Dr. Michael Scher : March 19, 1946 ~ September 11, 2020

Dr. Michael Lee Scher, 74, died at home in Slingerlands, N.Y., on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. The cause was Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Disease.

Survivors include wife Barbara Scher; son Jeremy Scher of Slingerlands; son Daniel (Aliza) Scher and their children Ellie, Evan, and Lily of Delmar, N.Y.; and siblings Sandy (Valerie) Scher of New Rochelle, N.Y., Floyd Scher of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Leslie Scher (Dr. Dean) Dobbin of Boca Raton, Fla.

Born March 19, 1946, in Queens, N.Y., to Robert Scher and Sylvia Fisher Scher, Mike attended Jamaica High School. He graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., in 1967 and Downstate Medical School in Brooklyn, NY, in 1971.

During an internship at Albany Medical College in 1972, he met Barbara Olian. They married on March 6, 1976, living meanwhile in Rochester, NY, and St. Louis, Mo. They returned to the Capital District in 1977.

Between 1974 and 1981, Mike taught medicine in Rochester, St. Louis and Albany.

He established an internal medicine practice in Albany in 1978, also working in hematology. In 1996 he became medical director of Northeast Health’s Primary Care Network and urgent care sites. He held appointments at all three major Albany hospitals. He continued his practice, and was highly regarded as a medical diagnostician.

Devoted to his family, community and Judaism, Mike will be especially remembered for co-hosting with Barbara countless gatherings at their Slingerlands home, from Passover seders to Sukkot celebrations, from Cub Scout programming to hikes in the woods. 

Mike and family have been members of Albany Jewish congregations including Ohav Shalom and Beth Abraham-Jacob and Chabad of Delmar. He and Barbara received Beth Abe’s Noah Losice Award in 2005; Delmar Chabad dedicated their shul to the memory of Mike’s mother.

Mike co-chaired Maimonides Society of the United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York. He served as a board member of Beth Abe; Daughters of Sarah; Jewish Family Services; B’nai B’rith; and the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District. The Schers helped resettle many Jewish Soviet immigrants to the Capital District.

In athletics he was a second-degree black belt in Shōtōkan Karate; and was accomplished at tennis, golf, downhill skiing and water skiing.

He also played drums in big-band jazz and klezmer styles.

Funeral attendance is by private invitation only due to pandemic restrictions. Shiva will be observed remotely from Sunday through Thursday, Sept. 13 to 17. For login details, please contact the Levine Memorial Chapel in Albany.


Memorial contributions to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research on Mike’s Tribute Page https://tribute.michaeljfox.org/tribute-page.php?id=1620  are welcomed by the family.


Thanks to end-of-life caregivers: Dr. Mark Fruiterman, primary care; Dr. Era Hanspal, neurologist at Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders Center at Albany Medical Center; Albany Medical Center emergency department and trauma staff; Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital staff and caregivers; and special thanks to caregiver & home health aide Juanita Peters.

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