Cemetery supporter deserves thanks

Published 1:31 am Thursday, April 3, 2008

Last week Bob Shumway passed away and was buried at the Natchez City Cemetery. Bob was a true “Unsung Hero” of the Natchez area and should be recognized for his Herculean efforts for our community.

Bob and his wife, Sarah, lost a young son to a terrible disease in late October, 1962. Bob was possessed to make burial arrangements, even though it was late at night. He called Mr. Sidney Mayo, long time superintendent of the cemetery, and Mr. Mayo agreed to meet Bob at the cemetery at midnight to select a burial space.

Bob was amazed that Mr. Mayo knew exactly where to go to point out their family lot, and which space to mark.

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Bob decided then and there that he wanted to do something to help the Natchez Cemetery.

He began a lifetime of researching the cemetery’s handwritten burial records, cataloging them, and preserving them in computer programs that he designed.

As a result of Bob’s years of work, the Natchez City Cemetery now has their burial records in amazing computer files.

Hard copies are donated to the genealogical sections of local libraries.

Bob continued his work, even during a long illness, so that we would always have an organized, perpetual record of all burials for the Natchez City Cemetery from 1819 to today.

How can we ever repay Bob for his unselfish accomplishment?

We can start by recording his burial in our computer and pausing for a heartfelt, “Thank you Bob!”

Don Estes

Natchez resident