James D. Shumate, 86, of Traverse City, passed away Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 at his home surrounded by his loving family. James was born on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1930 to James and Anne (Lambert) Shumate in Jackson, Ohio.
Better known as Jim, he attended Jackson High School, where he was active in both athletics and band. He developed a deep appreciation for jazz music, later playing in a band and maintaining an extensive audio library.
A veteran, Jim served his country honorably in the United States Air Force with duty that included combat during the Korean War. While stationed in Empire he met his future wife, Betty Lee Hartsell, in Traverse City. Jim married Betty Lee on Aug. 8, 1952, and they settled in Ohio.
He went to work for General Telephone, eventually transferring to Rogers City until retiring in 1986. Jim and Betty moved one last time in 1990 to spend their retirement years near their children and grandchildren in the Traverse City area, where they first met.
Jim will be remembered by friends and family as a quietly strong, kind and generous man who would do anything for them. He was a good father and cultivated a strong family support system that provided comfort to his family. He was a devoted friend and maintained lifelong contact with childhood friends.
As a high school student he was honored to play taps at military funeral services for men and women in Jackson, Ohio. In their early years of marriage Jim played both the drums and trumpet in a band that kept both him and Betty busy. Jim enjoyed woodworking and created many treasured decorative and furniture pieces. His lifelong love of music and reading kept him current on technology, as he enjoyed collections on his iPad and Kindle.
He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Allen; son, Jim (Laura) Shumate; grandchildren, Jason (Carmen) Allen, Brian (Sarah) Shumate, Matthew Shumate, Allison Shumate and Christopher Shumate; great-grandchild, Jaxon Allen; and niece, Cheri (Dale) Grigsby.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Shumate; parents, James and Anne (Lambert) Shumate; sister, Margaret Eva; and grandson, Jeremy Allen.
Per James' wish, cremation has taken place. Private family services will be held at a later date.
Please share your thoughts and memories of James with his family by way of his online guestbook at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on October 4, 2017