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Martha Jo Schuppe

May 14, 2021

MMartha Jo Schuppe, of Shepherdstown, WV, departed this world for the arms of her precious Lord and Savior on Sunday morning, May 2, 2021. She died in her home surrounded by all of us, her five living children, her fourteen living grandchildren, her three great grandchildren, a few close friends, and, of course, the love of her life and husband of 51 years, James Samuel Schuppe. Our mother left us, after a short, beautiful, and sacred vigil, to join her youngest child, Jonathan Miles Schuppe, and her oldest grandchild, Charlotte Morgan Schuppe, at the feet of Christ in the eternal kingdom of heaven.

Born Martha Jo Hearn on January 29, 1944, in Bremen, Georgia, to Joseph Howell and Velma Francis Hearn, she grew up in the Methodist Church, the middle child of five children, as the daughter of a Methodist minister. From her earliest beginnings, it was her unwavering faith in Christ that guided every step of her life, moving often between the Georgia churches with the Hearns, through Asbury College in Kentucky, where she majored in French and Biology, across the country for Campus Crusade for Christ, where she served amongst the communes and vagrants, and eventually, as the loveliest of tunes go, to the front door of Barcroft Bible Church, in Maryland, where she was introduced to a young man who very quickly, and in his own words, found himself “addicted to her.”

None of us are entirely sure what she must have seen in Jim Schuppe, our father. He encouraged her to convert a long, formal dress–cut it off–into a short dress for what turned out to be, much to her surprise, a formal banquet at Washington Bible College. He terrified her with a plane ride to church one morning in a sputtering, half-painted engine with wings. He even lost his nerve with an engagement ring until she coaxed it out of him: the possibility of the Lord leading them into marriage. But the Lord most certainly did lead them, and 51 years later, after six children and a house full of grandchildren and a revolving door for, frankly, any vagabond who needed a loving home, our father woke us up, one by one, to tell us that our mother, our grandmother, our great-grandmother, the absolute joy and love of his life, had finally taken her chariot away. And oh how we are weeping, in both sorrow and joy.

The children she left behind: Joseph Fredrick, Jennifer Lynn, Sara Elizabeth, Melinda Joy, Rebekah Anne, and their children behind them, and the countless lives that she touched throughout her life with her faith and love, will never be able to fill the space that she leaves in her absence. But it is with great joy that we celebrate the privilege of being given, for our brief time, such a friend and mother as ours. And we will all of us look forward to the day when our family, both immediate and extended, both living and dead, will be reunited once again in the eternal kingdom of heaven, in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The family is celebrating and remembering Martha’s life this week at her home. For the rest of us, a visitation was held between 5 and 8 PM, Friday, May 7, at Rosedale Funeral Home, 917 Co Rte 45/6, Martinsburg, WV 25404. A memorial service was held at their home church, Fellowship Bible, at 3:00 PM on Sunday, 160 Daniel RD, Shenandoah Junction, WV 25442. For those desiring to give, we ask that you join us in our support of Kilimo Timilifu, https://kttz.co.tz/donate, an organization helping to lift Tanzanians out of poverty.