MALTA-Florence Schumacher 87, retired schoolteacher, passed away Friday, April 27 with her family by her side.
The family will receive friends 6:00 P.M., Monday, April 30 at the Kirkwood Memorial Chapel. Funeral Mass will be 10:00 A.M., Tuesday, May 1, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Malta. Interment will be in the Malta Cemetery. Condolences may be left at www.kirkwoodfuneralhome.com.

Florence was born April 13, 1931, in Belt, MT, the daughter of John M. and Flora T. (Krier) Howanach. She attended schools in Belt, graduating from Belt Valley High School in 1949. Florence graduated from Montana State College with a teaching degree in 1953, where she remembered taking her first teaching position at Fairfield, MT for $3,600.00 per year. In 1954, Florence moved to Malta, MT. where she met her husband Lee Vaughn Schumacher of Malta and they were married June 30, 1956 in St. Marks Catholic Church in Belt, MT. Florence taught for 36 years retiring in 1993. She said if she had not taken time off to be with her children when they were born it would have been well over 40 years of teaching.

While teaching she was active as FHA Advisor/concessions -selling tens of thousands of hot dogs and soda-, drill team, tumbling team and the Junior Miss Program. Florence coached AAU Girls Basketball and Track. She coached the M-ettes to two AAU Girls Basketball titles in 1967 and 1968. Florence stated, “I was not qualified to be a coach. I was qualified to be a teacher, but in those days if they needed a coach for something and you could walk and talk, you got the job. And I could do both.” Many will remember her banquets, meals and selling you a ticket, popcorn and a coke while you were at a ball game. After retirement, Florence enjoyed the garden club, Retired Teachers of Northeast Montana, Alpha Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gama, Floriculture Supervisor at the Phillips County Fair, and once again back at the high school, selling tickets for many athletic events at Malta High School. She was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

In October of 2010 Florence moved to Glasgow (Prairie Ridge Retirement Village) to be closer to her grandchildren, although her heart would always be in Malta, the high school and with her friends. Florence did return to Malta (Hi-Line Retirement Center) in 2017 as her health declined and she needed more help. At HLRC she met up again, with former students and friends. Through Florence’s journey, she made lifelong friends who became her family, whether it was Mike or Suzanne’s friends, coworkers, club members or care givers. She will be remembered for being “tough but fair” and always giving you the “honest” answer.

Survivors include her son, Michael (Mary) Schumacher of Seattle; daughter, Suzanne (Scott) Billingsley of Glasgow; grandchildren, Miles Adams, Patrick Billingsley, Rachel & Jordan Billingsley; Sister, Sr. Johnelle Howanach and her daughter, Melissa “Lissie” Clark. She was preceded in death by her husband, Vaughn, on February 25, 1986; and her parents.



Guest Book


From: Gloria Kountz

My heart & prayers go out to all of you.
I was so blessed to have meet Florence while she was at Prairie Ridge.
She was so wonderful to visit with while I delivered her groceries of snack food & goodies for her grandchildren & Daughter Susan. She had so many stories to tell. She had a wonderful hug also.
Remember all those memories you all had with her. She will always be in your hearts.
Hugs to you all!


From: Shirley Oscarson Wood

For four years, Mrs. Schumacher directly impacted my life in high school. She was concerned about each student as an individual. She encouraged us to be our best selves. Graciousness was her approach toward us as we gained skills in sewing, cooking, budgeting and so much more. So many memories but one stands out. She guided us in making drapes to hang in the south windows in the home ec room as Sophomores. The project was daunting for us but with her encouragement we accomplished this “one stitch at a time”. She was beyond question the most influential teacher in my life.
Rest In Peace dear teacher and friend.
My thoughts are with Michael and Suzanne and families.
Shirley Oscarson Wood


From: Kitty Lou Rusher

My sympathy to Florence's family. I had many great conversations with her at Kappa chapter meetings before she became a part of Alpha Zeta and then later at Prairie Ridge. Suzanne, your mom was a dedicated professional. Blessings in the memories.


From: Gloria Kountz

My heart & prayers go out to all of you.
I was so blessed to have meet Florence while she was at Prairie Ridge.
She was so wonderful to visit with while I delivered her groceries of snack food & goodies for her grandchildren & Daughter Susan. She had so many stories to tell. She had a wonderful hug also.
Remember all those memories you all had with her. She will always be in your hearts.
Hugs to you all!


From: Shirley Oscarson Wood

For four years, Mrs. Schumacher directly impacted my life in high school. She was concerned about each student as an individual. She encouraged us to be our best selves. Graciousness was her approach toward us as we gained skills in sewing, cooking, budgeting and so much more. So many memories but one stands out. She guided us in making drapes to hang in the south windows in the home ec room as Sophomores. The project was daunting for us but with her encouragement we accomplished this “one stitch at a time”. She was beyond question the most influential teacher in my life.
Rest In Peace dear teacher and friend.
My thoughts are with Michael and Suzanne and families.
Shirley Oscarson Wood


From: Arlene Green Bigby

So sorry to hear about your loss. I loved Mrs. Schumacher as a teacher.




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