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Edward Carson Schumacher

Edward Carson Schumacher was born in Baltimore, Maryland, January 28,1937, the son of Helen Houseman and Edward Murn Schumacher. He died on May 28, 2024.

Ed built resilience during an unstable childhood, and when a benefactor made possible his attendance at Mount Saint Joseph’s High School in Baltimore, he excelled in both academics and sports. After serving as Senior Class President, he graduated in 1956. He received his B.S. in 1960 from Towson State University, serving as Student Government President and playing varsity tennis. He married his first wife, Barbara Strong, immediately after graduation.

He began his career as a middle- and high-school English teacher in the Baltimore County Public School System, developing his love of and skill for teaching. He moved on to work for the Fresh Air Fund from 1964-1967; Ed had worked at the Fresh Air Camp in Hartford, MD throughout high school and college. He received an MS in Education from Western Maryland College in 1965.

Between 1963 and 1967, Ed and Barbara welcomed three girls: Deborah, Jennifer, and Julia. Anyone who knew Ed knew he had three girls; he was so proud of raising three accomplished daughters and did everything he could to care for them throughout their lives.

In 1967, Ed and his family moved to New Jersey and he took a position in New York City with the National Camp Fire Organization; he continued with Camp Fire as Executive Director of the local council in Denver and then Seattle. In 1980, he was selected as the Director of Development at Lakeside School in Seattle, WA, where he served from 1980 to 1986.

In 1986 Ed married Martha Dilts; they shared a devotion to public service, non-profit organizations, and social justice. In the same year, he opened his own fund-raising and management-consulting firm, Third Sector Consulting, and served as President, primary trainer, and consultant until he retired in 2005. His many local, national, and international clients were often large institutions like universities and hospitals. However, he always made time to provide pro bono help to small nonprofits who served populations in need, including homeless families and immigrants.

Ed and Martha enjoyed traveling together, taking frequent trips to the Washington coast and to British Columbia. They visited a number of European countries, mainly as independent travelers. Ed also gave himself a sabbatical and spent three months in Venice, Italy where he wrote one of his books.

Ed’s legacy is that of a great teacher. His natural sense of humor and understanding of adult learners helped him successfully train hundreds of fundraising professionals, nationally and internationally. He was one of the founders of the nationally recognized Fund Raising Certificate program at the University of Washington. He also served as a senior faculty member of The Fund Raising School at Indiana University. Upon retirement he received the coveted Rosso Medal from the School. For nearly 20 years, Ed was a member of the Northwest Development Officers Association, receiving their Distinguished Professional Award.

Ed was the author of three books on philanthropy, each an outstanding instructional manual for professional fund raisers and volunteer leaders. One of his books was selected by the University of Bologna for use in its fundraising program, necessitating translation into Italian.

He is survived by his wife Martha Dilts and his three daughters, Deborah Gleeson, Jennifer Winchell (James), Julia Schumacher (Dana McKibbon), his grandson Ezra (Zeke) Winchell, his niece Tina Schumacher, and other nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother Richard Schumacher. Remembrances can be made to the charity of your choice.


Martha, I saw Ed’s obituary in yesterday’s Seattle Times. My heart goes out to you at this time of loss. I know this will leave a hole in your heart. May your rich memories of your years together, sharing values, interests, travel, and a deep and loving relationship, bring you comfort.

Sue Ann Allen

To Martha and Ed’s daughters: I was saddened to read that Ed had died. He was my teacher and mentor, and had such a huge influence in my philanthropic career – and hundreds of other fundraising professionals. Just the other day I was explaining the donor pyramid to a friend who is serving on a board of directors here in Gig Harbor. I remember Ed teaching that concept when I was in the first Fund Raising Certificate Program group at the University of Washington, and us teaching it together to SEHS’s board of directors for the annual Phonathon. And speaking of pyramids, he also taught us that sandwiches should be considered a separate entity in the food pyramid. My deepest condolences and may memories of him recall many happy times.

Melody Burson

Martha and Ed's daughters:
I was broken hearted to read that Ed had passed. He played such a big part in my professional life for many years. I lost tough when he went to Venice. He helped me get my last position--at JDRF in Seattle as executive director where I served for 12 years before retiring.
After moving out of Seattle for several years, I tried several times a track him down to check in and again say thanks and how much I appreciated all he did for me over the years. I now live in Edmonds and tried again, but not successful.
Martha, if you remember me and would like to chat I can be reached at 206.639.8018 or reply to my email. I'd love to express my deep condolences.
All the best,
Nadine Heichel

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