Iona Lee Tester Shumate, age 83 of Bryceville, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2023, at Community Hospice, Jane and Bill Warner Center for Caring in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Iona was born November 27, 1939, in Hemphill, West Virginia to Fred and Rhoda Tester. She was married on May 7, 1960, to her husband of 59 years, Robert Shumate, and the Navy brought them to Jacksonville. In 1975 they moved their family to Bryceville. Iona loved her family, music, and talking about the places she and Robert visited. She was a caregiver and spent time in Ocala caring for her father. She loved her time volunteering at Bryceville Elementary School and working in the nursery at Lighthouse Baptist Church. She also cared for her children in her home and later her grandchildren. She loved going to her grandson’s baseball and football games and her granddaughter’s dance and band recitals. She will be remembered by most as “MiMi” or “MiMi Shu”, as once you met her and got to know her, this was just what you called her, she felt like home. Iona is survived by her daughter Terri (Jimmy) Boyd, son Robby (Kim) Shumate and daughter DeDe (Doug) Hilaman; grandchildren Michelle (Dan) Stewart, Stephanie (Jeff) Waddell, Matt (Gayle) Boyd, Brad (Jennifer) Boyd, Mark Shumate, Thomas Shumate, Kevin Hilaman, and Max Hilaman; great grandchildren Cole and Ethan Waddell, Lincoln, Owen, and Emmeline Stewart, Ezra, Thea, and Hosanna Boyd, and Kailey Dimonda; sisters Alice (Bill) Canaday and Charlotte Garvin and brother David (Rose) Tester; and dear friends Janie Colley and Linda Golden. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and daughter Valerie Shumate. If Iona could say one more thing, it would be “don’t miss Jesus, accept Him today, right now, He will stand by you and get you through the most difficult things this life can throw at you. Step back and let God be God in your life. Be thankful for your family and love them unconditionally.” Condolences can be sent thru donations to the United World Mission LLC supporting Matthew and Gayle Boyd #31415, to The St. Jude Children’s Hospital, both of which were dear to Iona’s heart or to Community Hospice at Baptist Nassau, the Jane and Bill Warner Center for Caring, who not only brought comfort to Iona in her last days but to her family as well. A very special “thank you” to nurses Cole and Stephanie who went above and beyond, and to Dr. Fletcher.
“We find peace that Mama is safe in the arms of Jesus with her baby girl Val and Daddy. Until we are together again.” -The Shumate Family.
A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Warren Funeral Services of Baldwin is honored to serve the Shumate Family. Online condolences can be left at www.warrenfuneralservices.com
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