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Published: Sunday, 9/21/2003

Co-owner of store hosted annual party

PIONEER, Ohio - Grace M. Shumaker, who threw an annual Christmas party for the community at the convenience store she operated with her husband, died of heart failure Thursday at her home here. She was 90.

Mrs. Shumaker lived in Pioneer most of her life. She briefly lived in Rhode Island and Texas while her husband served in World War II, but the couple settled in Pioneer.

“They were pillars of the community,” her grandson, Troy Hendricks, said.

The Shumakers opened Del's Place, a shop with groceries and a gas pump, in 1946. Mrs. Shumaker worked behind the counter and helped manage the store until it closed in 1971.

Each Christmas, neighbors came to Del's Place to enjoy a German drink with eggnog, powdered sugar, rum, and nutmeg.

Mrs. Shumaker belonged to Pioneer United Methodist Church, where she was in a women's circle.

She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for more than 50 years, and was a past senior regent in the Women of the Moose. She was a former member of the Pioneer Chapter, Eastern Star.

She enjoyed playing cards and bingo. Her relatives appreciated her holiday gifts, especially her homemade noodles.

“She was the most giving, generous person,” her grandson said.

Her husband, Delmar Shumaker, died in 1984. Surviving are daughters, Karen Parker and Sharon Hendricks; five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Pioneer United Methodist Church. The body will be in the Thompson Funeral Home, Pioneer, after noon today, with an American Legion service at 4 p.m. and a Women of the Moose service at 6 p.m.

The family suggests tributes to the church or Hospice, The Caring Way of Williams and Fulton Counties.

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