Naoma Fuller Shumway passed away peacefully and quietly in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 21, 2023, in her home. She was ninety-two years old. Naoma was born on May 20, 1931, in Thatcher, Arizona to Reuben Walter Fuller, Jr. and Ama Taylor Fuller. She was the youngest of ten children and was the last surviving member of her family. Naoma had four brothers and five sisters: Harold, Walter, Delbert, Carvel, Alona, Priscilla and Druscilla (twins), Viola, and Caroline. Three of her sisters died in infancy: the twins and Caroline. At the time of Naoma’s birth her mother was forty years old and her “Daddy” was forty-one.
A name hadn’t been chosen when her record of birth was sent to Phoenix, Arizona, thus her birth certificate read “Baby Girl Fuller.” Her mother desired that her name be Grace. However, her Grandfather Fuller would be the one to give her a name and a blessing. He stated, “I’m going to bless her and give her her name.” She was given the name Naoma Fuller for Naomi in the Bible. Of her name, Naoma wrote, “Later in my life I had it revealed in a dream why he named me for Naomi. He wanted me to be strong in my convictions with an unwavering testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church which He established on the earth.”
Naoma spent her early childhood in Thatcher. Following her freshman year of high school, she moved with her parents to Tempe, Arizona. Being the youngest, Naoma was very spoiled, and she would always be the first one to tell you so.
Naoma attended Tempe High School. She excelled in sports. Naoma was the President of the Girl’s Athletic Association, a member of National Honor Society, and the Drama Club. She was the head of the Pep Squad at Tempe High. She lettered in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She was a delegate to the first Girls’ State of Arizona.
Following graduation from high school, Naoma enrolled in summer school at Arizona State College as a physical education major. While in college, she continued her passion for sports participating in badminton, volleyball, basketball, and softball. She also participated in dance concerts having taken tap dancing and modern dancing.
Naoma’s love of sports continued throughout her life. She supported her children in all their activities and enjoyed following college and professional sports. Naoma was an excellent cook and enjoyed preparing meals for her family and for others. She was an accomplished homemaker. Naoma was skilled in sewing, cooking, cleaning, organizing, decorating and anything to do with creating a beautiful home. One of her favorite hymns was “Love at Home” and Naoma was dedicated to creating a loving home. She always made those who entered her home feel welcome and loved. Naoma was devoted to her husband and their family.
During Naoma’s senior year of high school she met a handsome young man at church, Dale Rex Shumway. He was attending Arizona State College. They dated that year. When Dale left to serve in the Western Canadian Mission, Naoma wrote and waited for him the two years he was away. She knew He was the one for her. Just two days after returning home from his mission, Dale asked Naoma to marry him. On April 10, 1952, just five weeks after Dale’s return, they were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple. Dale and Naoma were blessed with five children Debra Ann (Fred) Woods, Dale Rex (Diane) Shumway, II, Carolyn Ama (Barry) Dickerson, Catherine (Don) Ralph, Matthew Fuller (Julie) Shumway. She is survived by her husband of 71 years, their five children, 22 grandchildren, 61 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren who adore their grandmother. All have been blessed, encouraged, and influenced by her love and support. Each one of them will tell you that they are her favorite.
Naoma was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ and was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all her life. She served with the young women and as a counselor in the Relief Society. Dale and Naoma served together as Mission President of the New York Rochester Mission 1984-1987. She loved and assisted the missionaries. She hosted many dinners for missionaries and General Authorities including President Ezra Taft Benson and President Gordon B. Hinkley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Naoma served as a temple ordinance worker in the Mesa Arizona Temple. Later she was called with her husband to serve as Directors of Mesa Arizona Temple Visitor’s Center.
Naoma radiated the love of God in every interaction. She had a deep and abiding testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and of His Gospel. We will miss her deeply, but by her example and through her large posterity, she will be remembered always.
The family expresses special thanks to Amelia and Pepe Uhatafe, Olita Talanoa, and Hospice of the Valley for their loving and compassionate care of Naoma the past year.
Arrangements are being handled by Bunker Family Funerals. A viewing will be held at the Bunker Family Garden Chapel, 33 N Centennial Way, Mesa on Sunday, November 12, 2023, from 6:00-8:00 pm. Funeral services will be held in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the Tempe Stake Center, located at 2707 S. College Ave., Tempe, Arizona on Monday, November 13, 2023, at 10:00 am with visitation beforehand at 9:00 am in the Relief Society Room. The funeral service will be streamed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwCyZI4AR_FnaOIEALj9Gvw. The dedication and interment will be at the City of Mesa Cemetery, 1212 N. Center St., Mesa, Arizona immediately following the services.