Father David Paul Shewmaker left this world on February 9, 2023 at the age of 78 after battling congestive heart failure for two years. He was in his home surrounded by the redwood forest and practicing centering prayer when he passed. A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 11 a.m. All are welcome.

David was born to Marion and Carolyn Shewmaker (Sigrist) on January 18, 1945 in St. Joseph, Missouri. David was the youngest of three children. He grew up on a horse ranch in Missouri with his sister, Joyce, and his brother, Nelson. David and his dad broke wild horses to sell and David also worked at his father’s plumbing business. When he was a teenager he rode bulls in local rodeos until he injured his leg and had to spend a summer in bed. Some of his favorite memories were riding bareback across the fields of Missouri and camping under the stars.

He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1969 with a Bachelor’s of Art in English and a Masters of Arts in Education in 1971. David taught special education after graduating with his master’s degree. He later moved to California where he began his work in healthcare. David was a respiratory therapist for 35 years serving many people on the North Coast. Many of those years were spent at North Coast Home Care Specialties where he and his business partners provided home medical equipment and care to the Humboldt and Del Norte communities. In 1986 the business was purchased by, what is known today as Apria Healthcare, and David remained the manager until he retired in 2005.

David became an active member of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Fortuna in 1994 and started participating as a lay preacher. He then decided to attend seminary. David received a Certificate of Anglican Studies from The Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 2007 and became the priest in charge of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Crescent City in 2008. David and his family would travel from Eureka to Crescent City every weekend to join in worship with the congregation. While serving as the priest in charge of St. Paul’s David also worked as Chaplain for Hospice of Humboldt for 6 years. David retired again in 2018, and began serving as an associate priest for Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka.

David was involved in the community and participated as a Boy Scout leader for his son’s scout troop, was on the board of trustees for the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Californian, the board of directors of the American Cancer Society, and participated in the forming of True North Organizing network.

David was a loving husband and father. He fathered two children, James Shewmaker in 1976 and Megan Wurtz (Shewmaker) in 1988. He met his wife, Alicia Shewmaker (Cox) in 1984 and they married two years later. They recently celebrated their 36th anniversary by traveling to Gold Beach, Oregon.

David was preceded in life by Carolyn Shewmaker (mother), Marion Shewmaker (father), and Nelson Shewmaker (brother). David is survived by Alicia Shewmaker (wife), Joyce Shewmaker (beloved sister), James Shewmaker (son), Megan Wurtz (daughter), and Josh Wurtz (son in law) as well as his church family, many extended family, and long-time friends.

David was a spiritual man that touched many people’s lives and he will be missed immensely. Preaching, teaching others about the power of Centering Prayer, and serving the people, church, and God was his true passion.

Rainbows Never End: For I should like to be a rainbow when my days on earth are done I’d return a million times to show you that I’m fine. The darkness when it covers and all seems lost and bleak I’ll reach down from heaven and show my finest peak. That looks to be a teardrop that’s hanging off your cheek, but when you see that rainbow you know our hearts will meet. What beauty lies above us of this we’ll surely speak I’ll be with you in spirit in that rainbow’s brilliant streak. So long as there are rainbows you and I will never part. We’ll always be together forever in our hearts. But don’t expect a rainbow to be in every place. Somedays I will surprise you and bring a smile upon your face. — Kathy Mucha

A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka on February 25, 2023 at 11 a.m. All are welcome. Any donations in memory of Father David can be made to Camp Living Waters…. c/o Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church, 1675 Chester Ave., Arcata CA 95521 or by donating online at http://camplivingwatershumboldt.org/


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of David Shewmaker’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.