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Former Director mourned

April 26, 2014

catherinemthCatherine Louise Rumbaugh, 1923-2014

The former Director of Paine-Gillam-Scott Museum, Catherine Rumbaugh has died. Catherine Louise Rumbaugh served as managing director of the museum from 1978 until 2011.

Catherine was born on March 29, 1923 in Flint, MI to Jacob and Hilda (Carter) Schumacher and died on April 24, 2014 in St. Johns, MI. Catherine lived most of her young life in Elsie, MI and was proud of her Carter ancestors who were among the early pioneers to settle in the area in 1835.

catherineShe graduated from Elsie H.S. in 1941 and married John Rumbaugh on April 16, 1944. He preceded her in death in 1998. After John’s time spent in the service, they lived in Elsie where they raised two daughters, Janyth and Karen. Catherine worked for the Elsie Public Schools as the administrative secretary and was a Brownie troop leader. She was actively involved in the Methodist Church as the junior choir director, Sunday school teacher, and with the United Methodist Women.

In 1963 she and the family moved to St. Johns where Catherine, being very civic minded, became involved in many organizations. She joined the St. Johns Women’s Club, serving as president when they were awarded top honors in the state for their achievements and was a member of the Clinton County Federation of Women’s Clubs. She played an instrumental role in forming the “Friends of the Library”, was an active member of the Clinton County Historical Society, as well as the Daughters of the American Revolution. She belonged to the First United Methodist Church of St. Johns, directed the junior choir for many years, and was a member of the United Methodist Women.

Her involvement with the Clinton County Historical Society led to the appointment of Catherine and John as co-directors of the newly formed Paine-Gillam-Scott museum in 1978. Through many hours of volunteer work, spanning 30 years, she led the growth of the museum to the 3 buildings that exist today which house thousands of furnishings and artifacts from Clinton County. Her love of history and its preservation guided her vision for the PGS museum as a place to share the past and teach children the importance of their heritage.

Working in the garden, collecting antiques, and spending time with her grandchildren were some of her greatest joys. She and John traveled extensively, domestically and abroad, participating in Elderhostel programs. Many of their travels involved researching family genealogy which was another one of Catherine’s passions.

Catherine is survived by her daughter Karen (Dan) Kusenda of St. Johns; 3 grandchildren, Abigail Jenkins, Andrew (Emily) Jenkins, Allison (Mike) Halerz; two step-grandchildren, Sarah and Mary Taylor; 4 great-grandchildren, Caroline Jenkins, Cooper Halerz and Alexander and Gabriella Meyer; 3 sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 53 years, John; a daughter, Janyth Taylor; 2 brothers, Lewis and Guerdon Schumacher and a nephew, Ron Schumacher.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Thursday, May 1, 2014 at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Ellen Zienert officiating. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Elsie, MI. The family will receive friends and relatives at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. and one hour prior to funeral services at First United Methodist Church.

Memorials can be made to Paine-Gillam-Scott Museum or the First United Methodist Church.

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