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Hickory Funeral Home

1031 11th Avenue Blvd SE, Hickory, NC

OBITUARY

James "Jim" Shumate

October 21, 1921October 10, 2013
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James (Jim) Shumate, 91, of Hickory died peacefully Thursday, October 10, 2013, at Catawba Regional Hospice surrounded by his family. He was born October 21, 1921, in Wilkes County to the late Martin and Artha Teague Shumate. A self-taught fiddler, as a young man, Shumate began playing with Don Walker and the Blue Ridge Boys on the radio station WHKY. His playing was heard by Bill Monroe who hired him to play with his Blue Grass Boys on the Grand Ole Opry. After playing with Bill Monroe, he joined Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys and played on their first recording. In 1948 he won the National Fiddlers Convention in Richlands, Virginia. He also made six solo recordings of bluegrass standards, as well as his own original tunes. Shumate’s innovative fiddle style earned his a place in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1995 he received the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award given by the North Carolina Arts Council for “excellence achieved through a lifetime of practice.” One of the pioneers of bluegrass music, Shumate appeared on a TNN special, “Grass Roots for Bluegrass,” in 1999. He performed at the first Merlefest in 1988 and returned in 2005 to perform with other former members of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. Shumate’s fiddle and band photos are currently on display in Raleigh at the N. C. Museum of History as part of an exhibition on N. C. bluegrass musicians. Shumate was retired from Better Homes Furniture Company where he worked for many years. He was a faithful member of Penelope Baptist Church where he had served as a deacon. He was preceded in death by his sons, Jimmy and Randy Shumate, his brother, Mack Shumate and three sisters, Etta Holbrook, Ella Kilby and Ila Blevins. Survivors include his wife of seventy years, Naomi Stephens Shumate and two daughters, Rita (Frank) Miller and Judi Ingold. He is also survived by a daughter-in-law, Joyce Shumate. His grandchildren are Rick (Gina) Jenkins of Hickory, Greg (Elaine) Jenkins of Blacksburg, Virginia, Jimmy (Tonya) Shumate of Hickory, Ashley (Don) Mauldin of Lincolnton, Colby (Sarah) Shumate of Hickory, John (Natalya) Miller of Asheville, Matt (Jen) Russ of Canton, Ohio, and Holly (Matt) Johnson of Charlotte. His great grandchildren include Zachary Jenkins, Anna Jenkins, Claire Jenkins, Will Jenkins, Tyler Mauldin, Sam Russ, Max Russ, Cole Johnson, Charlize Johnson and Austin Shumate. He is also survived by two sisters, Austeen Shumate of North Wilkesboro and Lucille Brock of Plant City, Florida, as well as a number of nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P. M. Sunday, October 13, 2013 at Penelope Baptist Church with the Reverend Nicholas King and Reverend Don Ingle officiating. Burial will follow in Catawba Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Saturday, October 12, from 6:00 – 8:00 P. M. at Hickory Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the Out-Of-The-Ashes Fund at Penelope Baptist Church, 3310 Main Ave., N. W., Hickory, N. C. 28601. Condolences may be made online at www.hickoryfh.com. Hickory Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Services

  • VISITATION

    Saturday, October 12, 2013

  • FUNERAL SERVICE

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

  • BURIAL

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

Memories

James "Jim" Shumate

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Marsha Tarpley

October 15, 2013

I had the extreme honor knowing Jim Shumate as a patient. He always had a wonderful smile and great laugh. When I commented on his wonderful talent he said he just held the fiddle while God played it. We will miss him and my prayers are with you all. Marsha Tarpley

October 14, 2013

Judi and family, deepest condolences on the passing of your dad. Know you will see him again. You all are in our prayers.
Susan, Tim, Reid, Ian, and Pierce Ingold

October 14, 2013

Condolences to the family, Jim was a great man of music, RIP

Bill High

October 13, 2013

I just learned of Mr. Shumate's passing on Friday night while listening to Eddie Stubbs on WSM Nashville. I never had the honor of meeting Mr. Shumate but as a fan of bluegrass music his contributions are well known and the music he leaves behind is priceless. In this age where talent has become an almost worthless term, he was a gifted individual who simply got better with age. While I cannot begin to imagine the pain of your loss we can all rest assured that long after we depart this earth someone somewhere will be listening to Jim's fiddle music and in that sense he will live forever. God Bless.

Matthew Burgess

October 13, 2013

Was never fortunate enough to meet Jim but was able to hear his music. I have much respect for any man that has the talent such as his. And a great appreciation for where Jim has been with his music,...and a greater one for where he is now. Bless the Shumate family.

Geraldine Small

October 12, 2013

My condolences are with you all. I always enjoyed seeing Jim and Naomi when I visited Penelope with my dad. He always made me happy with his big smile and that twinkle in his eye, in other words, he made my day! I am thinking of you and I'll keep you in my prayers. It's never easy, remember the good times and the love and how blessed you were to have had him in your lives. Love, Gerry Rhoney Small

October 11, 2013

Dear Naomi, Rita, Judi, and all the Shumate Family,
I am so sorry to hear that Jim has left us here on earth. I will miss seeing him on my visits to Hildebran. I knew Jim all my life, and he was a dear friend to me. He was such a wonderful person and had so much talent! He and Daddy had some good times together, not just playing bluegrass but also personal times. I can see them now in heaven, Daddy playing guitar and Jim playing fiddle. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Sending much love!

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