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Mary Hunter Schmuke, the second of eight children born to Joseph E. Schmuke and Mary Ann Hunter Schmuke, arrived at the family home on June 6, 1911. She died 99 years later, Jan. 13, 2011, at Fountainbleau Lodge in Cape Girardeau.
"Hunter" as she was affectionately known to her family and friends, was reared in Jackson with her six sisters. She was educated in the Jackson Catholic and public schools. At the urging of her father, Joe, Hunter attended and graduated from Webster College, in Webster Groves, Mo. She later obtained a degree in Library Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colo. and Southeast Missouri Teachers' College. She taught two generations of fourth graders at New Madrid and Jackson and retired from the Jackson R-2 School District as its junior high school librarian in 1976. In retirement Hunter learned to play golf, traveled extensively, played bridge every month with her friends and owned and managed the Rozier and Lohmann Shoe Store buildings on High Street in Jackson for nearly 40 years.
Hunter was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Kimbeland Country Club and the Ladies Sodality of the Immaculate Conception parish in Jackson. She was a lifelong member of the church.
While Hunter never married and had no children, she was well-loved and will be affectionately remembered by 20 nieces and nephews, their husbands and wives, numerous great-nieces and -nephews and a few remaining friends, all of whom would unanimously agree she was much more than their favorite aunt and good friend. Each can relate receiving a lifetime of help, encouragement, tutoring, a loaned car, remembered birthdays, graduations, special days and friendship from Hunter.
Hunter enjoyed more than eighty years of a healthy, happy and full life. In July, 2001, when the ravages of age then overtook her so she could no longer live independently, she moved to and lived under the excellent care of the staff of Fountainbleau Lodge for nearly ten years. Cathy Bishop and Teresa O'Loughlin took care of Hunter, as a child would a mother, during this time of Hunter's life. Her passing will be deeply felt by those she left behind. Her family and friends who came into contact with her are better for the privilege. Hunter is gone.
Hunter's parents, Joe and Mary Ann, "Mama and Daddy" to her, her sisters Catherine Statler, Laura Lewis, Martha Penzel, Agnes O'Loughlin, Elizabeth Seabaugh, her brother Joe Jr. who died in infancy and her sister's spouses, Hinkle Statler, Willie Lewis, Tom O'Loughlin, L.R. Seabaugh and Gene Hill, all predeceased her.
She is survived by her sister Jo Ann Hill and her nieces, nephews and spouses, Joe and Cherry Sue Birk, Bill and Roberta Birk, Nancy Stone, Martha and Don Thompson, Cathy and Bill Bishop, Jeannie Statler, Tom and Teresa O'Loughlin, Mike and Donna O'Loughlin, Tim and Mary O'Loughlin, Pat O'Loughlin, Mary O'Loughlin, Martha O'Loughlin, Dan and Judy O'Loughlin, Susan and Benny Heuiser, Steve Seabaugh, Sally and Craig Veach, Scot and Rene~ Seabaugh, Sarah and Paul Schermann, Mary and Wayne Casey and Melissa and John Newfang. These survivors are, each and every one, serving as actual and honorary pallbearers for Hunter.
Visitation will be at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson from 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday. Deacon Walt Biri will lead Parish Prayers at 6:30 pm, followed with The Rosary led by St. Ann's Sodality.
Funeral Mass for Hunter will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, at Immaculate Conception Church in Jackson, with the Rev. John Harth officiating.
Hunter's burial will follow at Russell Heights Cemetery next to Joe and Mary Ann.
Memorials in Hunter's memory may take the form of contributions to Immaculate Conception School.