Our sweet mother, Teresa Schumacher, passed through the veil into the arms of our heavenly Father on May 20, 2018. You can be sure of a joyous reunion with loved ones who awaited her.
Teresa was born May 19, 1925, in Napoli, Italy, to Vincenco Prota and Mary Davi. She married an American GI, Eugene John Schumacher, Aug. 12, 1945, in Naples in the Cathedral of San Genaro. In 1945, she immigrated to the United States and settled in Laramie, Wyoming. They had five children: Toni Lund, Patricia Sakaguchi, Joseph (Cyndi) Schumacher, Eugene (Nancy) Schumacher and Michael Schumacher. Eugene and Teresa were married 27 years before his death in 1971. Born Catholic, Teresa joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1973 in Laramie. She was sealed to Eugene Aug. 12, 2015, in the St. George temple.
In 1972, she met the second love of her life in Hawaii and they were together 34 years. He died in 2007. She moved to St. George, Utah, in June 1973 with her three sons where they have made their home ever since.
Teresa has devoted her life to serving others with love and devotion. She was the first of seven children so she learned to work at a very young age. After completing the required five years of elementary school, her father found her an apprenticeship with a dressmaker. At age 15 she was bringing home more money than her father.
She was always in tune with the spirit. When the first bombs dropped on Naples they hit the building where she was working. Just moments before, she felt impressed to take her young coworker and go to the bathroom in the basement. A bomb fell trapping them in the bathroom, but killing everyone else in the building. It took three days to dig them out. Another time the Germans were flying overhead and shooting into the piazza. Everyone ran toward the shelters and fell as they were shot, others fell on top of them. She and her year old sister were buried below dead bodies. Miraculously they both survived.
They managed to survive during the war thanks to the American GIs. Her mother could speak English so they were able to do laundry for them. This is where she met Eugene Schumacher. He was not her choice, but her mother’s. Her mother was raised in America but her father took them back to Sicily when she was 15. She always wanted to return and this marriage to Eugene was her way of doing it.
Coming to America had its challenges. There was the language barrier. Communicating with her husband and others. Eugene wisely got her into sales. She went from selling hosiery, to mops and brooms, custom-fitted bras and girdles, costume jewelry and much more. She could sell ice to the Eskimos! She became the first female agent for United of Omaha, passing the exam on the first try, and in the first year she was No. 1 in sales.
She also had health challenges that led her to search for answers for herself. When Eugene succumbed to colon cancer in 1971 her mission became clear.
The nutritional company she was working for sent her to Italy to work. There she also studied iridology and upon returning to St. George, joined Nature’s Sunshine Products as a distributor. She continued studying iridology under Dr. Bernard Jensen through Nature’s Sunshine. She was well known to many in St. George and worked with many people with their nutritional needs. One particular lady came to her from eastern Utah for help. Through inspiration she chose herbs that would help her. It was from that formulation that others found success and a small nutritional company from Nampa, Idaho, noticed her. Together Ron Wright and Dennis Itami, from the AIM companies, helped to make her dream of an herbal product that was reasonably priced you could scoop out became a reality.
Her journey has blessed the lives of many people in the United States and many parts of the world. Even days before her passing she was giving health advice to her many callers. She had a mission to fulfill and we believe she was spared during WWII to complete that mission. She has done it well and we affectionately call her our “Mother Teresa.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands Eugene Schumacher and Harry Greenfield; siblings Josie, Joseph, Maria Willhard and Salvatore. She is survived by her children, her siblings Carolina, Gupta and Antoniette Vulpis, 16 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.
- Funeral services will be held Friday, May 25, at 11 a.m., at the St. James LDS Ward Chapel, 1095 East St. James Lane, St. George, Utah.
- Visitations will be held Thursday, May 24, from 6-8 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 West St. George Blvd., and Friday, prior to service, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., at the church.
- Interment will be in Tonaquint Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.
For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Metcalf Mortuary online.