Nature 21

Dean R. Shumway

January 24, 1934 ~ July 30, 2021 (age 87)

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     Dean Ronald Shumway, 87, of the Town of Liberty Grove (Sister Bay), passed on to eternity early Friday morning, July 30, 2021, while at Green Bay Health Services. At the time of his passing, he had been married to his beautiful wife, Bernie, for 56 years.

     Dean was born in Pleasant Prairie on January 24, 1934 the son of Raymond Allen Shumway and Helen Ruby (Stonebraker) Shumway. He graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in January of 1952, the last winter graduating class. After a year in the factories of Kenosha, Dean decided to attend the University of Wisconsin, matriculating in September of 1953. His higher education was interrupted by the economics of the time and he volunteered for military service through the draft in November of 1954. Dean served with the United States Army at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, then Ft. Sill, OK and finally Fort Bliss, TX. He married Ruth Evelyn Martinson, of Kenosha, in November of 1954. She joined him at Lawton, OK and remained with him through the end of his military career. Dean’s military service involved surveying emplacement and target positions for the first American guided missile, the Corporal surface to surface missile, based on the German V-2 rocket of World War II developed by Werner Von Braun. Both Von Braun and the missile had been captured at the end of the war.

     Honorably discharged in November of 1956 and after a brief return to factory life, Dean re-entered the University of Wisconsin in January of 1957. He hereafter earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with majors in Correctional Administration and English in August of 1958 and a Master’s Degree in Social Work required at the time for an internship with the then Wisconsin Division of Corrections, now Department of Corrections, in June of 1960. In that capacity Dean served for two years, one year each, as a Probation and Parole Officer in Madison and as a Social Worker at the Wisconsin State Prison in Waupun.

     At the end of the internship Dean was appointed to the Division of Corrections Central Office in the position of Coordinator of Foster Homes for Delinquent Children and where he served until November of 1962. He was then recruited to an appointment as Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon graduation from the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, March of 1963, Dean served in the Memphis, TN, Milwaukee, WI and St. Louis, MO, Divisions of the FBI.  Ruth sadly passed away unexpectedly in a car accident in August of 1963. J. Edgar Hoover personally changed Dean’s initial Memphis Office assignment to the Milwaukee Office after Ruth died so as to allow for service in the Kenosha Resident Agency and so their children could be near supportive family.

     Dean met Bernice “Bernie” Ann Steinacker, who was an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Milwaukee at the time (and sometimes Dean’s stenographer), and they were married November 18, 1964 at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Milwaukee. Bernie left her employment to become the full-time mother of Karen, David and Daniel, who had been born to Dean and Ruth.

     Circumstances later required Dean’s presence in the St. Louis, MO office of the FBI, 1967 – 1971, but after Hoover’s death in the early 1970s the Bureau returned him to the Milwaukee Office.

     In these capacities as Special Agent, he worked many interesting, notable cases among which were African American voter registration drives throughout Mississippi during the “Mississippi Burning” years, the poisoned Tylenol murders and lead coordination of the James Earl Ray St. Louis investigation of the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. St. Louis was James Earl Ray’s hometown, rather than Memphis.

     After retirement as Special Agent of the FBI in July of 1987 Dean worked in his own business as a private investigator but was soon re-employed under contract with the FBI, as a Special Investigator. In this capacity, through the conduct of security background investigations, he worked to strengthen the security establishments at atomic facilities located at Los Alamos, New Mexico near Santa Fe and “Pantech”, Texas, near Amarillo.

     Dean remained a Special Investigator until declining health caused him to give up his much-loved investigative career and credentials at age 82.

     He was originally raised Baptist, but upon marrying Bernie he attended Catholic church, and once they moved to Door County they attended St. Rosalia Parish in Sister Bay (now Stella Maris Parish-Sister Bay site). Dean will be remembered for his deep love and good stewardship of nature in all aspects, the land and the habitat, especially in Door County, Wisconsin. He and Bernie have committed their land on Old Stage Road in Sister Bay to the Door County Land Trust for the purpose of conserving that which they loved so much together. Dean volunteered with the Wednesday work crew at the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. He also served on the board for the Door County Environmental Council.

     Dean loved his family. His marriage to Bernie was blessed with five wonderful children: John of Denver, NC, Stephen (Kim) of Ellison Bay, WI, Rebecca of Sturgeon Bay, WI, Andrew (Stephanie) of Kewaunee, WI, and Matthew of Chicago, IL. Dean is survived by these five children as well as Karen of Dallas, TX and David (Mary) of Charlotte, NC. His son, Daniel, passed on to eternity in April of 2009. He is also survived by his brother Lynn of Lebanon, PA.

     Dean was also a very proud, bragging grandfather of Jacqueline (Adam) Marciulionius, Michael, and Luke Shumway [children of Daniel]; Claudia Shumway-Torres [daughter of Karen]; Ruth Shumway [daughter of David]; Kaytlin and Kierra Shumway, [daughters of John]; Josephine [daughter of Rebecca Kerwin]. Jacqueline and her blessed husband, Adam, further bestowed (Dean) with great-grandboys, Jackson and Logan, both of whom brought much sunshine to his life.

     He was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Shumway; mother, Helen (Jules) Homes; son, Daniel Shumway (2009); as well as six siblings.

      A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 6, 2021 at Stella Maris Parish-Sister Bay site with Fr. Thomas Farrell as celebrant. Dean will be laid to rest in the church cemetery, St. Rosalia Cemetery, with military honors by the United States Army the Billy Weiss American Legion Post 527.

     There will be no scheduled visitation at the church on Friday prior to the Mass, but those in attendance are welcome to greet the Shumway family, upon arriving to church.

     Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sister Bay, Wisconsin is assisting the Shumway family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Dean may be shared with his family through his tribute page at




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Mass of Christian Burial
August 6, 2021

11:00 AM
Stella Maris Parish-Sister Bay site
2410 S. Bay Shore Drive
Sister Bay, WI 54234

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