Ann Shumate’s curiosity and humanitarian spirit were nurtured in her formative years in Covington, Virginia where she enjoyed the outdoors, creative pursuits, and gatherings with her parents Louise Elizabeth Coleman and Norman Bailey Shumate, her brother Norman and several aunts, uncles and cousins. She fondly remembered growing up as “brother and sister” with cousin Peter next door. She graduated from University of Mary Washington (BA,1955) and Northwestern University Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (MA,1959).
Ann’s professional career began as a caseworker with NJ State Board of Child Welfare (1955-57) and then Director of Education with Covenant Methodist Church in Springfield, PA (1959-63). She made her way to Ithaca and Cornell University with positions that spanned four decades. Following her initial position as Head Resident in Women’s Dormitories (1963), she was appointed to Assistant Dean of Students for Student Activities (1965) and advisor for Women’s Student Government Association and soon after as Assistant Dean of Students for Large Residential Units (1967). Her work focused on residential student services through the offices of the Dean of Students, Residence Life, and retired as Associate Dean of Campus Life (1997). Ann was honored for her expertise in the fields of counseling, education and psychology. She was valued for her good counsel to countless undergraduates and for her mentorship of many young professionals in leadership roles.
Ann served for many years as a counselor and trainer for Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service in Tompkins County, a champion of the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, and a dedicated member of the Protestant Cooperative Ministry at Cornell, a local chapter of P.E.O. International, and the Association of College and University Housing Officers - International. Since early 2000, Ann’s joie de vivre touched neighbors and friends in the Eastwood Commons in Ithaca, NY, where she held various positions including President of the Board of Directors. Her cognitive gift of recall, peppered with a bit of wisdom, resulted in being sought after for historic details about the neighborhood.
Ann’s love for all local theatre, concerts and dinner gatherings with friends was unstoppable; if there was an 'empty' space, she always found a new friend to join, and she had the tickets! Ann interspersed domestic travels to family and friends with international travel to Israel, China and Thailand with her dear friend Ann Mathews. Their decades of friendship revolved around several common interests, especially cuisine, clothing, cats and chocolates!
For the past several years Ann has, with much gratitude, been assisted in many aspects of her life by Terrie White. Ann’s home was her castle until her last few months when she and KoKo, her 17-year feline companion, moved to Brookdale Senior Living. She also had the caring support of friends Lori Carr and Nancy Potter and the compassionate services of the Hospicare team.
Ann is predeceased by her parents, her brother Norman Earnest Shumate and her long time friend Ann Mathews. She is survived by sister-in-law Ruth Harris Shumate, cousins Peter and Harriet Byers, Stevan and Sheree Coleman and their extended families. Ann’s and Koko’s cremains will be interred in the Cedar Hill Cemetery, Covington, VA.
All are invited to add their memories, photos and sentiments to Ann’s memory board (Ithaca Journal) where details of a celebration of Ann’s life on April 30th will be posted. Donations in Ann’s memory may be sent to:
Community Foundation of Tompkins County - Women’s Fund, 200 E Buffalo St, Suite 202, Ithaca NY 14850
Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service, PO Box 6434, Ithaca, NY 14851
Cooperative Protestant Ministries at Cornell University, PO Box 7052, Ithaca NY 14851
University of Mary Washington Foundation, 1119 Hancock St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Bangs Funeral Home, Ithaca, NY. Online condolence may be made to Ann’s family at www.bangsfuneralhome.com.
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