Surrounded by her daughters Tonie and Connie, granddaughters Jessica, Amy and Emily and great-granddaughter Kammi, on July 17, 2021 in Sandy, Utah, Clara Mildred Cowart Shuman Bennett passed through the veil and into the arms of her Savior Jesus Christ and loving family and friends who were waiting to greet her. She was born June 6, 1926 in Twin City, Georgia to Cleon Cowart and Ottis Treaby Turner, the 3rd of five children. She graduated from Metter High School in Metter, Georgia. She loved attending her class reunions and never missed, even after she moved to Utah. With two of her children raised, she pursued a certificate becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, working the graveyard shift in Savannah, Georgia and later in Provo, Utah.
She married our father, James Grant Shuman (Sr) February 17, 1945 in Ridgeland, South Carolina. They were married for 28 years until his death on November 20, 1973 due to a truck accident while working. Together they worked hard to save for a home, which she was so excited to design. They built their dream home in Grahamville, outside of Ridgeland, South Carolina, where they raised their six children. Our Dad was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and after being taught by the missionaries, she joined the church in 1958. Mama was a faithful member her whole life and even though our Dad did not go to church with her, she took all six kids to church every Sunday by herself. Through her example, she taught all of her children the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mama loved music, especially Big Band music, Glen Miller being one her favorites. We have many memories of singing together as a family and of her singing in the choir at church. One of her greatest joys was gardening. She had the greenest thumb and could grow anything, whether it was inside or outside. Mama would take cuttings and put “Root-on” on them and would grow beautiful plants. She had a gorgeous rose garden when we were growing up and also in her yard in Utah. Mama especially loved her roses, azaleas, dogwood trees, and hydrangeas. Summers were filled with canning wooden bushel baskets filled with fruits and vegetables. Our family enjoyed the food from those harvests year-round and Mama made sure all of the kids learned that great skill. Daddy and the kids loved Mama’s cooking because she was such an amazing cook; her specialty being fried chicken. She was an accomplished seamstress and spent many hours sewing beautiful dresses for her daughters and granddaughters. She was so skilled at sewing; she never really needed a pattern as she would make her own. Reading was one of her hobbies and every morning would spend hours reading the newspaper. Mama loved to travel and was so excited when she was able to go to Europe. She taught her children the value of work and was the official driver for our first newspaper route until we were able to drive ourselves as we delivered the Savannah Morning News and the Atlanta Constitution newspapers. Because of her living through the depression, she taught us the importance of living frugally.
She is survived by her children James Grant Shuman Jr (Donna), Yvonne Brimhall (Don), Michael Shuman (Brenda), Gwen Garner, Tonie Hale (Jeff), and Connie Kimball (Al). In addition to her children, she enjoyed the love and affection of 32 grandchildren, 92 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Shirley Domzalski (Augusta, Georgia) and brother Robert Welton Cowart (Twin City, Georgia), as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Frances Croft, her brother Calvin Cowart, grandsons Jed Hale and Ryan Bilanzich and her second husband, Robert Alma Bennett, whom she married in 1990 in Provo, Utah.
Mama will be buried next to Daddy in the Ridgeland Cemetery in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, September 24, 2021, at 11:00 AM in Ridgeland Cemetery, Ingram Street Ridgeland, SC 29936. The family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 AM until the hour of the service at the graveside.
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