Mary E. Schumm, 96, died in her home in Henniker, NH on Thursday, November 18, 2016, with family by her side.
She was born on April 7, 1920, to Louis F. and Cora E. (Roop) Schumm, in Willshire, OH. She was preceded in death by three brothers - Frederick Schumm in infancy; Rev. Robert W. Schumm; and Elbert R. Schumm. She is survived by her youngest brother, Rev. Herbert I. Schumm. Mary grew up surrounded by the love of family and friends, with a strong faith in our Heavenly Father, a deep passion for the gifts of music, art, language, and culture, and believing her purpose to be giving to others.
She graduated from Willshire High School and received a Master’s degree from Ball State University. She also studied at Schiller College and the University of Salzburg. Unmarried and with no children of her own, she dedicated her life to teaching and to her students. She taught in Indiana for 9 years, at Sherwood School of Music in Chicago for 3 years, taught piano and organ at Decatur Music School for 3 years, and spent 15 of her total 25 years of teaching in the Parkway School system. Before her retirement in 1983, Mary led groups of students to Europe during seven different summers to help them learn about various cultures and languages, find the history behind our world’s musical masterpieces, and witness first-hand some of the greatest artistic creations.
In addition to teaching in the school systems, Mary taught piano and harp lessons in her home. When she was not teaching, she was often performing on her harp or in a choir, either through churches or choral groups, such as the Mennonite Choral Society in Berne, Indiana of which she was a member for 20+ years. She also held memberships in the American Harp Society, the Piano Teachers Guild, and the Retired Teachers Association of Ohio.
Mary loved to listen to opera or watch a ballet. She embraced opportunities to host friends or family in her home, providing meals and a place for fellowship, as had her mother before her. As Mary’s mother and father showed their devotion to family, so did Mary. She provided care for her sick mother until the end of her life, and during the past 28 years, Mary has lived in New Hampshire to be close to her surviving brother and his children. Still, her ties to several nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews in the Midwest have been just as important and have been maintained over the years. There was never a distance too great for Mary to express her friendship or love.
For Mary, faith was not only important, but a guide for living her life. Her trust in our dear Lord and Heavenly Father gave her strength to get through difficult times, an energy that made her hard for others to keep up with, and never left her without hope or gratitude. She was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Schumm, Ohio, where she continued her lifelong membership, and where her funeral will be held. She will be greatly missed, yet her life was full of wonderful gifts and will be celebrated.
During the last several months of Mary’s life, she was able to have her wish of staying at home through the love and care from her brother and niece, two special aides, and the Hospice Staff of the Concord Regional Visiting Nurses Association.
Funeral arrangements have been directed by Holt-Woodbury Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Henniker, NH. Calling hours will be at Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home in Decatur, IN on Tuesday, November 29 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The funeral will be at Zion Lutheran Church in Schumm, OH on Wednesday, November 30 at 10:30 am, with a meal following. She will be buried beside her mother and father in the Schumm cemetery.
A Memorial Service will be held Frida,y December 9, 2016 at 2 PM in the First Congregational Church of Hopkinton, NH. The Rev Gordon L.Crouch will officiate.