Helen Louise Shumate

October 3, 1936 ~ December 8, 2020 (age 84)


Mrs. Helen L. Shumate of Fayetteville, NC, died December 8th, 2020. She was born in Nebraska on the 3rd of October 1936 and grew up in Washington State and Southern California. After graduating from college, she taught elementary school in California, Okinawa, and North Carolina for over 35-years. She received a master’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill in Special Education and spent the second half of her career teaching special education in Cumberland County. She met her husband SGM(R) Walter Shumate in Okinawa. They were married in 1964, and had two children: Joanne, and Alan.

Helen was a devoted Catholic, Special Forces Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Friend, and a pet lover. After retiring from teaching, she volunteered for decades at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fayetteville where she enjoyed helping families and supporting the church. She also enjoyed raising her Grandsons and spending a lot of time with her family as well. Helen was proceeded in death by her parents, Ronald and Suzanne Thomsen and her husband Walter. She is survived by her daughter Joanne White and son-in-law Robert; son Alan Shumate, daughter-in-law Ellen, grandsons Samuel and Alex Shumate; sisters Marguerite Jungles and Maxine Brown of California, and a large extended Thomsen and Shumate family as well. The family wants to give a special thanks to Ms. Willadean Gregory for taking care of Helen for the past 5-years.

The Funeral Mass and interment will be planned for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fayetteville NC at a later date, but no earlier than the spring of 2021.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: The North Carolina Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, 7200 Stonehenge Drive, Raleigh, NC 27613; The Care Clinic, PO Box 53438, Fayetteville, NC 28305.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Services are entrusted to Sullivan’s Highland Funeral Service & Crematory.

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Family to do services at later date

St. Patrick Catholic Church

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