him. His outgoing personality was amazing. If Carl walked into a room of 100 people, he would know 50 of them when he arrived and know the other 50 before he left just by walking up and saying "Hi, I'm Carl Schnee." I have never met anyone who did not like Carl. Doris would always joke that she married Carl because he was so tall. He was indeed a giant of a man.
    06/18/2021 11:24 am
    Lawrence "Larry" Smith
    06/19/2021 06:26 am
    Lawrence "Larry" Smith writes,
    My condolences and sympathies to the Schnee family on the passing away of a good person, Carl Schnee.
    06/19/2021 06:34 am
    Darlene Hurley lit a candle and writes,
    So sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of meeting Carl personally outside of the court house. I helped drive the bus to Iowa and back for Ragbrai across Iowa in 1997 I believe it was. I am sure he will be missed. Nice, polite and caring gentlemen as I remember him.
    06/26/2021 06:49 pm
    Margaretta K. Stabler writes,
    Dear Doris, belatedly, I send my condolences to you and your family on the loss of your husband Carl. My husband Laird had the greatest respect for Carl , as do I and I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you and hoping your memories will sustain you during this difficult time. We were blessed to share our lives with such men. Sending you my best and sympathy. Peg Stabler
    07/03/2021 06:21 pm
    Sandra Levy Caplan writes,
    Doris, I just saw Carl's obit and the memories came rushing in. Fond ones of you, Carl, Benson and I all those many years ago and the good times we shared. So, just a note to remember and send our condolences. Hope you are well. Sandra, Jared, Barton and Greg.
    09/26/2021 03:45 pm

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