Tony Shumick, born February 16, 1946 in Canton, Ohio, died suddenly in his Revelstoke home March 10, 2016.
He is lovingly survived by his wife, Paula Hill, and by his sisters-in-law and spouses Peggy and Roy Anstine (Canal Fulton, Ohio), Ruhama and Chris Karp (Greenwich, Connecticut) and brother-in-law and spouse Tim and Deana Smith (Canton, Ohio). He was predeceased by two dear brothers-in-law, John and Sean Hill. Robkat held a special place in his heart.
Thomas Shumick, his father, and Marcella (Davis), his mother, both from Ohio predeceased him.
His love for football began in Canton, later to become the Pro Football Hall of Fame town, throwing the ball with his grandfather and evolved into a lifelong passion. Tony was a “crunching tackler and on defense hard to budge” with the Canton McKinley Bulldogs and went on to play at Colgate University in upstate New York. Though every year his New Year’s wish was for the Steelers to win a Super Bowl and to get a third dog, luck was not always with him.
Suddenly becoming draft eligible in 1966, Tony received his notice from the Army to join the throng of young men being sent to Vietnam. Instead he joined the Marine Corps and survived the war by delivering supplies in Albany, Georgia and playing football for the Corps. Released from the Corps on August 15, 1968, he celebrated that day the rest of his life.
Eventually in 1977 he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree at Kent State University in Ohio with majors in English and History. Though his Master’s thesis about William Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses, remained unfinished he never tired of rereading the novel. Other favorite books included, Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Solo Faces by James Salter and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.
Tony was a true Civil War buff and believed Abraham Lincoln was one of the great men of all time. For safety’s sake while walking through dense bear cover, he’d often recite the powerful Gettysburg Address.
Tony saw work as a means to an end and trimmed trees during the week so he could climb on the weekends. In 1980 he bought a book on knot tying and began visiting the limestone gorges near Yellow Springs, Ohio. A close knit group of friends began making climbing road trips. Before the advent of fashionable climbing clothes, Tony wore corduroy knickers and wool sweaters while ice climbing and skiing. Over his life, manual labour and teaching leap frogged. After teaching had lost its joy for him, he learned finish carpentry in Maine and was able to visit the Eastern Mountains.
Then in 1999, he and his wife took an extended mountaineering trip to Yoho, Banff and Jasper Parks. And that was the moment Tony decided he wanted to move to Revelstoke. Having never traveled west of Field, he pulled into Revelstoke June 9, 2000, and never went back to the States. He had always felt like he was dropped down in Ohio by aliens. He had found his true home in Revelstoke.
Tony received his dual Canadian-American citizenship in March 2006 and stood on the stage in Kelowna July 1, pledging allegiance to the Queen while crossing his fingers behind his back.
He enjoyed seeing familiar faces while doing his downtown chores and never could choose a favorite between the Modern and la Baguette.
The past sixteen years he enjoyed and treasured Revelstoke. His big yellow lab, Jack, was born in Revelstoke and kept him company for almost ten years. Daily walks on the Greenbelt with his dogs, Iris and Scout, had been his simple pleasures. Tony enjoyed meeting people on the Greenbelt, though he usually remembered the dog’s name more often than the human’s.
As destiny would have it, Revelstoke truly made the last chapter in his life a joy.
There will be no formal funeral service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at the Revelstoke Humane Society.
A special thank you to Dr. Chris MacDonald for his ability to respect the man while treating the body.
“I am already given to the power that rules my fate. And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend. I have no thoughts, so I will see. I fear nothing, so I will remember myself. Detached and at ease, I will dart past the Eagle to be free.”