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A graduate of Ava High School Lulu Shrum was born on Feb. 12, 1912, in Douglas County, Mo., to James L. and Amanda Morris Brown. She died on June 8, 2006, at Truman Lake Manor in Lowry City, where she had lived for the last eight years. Services and interment were June 14 in Lowry City.
She is survived by two daughters, Nancy Carrell (Gene) of Bolivar, and Sue Storm of Overland Park, Kan.; three granddaughters, Jana Duke (Brad) of Springfield, Lisa Carrell of Burbank, Calif., and Carmen Gray (Brian) of Charlotte, N.C. She leaves two great-grandchildren, Nathan and Samantha Duke of Springfield and a number of nieces and nephews, many of whom live in the Douglas County area.
Lu was preceded in death by her dear husband, Bruce Shrum, who died in 1997. She was the tenth of 12 children, all of whom predeceased her. Her siblings were Sherman William Brown, Rosa Davis, Bertha Davis, John Jesse Brown, Bessie Snook, Everett Brown, Vernia Allen Brown, Louis Brown, James Orville Brown, Charles Brown and Leroy Brown.
After graduation from Ava High School, Lu attended college in Tallequah, Okla., just long enough to get her teaching certificate and then returned to Douglas County to teach in country schools. It was at Whites Creek School that she met Bruce Shrum and they married on Feb. 9, 1935. Lu continued her college education at Southwest Baptist College and Southern Missouri University. After Bruce entered the ministry, she taught in many school districts from Missouri to Idaho. She retired from teaching in 1980 when she taught her last fourth grade class at Lakeland School in Lowry City. Whether it was public school or Sunday school, children were Lu’s focus, and she considered all her service to children as ministry.
Lu had various types of employment over the years. Early in World War II, she was a riveter at Douglas Aircraft in Tulsa. She also worked as a cook on a sheep and cattle ranch in Oregon and as a seamstress at a posh department store in Fort Worth while Bruce attended Southwestern Seminary.
For many years, raising the couple’s two daughters was Lulu’s main priority. Besides mother, “pastor’s wife” was her chief title. She and Bruce pastored churches in Vista, Osceola, Asbury, Joplin, Sarcoxie, Round Prairie and Gerster in Missouri, as well as congregations in Texas, Idaho, Wyoming, and Washington.
In their later years, Lu and Bruce lived in retirement in Lowry City, where they enjoyed gardening, crafts, training horses and serving their community. It was at this time, that Lulu became thoroughly involved in what had always been a passing interest—painting. She enjoyed painting nature scenes, old buildings, flowers, and animals. She competed and placed in a number of art shows in the area. Bruce enjoyed framing the pictures and carting her here and there to art exhibitions.
In the early 90′s, Lu’s primary job became caring for Bruce and helping him remember his favorite scriptures as long as he possibly could.
After Bruce’s death, Lu lived independently for a short period, but with her own failing health she entered Truman Lake Manor in 1998. There she built many friendships among residents and staff alike and continued to live a productive life—still teaching Bible study, still painting, and still helping those around her. Over the last few years, Lulu suffered some heart problems, coped with increasing pain from osteoarthritis, and more recently suffered from stroke. She slipped away on June 8 and is now resting in the Lord.