February 19, 2014


Ken Schumacher, 64, of Iowa City and Ames, died Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Iowa City from complications of influenza and pneumonia.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Kenneth Robert Schumacher was born May 1, 1949, the first of three sons to Wanda and John J. Schumacher. He grew up on a farm northeast of Coon Rapids and attended school at Coon Rapids Community School District where he graduated in 1967. He graduated from Iowa State University in Ames. Ken's love of musical theater was well-served as he filled technical and managerial positions in the three largest theaters in Iowa: C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in Ames, the Des Moines Civic Center in Des Moines, and Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City. He also was employed for a short time with the World Theatre (now Fitzgerald) in St. Paul, Minn.

During his employment with C.Y. Stephens Auditorium, Ken met Dana Starkey, a newly hired fine arts major who was hired to teach dance at ISU. Ken immediately focused an eye on this young beauty and eventually the two were married and became lifelong mates.

Ken was a loving father and husband. The family loved to travel, visit national parks, musuems, and especially Grand Marea, Minn. Ken's constant goal was to spend quality time with Dana and their two sons.

Two years ago, Ken was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. During his fight with cancer, Ken and his family were blessed to have had the time to choose a path that met his wishes, the good counsel of his doctors, the skilled and kind care of his nurses and the love of their friends and family. He approached the end of his life with the same courage and resolve he showed in his battle with cancer.

Ken is survived by his wife, Dana and their two sons, Kurt and Peter, all of Ames; his father, John J. Schumacher of Coon Rapids; two brothers, Steve, and his wife, LuAnn, of Tucson, Ariz.; and Jeff and his wife, Melinda of Blue Springs, Mo.; a niece, Jennifer, and her husband, Nic Rienstra of Tucson, Ariz. and a nephew, Brad Schumacher, of San Francisco, Calif. Ken also leaves his dear "Gang of Eight" friends, his Hancher family at the University of Iowa, a host of other dedicated and loving co-workers along with many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Wanda Schumacher.

Memorials can be directed toward Hancher Auditorium, Caringbridge and the Iowa State University Museums.