Thursday, March 19, 2015
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With her compassionate heart and patient spirit, Judy Shumaker was a blessing in the lives of everyone she met. She was a longtime resident of the Plainwell community, and there was no one she met who wasn’t greeted with her amazing smile. Judy devoted her life to her family, and although she treasured her roles as a wife and mother, she just may have argued that being a grandmother and great-grandmother was the gift of a lifetime. A woman of faith, she was vibrant, vivacious, and even radiant at times with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Although she will be deeply missed, Judy’s timeless legacy will remain alive in the hearts and lives of the loved ones who follow her footprints in the sand.
The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the Great Depression cloaked the entire decade in great hardship. Jobs were scarce and the unemployment rate soared, which left cities, communities, and families to come together to make ends meet however they could. Things only went from bad to worse when a crippling drought covered our nation’s heartland for nearly two years, adding more strain to an already suffering agricultural industry. There were moments of joy, however, and it was as spring settled on the city of Plainwell, Michigan, that Herman G. and Marian I. (Townsend) Fuller were filled with great anticipation as they were awaiting the birth of their new baby in 1934. The big day finally arrived on April 9th when the baby girl they named Judith Ann drew her first breath. She was the fifth of six children in her family and was raised in the family home in Plainwell alongside her older siblings, Fred “Skeet,” Kathleen "Katie", Phyllis "Pudge", Herman “Mike,” and her younger sister, Rosealie "Rose". To support their family, her father worked in the hospital at Fort Custer while her mother was a homemaker who also worked in the school cafeteria. Judy was close to her family, and she always considered her father to be the person she looked up to most. She attended local schools, although she received her diploma from Allegan as an adult.
Not to be forgotten during her school days was Judy’s introduction to the young man who would change the course of her life forever. His name was Chuck Shumaker, and they met when he came in to eat at DeHaven’s Soda Shop where she worked as a waitress. He left Judy a penny for a tip each time he came in, telling her that when she had enough money she could take him out - and she did! Their relationship grew, and it wasn't long before the couple found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Judy and Chuck were married on August 24, 1951, at the Shelbyville Methodist Church. Together they welcomed two children including Charlie and Tony into their hearts and home. Judy always had dogs around, too, and their dog, Boots, was an important part of the family while their boys were growing up for many years. Judy and Chuck raised their children in Plainwell, which is where Judy called home for more than 70 years. As a family they attended First United Methodist Church in Plainwell where Judy was lifelong member and served as attendance secretary of Sunday school for many years. Some of their favorite memories as a family were made at their place on Dyer Lake in Traverse City where they frequently went on weekends. There were also memorable trips to Cumberland Falls in Corbin, Kentucky.
In addition to caring for her family, Judy kept busy in other ways. She spent several years working in the cafeteria for Plainwell Schools including in each of the schools where her boys were attending at various times. Judy retired in the nineties. One of her favorite places to be at home was also in the kitchen as she loved baking and canning for her family. Judy was famous for her strawberry jam, her banana bread, and what her family called “fluffy stuff.” She listened to country, blue grass, and gospel music, and she loved watching performances at the Grand Ole Opry. Through the years Judy also frequented the Martin Music Barn. She attended a church lunch group in Kalamazoo called "Primetime" on the first Tuesday of every month for quite some time, and she also had lunch with her special friend, Suzanne Stewart, every Friday. She enjoyed the companionship of her dogs Molly and later Daisy who became her "adopted" children.
There was nothing of greater significance in Judy’s life than her family. She welcomed her grandchildren Joshua, Sara, Abby and Carlee into the fold and was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother. She was such a special part of each of their lives. Judy was doubled blessed when her great grandchildren Haydon, Madison, Jaclynn, Camden, Cruz, Leeah and Gabriel arrived and was active in their lives in numerous ways. All of her grandchildren and great grandchildren looked forward to their annual tradition of receiving a Christmas ornament from grandma beginning on their first Christmas. Of course there were bumps along the way as there always is in life, but her loved ones always cherished knowing that Judy loved them even if they felt that they couldn’t love themselves at times.
All who knew Judy Shumaker would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She could act mad and give people “that look,” but she was always quick to forgive, too. Judy treasured her family, and she was so very proud of her boys as well as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In fact, she always said that when her son, Tony, was preaching, her buttons would just burst. Judy will be missed for her grace, her compassion, and her generosity, but it will be her unconditional love they will miss most of all.
Judy Shumaker, of Plainwell, died on March 15, 2015 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. Judy’s family includes her children: Charlie (Lyn) Shumaker, Tony (Linda) Shumaker; four grandchildren: Joshua (Tracey), Sara (Jimdale), Abby (Carlos), Carlee (Chris); seven great grandchildren; sister, Phyllis Montgomery; and several nieces and nephews. Judy was preceded in death by her husband of 36 years, Chuck; siblings: Fred “Skeet”, Kathleen “Katie,” Herman “Mike,” Rose. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Thursday, March 19 from 4:00 – 8:00 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881). A funeral will be held on Friday, March 20 at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Plainwell; 200 Park St. (685-5113). Please visit Judy’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church in Plainwell.