Martha R. Shumate

thumbnail IMG 0943(1)

As the designated writer of the family, I have been appointed the daunting task of writing a summary of a life that has enriched so many— an enigma of sorts, an angel in every way, a builder of homes, a storyteller of her own design, and a shaper of the weary, a wife and a mom.

Born prematurely on the 24th of January 1954, in the small Texas town of Mathis, shoebox laid to her side as her final resting place as she was unexpected to see much of this life. In her final days, like her first, for as tired as she was, she clung on to life until leaving this world on Thursday, November 9, 2023.

Visitation: 5 – 8PM Wednesday, November 15 with a rosary at 7PM at Lake Shore Funeral Home
Funeral Service: 10AM Thursday, November 16 at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Rosemound Cemetery.

She never claimed any form of prestige or status, anyone who had met her, from coworkers, friends, to the friends of her children that she loved as much as her own, they knew her as someone who loved unconditionally and would do anything for anyone.  

She married SSGT William R. Morris on February 16, 1973, though he swore every year it was on the 15th! They shared a marriage that lasted 34 years until his passing on October 29, 2007.  After his passing, she would be fortunate enough to find love once more when she married life-long friend, Gene Lahr who passed away in 2018.

In her life in Waco, which she called home, she worked very hard, not only as a mother, but as the head of the family.  She waited tables at the Italian Village Restaurant, now known as Casa de Castillo, which her and I would frequent on lunch dates until the end. She served ice cream at Dairy Queen. In the eighties, worked twenty years at K-Mart and was the only woman slinging giant box televisions for customers without ever losing her smile.  While Waco may never acknowledge the part she had in the landmark opening of the Dr Pepper Museum, she acted as the first manager of the gift shop and infamous soda fountain—she was proud of that.  She would retire through the Texas Farm Bureau. With no formal education, Mom proved to everyone that you can achieve anything and how one should never allow circumstance to dictate outcome.

She is joined in Heaven by her mother, Daisy Duncan; stepfather, Johnny Duncan; uncles, Baldo, Joe, and Sonny (her favorite); two husbands, William Richard Morris and Gene Lamar Lahr; and granddaughter, Daisy Belle Morris.  She is surrounded by friends who have been waiting for her, Della and Jimmy, Carla, Malcolm and Doris.  

She is survived by her children, Michelle Renee Morris, Richard Morris, James Morris and fiancé Brittany Little; grandchildren, Beaux Damara Morris and Blake Calvin Littrell; husband, Harold Shumate.

She will be loved and remembered by the world of people. She enriched their lives through long talks, great meals, wordy lectures, and so, so many laughs and hugs. Her friends, Penny, Sharon and their wild girl workplace antics and hangouts, Sue, and Berta.  And lastly, she will be missed and loved always by children who she loved as much as her own, Jose, Michael, Ronnie, DeMarcus, Rhonda, Kristi, Misty, London, Marina, Teresa, Jimmy, Frankie, David and those that have been lost over the years.

She is loved, forever remembered by her children, Michelle-her protector and will, Richard- her artist and road-buddy, James her baby boy and comedian, and her most beloved granddaughter, Beaux—always her guardian angel and her unbeknownst favorite person. And her husband, Harold Shumate— her wrestling fan and life-long friend.  

Look, Mom. We made it!

Place of Service: St. Joseph Catholic Church , 1011 Boston St.; Bellmead, TX 76705

Print Obituary & Condolences Print Obituary & Condolences

Condolence Messages

  1. She is a sister to me and always will be and my bestie and fan of the fat girl club we started as co workers at Baylor and will always be my best loving friend /sister and will always hold her in my heart. Life will never be that same without our sweet Martha but she will always be with me in heart. I’ll miss you sis.

  2. Tammy Barton, RN

    Thank you for allowing us here at Baylor Scott and White Hospice to care for your mom. It was our honor and privilege to be apart of her final journey. Praying for you all!

Leave Your Condolence