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DOWNEY — Leona Frances Siemonsma Shumake, a Downey resident for 59 years, passed away in her home March 8 surrounded by family.
She was born into a large family on March 1, 1912 in Le Mars, Iowa. She attended St. Mary’s High School in Remsen, followed by St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital in Sioux City, where she obtained her RN license and graduated in 1933.
She moved to Michigan and worked on staff at hospitals in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Hamitranck. In 1941, she came to Los Angeles by bus and began working at St. Vincent’s Hospital. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, she enlisted in the Army Nurses Corp and was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines.
After the war, she completed her bachelor’s degree at UCLA. She met and married Vernon Shumake in 1949 and they bought a home in Downey in 1950 where they lived the rest of their lives.
She worked as a school nurse for more than 20 years in the Norwalk-La Mirada school district. She retired in 1973 to care for her husband who then passed away several months later. She went back to work doing vision and hearing tests for children for almost another 20 years.
She is survived by her son, Vernon Charles; daughter, Barbara Faulkner; and son-in-law, Brett Faulkner, of Burbank.
A rosary vigil was held March 12 at Downey Zrelak Mortuary. A Mass was held March 13 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, followed by interment at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach.
Published: March 20, 2009 – Volume 7 – Issue 48