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The Reverend Doctor Frederick J. Schumacher, born on March 8, 1939, in Brooklyn, NY, passed away on May 14, 2023, at 84 years old. Growing up in Bellerose, Queens, he was active in the Scouts, earning his Eagle badge with one palm, and in youth groups at Holy
Trinity Lutheran Church. After high school, the reverend pursued a Radio and TV Repair career. Still, he felt a calling towards the Lutheran Ministry, which led him to the University of Oklahoma. He was part of the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps,
Delta Chi, and Gamma Theta Upsilon. It was also where he met his wife, Joyce Elaine Morris, whom he married on June 9, 1961.
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, Frederick J. Schumacher pursued a theological path, obtaining a master's degree from Central Lutheran Theological Seminary and a second master's of Theology from the New York Theological Seminary. He furthered his education by attaining a Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. Also, he did graduate studies at the University of Nebraska, Union
Theological Seminary, and Teacher's College: Columbia University.
Ordained into the Lutheran Ministry on June 3, 1964, at First Lutheran Church, Jamestown, NY, he was soon called to St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in White Plains, NY, where he initially served as Assistant Pastor and Director of Religious Education, Youth Ministry, and Evangelism. In 1966, he became the pastor of the congregation, a role he fulfilled for 40 years before retiring in 2004 and moving to Manchester Township, New Jersey.
Frederick J. Schumacher was incredibly active in his community, dedicating himself to numerous causes. His tireless outreach efforts were recognized in 2004 when he was granted the key to the city of White Plains, honoring his over four decades of service. His contributions ranged from serving as Chaplain of the White Plains Police and Fire Departments for 39 years to being on the boards of the White Plains YMCA, the White Plains Ecumenical Food Pantry, and the White Plains Interfaith Housing Alliance Corporation. He notably led the Franklin Windsor Housing Development project during his tenure there. Among his many roles, Reverend Schumacher served as the White Plains Lions Club president and on the White Plains Rural Cemetery board. He
received accolades such as the "Citizen Extraordinaire" from the White Plains Historical Society in 1995 and the White Plains Salvation Army Community Service Award in 1999.
In addition to his community work, he was involved with several ethical committees, including the St. Agnes Ethics Committee and the Naylor Dana Institute for Disease Prevention's Animal Care and Use Committee. In 1997 he co-founded the Society of the Holy Trinity, an international order of Evangelical Catholic Lutheran Pastors.
Pastor Schumacher was deeply committed to outdoor and youth ministry programs. He was involved with Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership School, the Lutheran Summer Gathering at Silver Bay, and Camp Trexler, where he transitioned from camper to board member. He also served on the Lutheran Camp for Girls, Camp Ma-He-Tu board, where he has bestowed the honor of being an "Honorary Life Board Member."
Reverend Schumacher had a particular focus on ministry for aging adults. His doctoral dissertation from Princeton, titled "Toward a Theological Basis for the Churches Ministry To, With and by Older Adults," underscored this dedication. However, in his later years, after a light-hearted reflection on his work on aging, he humorously observed that he knew nothing about growing old.
Reverend Schumacher significantly contributed to the Lutheran community as the Executive Director of the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau (ALPB) for 23 years. The ALPB, an independent, inter-Lutheran organization, publishes the Lutheran Forum, the "Forum Letter," and numerous books. In 1991, he co-edited a breviary with Dorothy Zelenko titled "For All the Saints: A Prayer Book for and by the Church," which was approved for publication by the ALPB and had multiple printings. His exceptional service to the ALPB was recognized at its 100th Anniversary celebration in 2014, where they announced that "For All the Saints" sales had surpassed one and a half million dollars.
In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Reverend Schumacher was a man of diverse interests. He enjoyed traveling and, together with his life-long partner, Joyce, led numerous tours for congregation members and friends. These excursions took them to many significant locations, including the Holy Lands, the Luther Lands in Germany, Scandinavia, the USSR, and the United Kingdom.
Reverend Schumacher's artistic talents extended to various mediums, including drawing, painting, hook rugging, and writing icons. This last interest led him to write numerous articles on the subject. In addition, he designed a variety of medals and pins to commemorate important events such as the Reformation and significant moments in the church's life. One of his designed medals, marking Pope Francis' historic visit to Lund, Sweden, was presented to the Pope himself.
An avid numismatist, Reverend Schumacher was particularly interested in collecting medals related to Martin Luther and the Reformation. He and Joyce generously donated this extensive collection to Princeton University in 2021. At the time of his passing, he had just completed a two-volume work cataloging this collection, a contribution currently awaiting publication.
One of Reverend Schumacher's most enduring artistic contributions can be seen in the stained-glass windows that grace the front of St. Matthews Lutheran Church in White Plains, where he served as the pastor throughout his career. His artistic legacy, like his ministerial one, has left a lasting imprint on his community.
Reverend Schumacher was a man who cherished family and leisure time amidst his busy career and active volunteer commitments. He enjoyed various hobbies, including fishing, boating, photography, and dancing. The reverend loved sharing his train set passion with his grandchildren. He also dabbled in sports like tennis, racquetball, and golf.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce, and two children: Joy Elaine from Sweden and John Frederick from White Plains. He was also a proud grandfather to John Taylor, Emma Tomiko, and Liam Morris. His son, Frederik Eugene, sadly predeceased him in 2018. Reverend Schumacher's dedication to his family, church, and community will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau (ALPB), The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, or The Society of the Holy Trinity.
Funeral to be livestreamed via Zoom, please see information below to log on.
Meeting ID: 593 367 7702
Via Zoom Phone Conference:
Phone: 1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 593 367 7702#