Priscilla Macon (Shumaker) Heard, 104, of Belton passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 1, 2023 at a Temple facility.
Priscilla was born on August 6, 1919, in Malvern, Arkansas to Howard and Esther (Leiper) Shumaker. Her family later moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she spent her childhood and early adult life. She always spoke fondly of her neighborhood and the many lifelong friends she made in the Evergreen/Overton Park section of Memphis. Priscilla enjoyed outdoor sports of all types, and was a talented pianist from a young age, a passion that would lead her to a nearly 70 -year career as a musician and music educator. A graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, she earned her bachelor’s degree in music and math at the age of 20 and would later receive a Master of Music degree from Baylor University.
Priscilla met L.P. Heard, Jr. (Bud) at Camp Polk, Louisiana while serving in the Red Cross. In 1946, soon after World War II, they married and moved to Bud’s hometown of Belton, Texas. After almost 50 years of marriage to Priscilla, Bud passed away in May of 1996 after a long illness.
Beginning in the late 1940’s and continuing until she retired in 2015 at the age of 96, she taught a countless number of piano students. She was also on the music faculty of Temple College from the mid 1960’s until 1989. Mrs. Heard was a longtime member of the Music Teachers National Association and its state affiliate, the Texas Music Teachers Association. Priscilla was recognized as the Texas Pre-College Teacher of the Year in 1994, and as an MTNA National Foundation Fellow in 2007. This prestigious national award was bestowed on her by her peers for making an outstanding contribution to the music teaching profession.
To say that Priscilla had a lasting impact on the musical lives of so many would be an understatement. Completely dedicated to her profession, she rarely said no, from setting aside time to practice and accompany many area high school musicians in the University Interscholastic League events, to helping students in need to find pianos for their homes and gain scholarships in music.
Priscilla was also a very active grandmother and will be remembered by her grandchildren for the spur of the moment trips to Enchanted Rock and other state parks, and tennis matches which she won consistently.
Mrs. Heard was a dedicated member of her church, serving as the organist at the First United Methodist Church in Belton from the 1950’s until 1982, and later serving as organist/pianist at the First Presbyterian Church in Temple. She remained in this position until 2005.
Priscilla is survived by her children: Mary Foote and her husband Bruce, Sarah Parker and her husband Mike, Thomas Heard, and Rachel Heard Raley and her husband Lynn. She is also survived by her four grandchildren: Chris Parker and his wife Jannell, Ben Parker and his wife Melanie, Rachel Parker Humphries and her husband Justin, and Laura Gillian Heard Raley; as well as great grandchildren Taylor Parker Keaton and her husband Joseph, Michael Parker, Gavin Humphries, Logan Parker, Parker Humphries, and Matthew Parker.
She was proceeded in death by her parents, her husband Bud, and a brother Col. (ret.) George Shumaker.
Memorial service will be 2 PM Monday October 16, 2023. at Grace Presbyterian Church in Temple. Visitation will follow the service.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the amazing staff that took care of Priscilla at The Wildflower Place in Temple.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any of the following organizations:
https://foundation.templejc.edu/donations/ Temple College School of Music Scholarship fund.