Obituary: Dwight Ramon “Ray” Shumway

Obituary: Dwight Ramon “Ray” Shumway

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Obituary: Dwight Ramon “Ray” Shumway

May 2, 1932—June 10, 2020

Dwight Ramon “Ray” Shumway, 88, died June 10, 2020 in Prosser, Washington after a long battle with Alzheimers/Dementia. Ray was born in Boise, Idaho (1932).

Ray is survived by his wife Paula, ex-wife Gayle, four children: Kim (Dan) and Kathy of Alaska, Kris (Sharmin) of Oregon and Kara (Tracy) of Idaho; four stepchildren: Michelle (Tim), Monte (Andrea), and Mark (Stacey) of Oregon, and Matt (Neresa) of Washington, twelve grand and step-grandchildren, eight great and step-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by brother-Bob Shumway, sister-Betty Danielson and parents-Delmar and Lula.

Ray graduated from Twin Falls High (‘50), honorably discharged from the Army (‘52) and married Gayle Peterson (‘53). After working several years for Idaho Transportation Department he headed to college, saying – “I’d rather get paid for what I know than I what I do”. After earning Geology degrees [BS-Idaho State (‘55-‘58), MS-Washington State (‘59-’60)] Ray with his family of four headed-up the Alaska Highway on a grand adventure to help build the newly created State of Alaska Department of Highways. In 1966, he acquired his Professional Engineer license by exam. He worked for the Department as Materials, Construction and Design Engineer eventually serving twice as State Engineer (deputy commissioner) of Department of Highways and later ADOT&PF. Working in transportation in the ‘60s and ‘70’s was an exciting time, as new highways were built and many challenging events occurred. He led during the ‘64 Earthquake, the ‘67 Chena Floods and the explosive development of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and Dalton Highway.

Ray was passionate, quick-minded and energetic, a key member of the top leadership team moving Alaska transportation into the 20th century. During his time in Alaska, Ray acquired many lifelong friends, buddies and his youngest two children were born there. Ray retired in ‘82, created Shumway Engineering and returned to Idaho. In 1985, Ray and Gayle divorced and he married Paula Fountain in ‘94, basing in Prosser but snow-birding to Lake Havasu for several decades. Ray’s motto was “work hard, play hard”. Extremely active outside of work, his entire life revolved around the outdoors- hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, rock hounding, and athletics/sports- baseball, softball, golf, basketball; incorporating family life in his many loves. All of Ray’s family members and friends tell tales of their fun, adventure and escapades with Ray. Big game or bird hunting, ocean or stream fishing from Alaska to Mexico to Florida, life was an adventure and he made it happen. And, if it wasn’t outdoors it was sports. He played minor league baseball, held the record batting average over two decades at Idaho State and once stole the basketball from Meadowlark Lemon in an exhibition basketball game. He umpired, coached Little League and American Legion and played league softball in Juneau. Later years, he golfed – tournaments in Arizona, daily with friends in Washington until he could no longer stand. He was heckled for his “Shummy”- slyly, nudging the golf ball with his foot. He reveled in his social times around the campfire and at the 19th hole. His children remember him fondly as a driven but caring father who encouraged them to pursue their goals. His wise advice, “Always look to the future, never look back with regret”.

[Due to Coronavirus restrictions no public service is scheduled at this time. A Memorial of Life will be held at a later date when interring his ashes in Twin Falls, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to his home church, Grace Fellowship 520 7th Street, Prosser, WA. 99350. The family would like to thank the staff at Amber Hills Living and Heartlink Hospice for their compassion and care.

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