Michael D. Shumway, 65 years young, died peacefully at home on Jan.17.
He was a lifelong resident of Moab, born on June 13, 1953, to Bobby Dean and Wilene K. Shumway (Turner). He was married to his best friend, Kelly, for 24 years. They had a bond that most people dream about and they set an example for many.
Shumway had at least nine lives. In his youth, he was not the best driver, totaling out several vehicles. Some of them made his family shake their heads and wonder how he ever survived. One vehicle was lost in the Colorado River for years.
Shumway served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, entering the war at the age of 17. Those who knew Shumway knew what a great shot he was with any gun. Hunting with Shumway was a joy, because he always seemed to make that lucky shot that nobody else could make.
Shumway had a knack for telling it like it is — even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. Tact was not his strongest quality, but there was a genuineness about him that made people feel comfortable, accepted and respected.
Shumway was blessed to inherit his father’s talents and confidence in seeing an opportunity and making things happen. He was known for not holding back. He dreamt big and pursued his dreams. Shumway was trustworthy, dependable and unwavering. He and Kelly made a great team in the business world and especially as husband and wife. Shumway had the vision and Kelly took care of the details. They would jump into an opportunity with both feet, and if it didn’t work out Shumway would just say, “It is what it is,” and they would move on. Together they created many good jobs for the community and blessed many lives.
Mining was Shumway’s passion; from an early age he worked with his father on Polar Mesa from prospecting for gold and uranium to the next precious commodity that was going to make him a million. This passion was passed down to him through several generations. After a decade or more of working in grading and excavation, Shumway didn’t think he’d ever get to mine again. However, in 2005 when the uranium market came back he was overjoyed at the prospect of sharing this trade with his sons and many in our community. They affectionately called their mining crew “Jerry’s kids.”
Shumway had a love for the La Sal Mountains and fulfilled a lifelong dream of having a refuge at his cabin. He and Kelly, along with their kids (and friends who became family), put in many hours of work and joy to develop a sanctuary from the busy world. This was one of his greatest achievements that will forever be enjoyed by many generations.
For the past several years, Shumway spent most of his time with friends and his new found passion for golf. In pursuit of one day joining the Senior Tour, he became close to those who he golfed with. These friendships carried beyond the course and meant the world to Shumway.
Shumway often said to Kelly throughout their 26 years together… “Will you marry me?” This always brought great joy to Kelly, knowing that the man she shared her life with would do it all over again, just like she would. “We still do” was their favorite saying; Shumway hoped and prayed others would have a love like theirs.
He was one-of-a-kind and will truly be missed.
Shumway was preceded in death by his parents and oldest son, Thayn Michael. He leaves behind his wife, Kelly Shumway; his seven children, Keri (Wes) Reidhead, Jamie Shumway, Taylor (Amber) Shumway, Seth (Kelsey) Shumway, Alex (Tom) Esquibel Purvis, Kellen Esquibel, Kyle Esquibel; his 12 grandchildren, Lianne (Austin), Cooper, Megan, Maddy, Bryce, Emma, Taya, Bryce, Adalyn, Elias, Juliette and Asher; and a host of loving nephews, nieces, aunts, cousins and longtime friends. He is also survived by his three brothers and one sister, Robert (Raquel) Shumway; Carol Shumway; Rick Shumway; and Gary (Vicki) Shumway.
A graveside service was held on Jan. 22 at noon at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery with military honors. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.