John R. Shoemaker

Hinsdale, IL - John R Shoemaker, 73, of 700 South Lafayette St, Macomb, passed away at 3:40 p.m. Saturday, August 25, 2007 at Heartland Healthcare Center in Macomb. He was born on July 9, 1934 in Hinsdale, IL, the son of Clarence J and Catherine Rogers Shoemaker. He first married Merle Lloyd Forman in 1957. He later married Susan Mitchell in Petersburg in 1975, who survives along with his sister; Mary Catherine (Lynn) Sanny of Indian Head Park, IL, two daughters; Janiece Galloway of Macomb and Leslie (Mark) Carmack of Downs, and four grandchildren; Jennifer and Tyler Carmack and Brandon and Janae Galloway. He was preceded in death by his parents. Dr. Shoemaker holds the degree of Bachelor of Music Education from Drake University; Master of Music from Northwestern University; and Doctor of Education from Washington University. He taught in the public schools in Truro and Rolf, IA and then became the band director in the Palatine High School in Palatine, IL. Following his years at Washington University in St Louis where he was the Director of Bands, he taught at the University of Hawaii and finally at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

He founded Jomlee Corporation in Macomb, a printing establishment that grew to be a leader in printing for the real estate business in the Midwest. The expansion of this business led him into flying and upon retirement in 1990 his interests turned to building his own airplane. His love of flying took him on trips to many places in the United States. While in the printing business he was co-founder of the Roger Dean Publishing Company, a music publishing company of brass, woodwind and choral music.

Dr. Shoemaker was an active member of the Kiwanis for over 20 years and served as president of the Macomb chapter and then as Lt. Governor for the I.I. District. He was interested in helping printing businesses in foreign countries and became associated with the International Executive Service Corps and was sent to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Krygyzstan on projects for small businesses in the printing industry. He loved to do building projects and did much renovation to the cottage that he and Susan enjoyed on Lake Okoboji in Iowa. One of his last projects was the founding of the McDonough Choral Society, which brings fine choral music performances to the area.

He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Macomb and served on the McDonough County Housing Authority. A Memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, September 7, 2007 at the Trinity Lutheran Church, Macomb, IL with Pastor Michael Thomas officiating. There will be no visitation. Cremation rites have been accorded. Memorials may be made to either the McDonough Choral Society, Clarence J Shoemaker Band Scholarship, the Trinity Lutheran Church Building Fund or the American Diabetes Association for Juvenile Diabetes, 2580 Federal Drive, Suite 403, Decatur, Illinois 62527. Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb is in charge of arrangements. You may leave condolences and sign the guest book online at

John's wife wrote the following:

John passed away this past August 25.  His battle with Spinocerebellar Ataxia finally took his life.

He put up a valiant struggle over these past six years, two of the years trying to find out just what his problem was and then upon diagnosis four years of downhill all the way.  We knew that there was no cure and all that we could do was to make him as comfortable as possible.  This past spring he started to show signs of a more rapid decline and over the summer months it was a downhill spiral.  He knew what was happening and never complained even though his frustration was great at times.  We had a wonderful Memorial Service and Celebration of his life on September 7 with way over 200 people in attendance.  Brass music that he had arranged was played, plus with the rest of the music really made it a true musical celebration for him.

He led a truly diversified life, with so many interests, accomplishments and friends.  You and I must look at that part of his life and not the last several years and remember him with all of his vitality and love of life and people.  I miss him terribly, but know that I can go on remembering all of the wonderful years we had together.