Lauren Buys Shuman, age 73, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 30, 2019 at home in Ocala, Florida. She was surrounded by family and the love of friends near and far.
Laurie was born in Canton, New York on February 28, 1946 to Doris (Fonda) and John Buys. She grew up in Canton where she graduated from Hugh C. Williams High School, earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Syracuse University in 1968 and an M.S. in Elementary Education from SUNY Potsdam in 1976. Laurie continued her education, earning an M.S. in Special Education Administration from the College of Saint Rose in 1988 and certification as a school superintendent in 2002 through St. Lawrence University. She spent her entire career in education, teaching both elementary and special education students, and eventually serving for over ten years as Principal of West Side Elementary School in Gouverneur – where she was loved by students and teachers alike for her warm, fun, and welcoming personality. Following retirement from that position, she supervised student teachers for St. Lawrence University and served as an interim school administrator in Morristown CSD and Edwards-Knox CSD. When not in the schools, Laurie spent years teaching English to refugees from war-torn countries, including a Cambodian family that lived with her own family for a time.
Laurie was deeply spiritual. Together with her husband James Shuman, she was ordained as an Interfaith Minister through the New Seminary in New York City in 2000. She and Jim officiated many weddings (including several of their own children’s) and other ceremonies. Through a lifetime of spiritual growth, Laurie touched many lives not only in her native Canton but across the US in her church activities, fellowships, retreats, and ceremonies.
Laurie is survived by her beloved husband of 23 years, James Shuman, her children John Holena, Daniel Holena, and Elizabeth Holena (Richard Holena); her stepsons Ryan Shuman and Corey Shuman; and her beloved nieces and nephews Richard Buys, Robert Buys, Barbara Buys, Kathy Buys, Andrea (Stauble) Speare, Candi (Capozzi) Jones, Kathy Agee, Lindy Agee, Debbie (Agee) Hardin, and Tammy Agee-Acosta. Also graced with the memory of their grandmother are her many loving grandchildren: Agnes, Jasper, Elliot, and Eloise (John); Henry and William (Daniel); Eva and Wolfgang (Elizabeth); Sylvie and Shea (Ryan). Preceding Laurie in passing were her beloved parents, as well as her brother Norman Buys and sisters Janice (Buys) Capozzi, and Marilyn (Buys) Agee.
Those who were blessed with knowing Laurie will remember her beautiful smile, her sparkling blue eyes, and her fun and colorful hair. They will recall the patience and love she poured into making beautiful quilts and knitting projects for family and friends. They will remember her deep connection to family, especially her grandchildren and of course, her cats. And all will carry within them her kind and gentle spirit.
Plans are being made for a celebration of Laurie’s life for spring/summer of 2020 in Canton, NY. Please visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/laurieshuman for updates. Memorial contributions in Laurie’s name can made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley (www.hospiceslv.org) or to the One Spirit Learning Alliance in New York City (www.1spirit.org).