Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Alpha Mae Mumaw would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. With her faith as a cornerstone in her life, she lived to love and serve others in ways both great and small. A more devoted wife and mother would be hard to find, but Alpha Mae just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother. A lifelong resident of the community she loved, everyone knew Alpha Mae, and there was no one who met her and left unchanged. With a special place in her heart for children, she touched the lives of countless young ones in such a special way. Deeply loved, Alpha Mae will be forever missed by all who knew and loved her.
Life was anything but easy in America during the 1930s as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, which made the unemployment rate soar, and the negative effects were felt nationwide. Despite the trials around them, Clifford and Mildred (Wagner) Ramer were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Alpha Mae on September 6, 1934, in Union Township on the farm on CR9 between 42nd & 44th in Wakarusa. She was one of eight children as she was joined in the family by her siblings, Rosemary, Nila, Dale, Marilyn, Dennis, and Gerald, as well as her younger sister, Phyllis. She and her younger sister were only one year and two days apart in age. As a result, their mother always dressed them alike. Alpha Mae and Phyllis were also partners in crime, although it was widely known that Phyllis was the one who got them into trouble! Alpha Mae loved living on the farm, especially milking the cows. Because she was younger, she always got the easier ones to milk. Alpha Mae also loved working in their garden.
Even at a young age, Alpha Mae was a bustle of activity. She attended many one-room schoolhouses and was often the catcher on the grade school ball team. Alpha Mae graduated from the eighth grade and then went on to Wakarusa High School for her freshman year. She worked in many peoples’ homes when they had babies, worked at Murphy’s Dime Store in Goshen, and as a nurse’s aide at Goshen Hospital. Alpha Mae took care of many elderly neighbors as well. Alpha Mae was part of the literary youth group from the church and enjoyed it as they often met with other church youth groups.
It was through this church youth group that Alpha Mae's life was forever changed as it was there that she met the man of her dreams. His name was Harold Mumaw. Harold had been raised in an orphanage, eventually becoming a foster son to Warren and Eva Myers. As luck would have it they attended the same church as the Ramer family. Once Alpha Mae and Harold got to know each other it didn’t take them long to fall hopelessly in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Alpha Mae and Harold were married at Yellow Creek Mennonite Church in Goshen on July 1, 1956. Together they welcomed five children including Roxane, Ron, Don, Elaine, and Scott into their hearts and home. Alpha Mae was actively involved in the lives of her children, and she devoted herself to caring for her home and family. She and Harold were always there for all the boys’ ballgames, and all the other players called her Mom as well. Alpha Mae loved these other boys and was known to cook meals for them. When her kids were a bit older, she started driving a school bus for WaNee Schools for what ended up being 37 years. Alpha Mae loved her bus kids and made treats for them every Friday, usually monster cookies.
Throughout her life, it seems as though Alpha Mae knew everyone in Wakarusa. She was the one who set up the manger scene at the post office, and for years she was in charge of getting Santa Claus for Uptown. When Alpha Mae was challenged by the Sharing Citizens to raise money for the club on one occasion, she was more than willing to accept the challenge. She got a bunny suit and sat on Ken Myers’ tractor that had been raised up 20 feet in the air on two poles. She ended up sitting up there for four hours, raising around 600 dollars in the process. Alpha Mae was called Mayor of Wakarusa by many people, and she was also related to so many people around town. She served as the president of Sharing Citizens, and she was also president of the Civics Club for years. A woman of faith, she was a devout Christian who attended Yellow Creek Mennonite Church. There, Alpha Mae attended the Bridge Builders Sunday school class and taught Sunday school. She was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother, and later in life a great-grandmother as well. When relaxing, Alpha Mae liked quilting, and she also attended auctions.
When reflecting on the life of Alpha Mae Mumaw, it is easy to see just how richly she blessed the world around her. She was talkative and kindhearted with a spirit of generosity that was unmatched. A very special grandmother and great-grandmother, Alpha Mae's greatest treasure was her family. Life will never be the same without Alpha Mae here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
Alpha Mae Mumaw, of Wakarusa, died at 9:53 p.m., Thursday, February 9, 2017, at Miller’s Merry Manor, Wakarusa. Alpha Mae's family includes her children, Roxane Ouimet, Wakarusa, Ron (Stacey) Mumaw, Heston, KS, Don (Paula) Mumaw, Dunlap; 8 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; siblings, Nyla (Steve) Kauffman, Middlebury, Dale (Grace) Ramer, Goshen, Marilyn (Willi) Miller, Goshen, Dennis (Martha) Ramer, Wakarusa. Alpha Mae was preceded in death by her husband, Harold; son, Scott Mumaw; daughter, Elaine Mumaw; sisters, Phyllis Garber, Rosemary Martin; and brother, Gerald Ramer. Family and friends may call from 2-4 and 6-8 Monday, February 13, 2017, at Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home, Wakarusa and for 1 hour prior to the funeral service which will be at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 14th at Yellow Creek Mennonite Church. Pastors Wes Bontrager and Emily Hochstetler will officiate. Burial will be in Yellow Creek Mennonite Church Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be given to Brotherhood Fund at Yellow Creek Mennonite Church.