Priscilla's Story

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GOFFSTOWN, NH - On February 14, 2018, the Reverend Priscilla Ruth (Bonell) Schumm died following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease, with family by her side.
Priscilla was born on October 1, 1936 in Woburn, the first child of Reverend and Mrs. Harold C. Bonell. She had an identical twin sister, Lydia Naomi, who did not live. She grew up in Portland, Maine, graduating from Deering High School and going on with her studies at Mount Holyoke College. At that time, Mount Holyoke still had a nursing program in affiliation with Hartford Hospital and the Hartford VNA in Connecticut. Priscilla completed a major in Modern Languages (German and French) and also received a Baccalaureate, which found its true meaning during her Pinning Ceremony when she became a Registered Nurse. Following graduation, she worked and taught Community Nursing at Nashua Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Nashua, NH.
But her first love was ministry, and she enrolled at Andover Newton Theological School. Under the guidance of the Rev. Dr. Herbert Gezork, then president of the school, she went to Philippsuniversit├Ąt in Marburg, Germany to begin her theological studies. While there, she worked as a nurse at the Frauenklinik and was a member of Bethel Diakonissenhaus in Berlin, working with other sisters at Marienfelde, one of the major refugee-processing camps left in Berlin.
She completed her theological studies at Andover Newton Theological School and was ordained to the Christian ministry on May 26, 1963. She was married to the Rev. Herbert I. Schumm and they had three children, who survive her: L. Philip Schumm, his wife, Beth Beyer, and their sons, Matthew and Liam, of Chicago; the Rev. Hannelore Nalesnik and her daughters, Nadia and Esperanza of Ayer, Mass; and Anneliese Pimenta, RN, and her husband, Victor Pimenta, and their children, Kendra and Nathan of Goffstown, NH. She is also survived by her two sisters, Miriam Malkasian of Kennebunk, Maine and Deborah Bonell of Londonderry, NH. She will be greatly missed.
Priscilla pastored churches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and concluded forty years of ministry with her ten year pastorate in Springfield, Maine. She was also active in Hospice programs in Massachusetts and Maine. She felt that the Church has particular imperatives in family ministry, daily worship patterns, ecumenical opportunities, compassionate health care, and restorative justice.
The family is grateful for the care given by the staff at Hillsborough County Nursing Home in Goffstown, NH, as well as the staff of Home Health & Hospice of Merrimack, NH.
Priscilla's memorial service will be held at a later date. Her ashes will be buried in two places - at Edgewood Cemetery in Nashua, NH, beside her parents, and at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Meriden, CT, beside her twin. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to CLiF - Children's Literacy Foundation, 1536 Loomis Hill Road, Waterbury Center, VT, 05677 or call (802) 244-0944.
Published on February 16, 2018
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