Lili Schad

August 30, 1960 - December 20, 2015

In Memory

December 20, 2015

Lili Schad will be remembered for living fiercely and passionately, at the very edge of her capacities and challenging everyone around her to do the same.

Lili’s life is a tribute to her spirit and her ability to inspire the potential in us all.

First among her many accomplishments is parenting Simon and Isabel, two young people as dynamic and individual as their mother. Lili earned an MBA in her twenties and an MFA in her fifties. As a teen, she jumped horses in Europe and skied competitively in Canada. Lili had a celebrated career as a film director, creating a series of award-winning films focused on the environment: documentaries about Glen Canyon, the Grand Canyon and Ethiopia’s Takazee River. She directed the hit documentary feature “Mavericks,” still a cult classic in the surfing community. A skilled climber and extreme skier, Lili was the first woman to summit and ski the active volcano in Kamchatka, Russia, and do it all with a movie camera on her shoulder, emerging with a gripping film about the brown bears of the region. Her award-winning feature film “Betraying Reason” raised awareness about environmental politics and family dynamics. Lili worked to build an orphanage in Nigeria and helped the people of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Her most recent work was in the field of fine art, where she continued her intense exploration of internal and external landscapes, always maintaining an eye toward elevating awareness the need to help planet Earth.

Amidst it all, her chief focus was spending time with family, in nature. Lili spread beauty and warmth wherever she went. She will always be remembered as a generous person, ready to solve problems, share natural remedies, and offer advice on everything from career and investing to health and love. Everyone who met her came away profoundly affected by her commitment to personal and planetary healing. Yet Lili remained reticent about her achievements, preferring to keep herself out of the spotlight. Even during her illness, Lili fought diligently to remain aware of the needs of the people around her and how she could bring good into their lives.

Lili will be missed by her beloved children, Simon and Isabel Cahn, siblings Katherine Willow and Mark Schad, father, Robert Schad and wife, Liz Schad, cousin, Anthony Rully, and husband, Fahad Bin Khalid, aunt, Trudy Maisch and husband, Irwin Nagl, cousins in Germany, close friend, Ronna Tanenbaum, Simon and Isabel’s father, Jeffrey Cahn, and his family, and hundreds of special friends around the world. Mother, Herta Schad, awaits her on the other side.


Lili Schad

Lili Schad


Lili Schad


Death of an Artist devoted to Tikkun Olam
By Dr. Jane Aronson - Huffington Post 12/28/2015

Lili devoted much of her life to Tikkun Olam, “helping to heal the world”. See this beautiful tribute to Lili by her friend Dr. Jane Anderson who perfectly captures the spirit of Lili and her love of life and giving.


Lili Schad by Michael Powers

In Lili's Spirit
A kind and generous gift of “Tikkun Olam” from Dr. Eric Perlman was given to the Mohonk Preserve to ensure the continued maintenance and protection of more than 8,000 acres. We appreciate your thoughtful gift to protect a place dear to Lili.