James Daniel Shoemaker

Shoemaker, James Daniel

Jim was born in Urbana, Illinois in October 1953 to parents, Robert and Charlotte Shoemaker. He grew up in Champaign-Urbana with his three older brothers until leaving to attend New College of Florida in Sarasota, from where he graduated in 1974. Jim shared stories with his children about working for various radio stations and AV clubs throughout his twenties. His interest in music and technology persisted throughout his life. Jim graduated from the University of Illinois School of Medicine with an MD/PhD in 1984. While teaching there he met his future wife, Mary with whom he moved to Saint Louis, Missouri and had three children. Jim worked as Associate Professor of Biochemistry and was the director of The Metabolic Screening Laboratory at Saint Louis University. He also served on the admissions committee for the School of Medicine. He was well known for his lab's work diagnosing rare genetic diseases in infants. Jim enjoyed boating, croquet, scrabble, biking, champagne, chocolate, answering questions on Quora, fireworks, watching rain-storms from the porch, and astronomical phenomena. Jim had a passion for genealogy and traced his ancestry back many centuries. He was a previous Governor of the Mayflower Descendants of Missouri and was looking forward to a performance of the cantata he had written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage this upcoming Thanksgiving. Jim composed two cantatas during his life entitled, Promises of God and The Mayflower Prophecy. He was a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in University City, Missouri and The First Presbyterian Church of Alton, Illinois. Jim lived the last years of his life in Alton with his partner, Paul. He leaves behind three daughters, Kate, Laura, and Joanna, one granddaughter, Kara, two living brothers, David and Joel, his partner, Paul, and ex-wife, Mary.

Services: A Memorial Service on Zoom will be held August 1st, 2020 at 11am CST.

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Published by Post - Dispatch on Jul. 20, 2020.
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10 Entries
Mary O'Reilly
August 1, 2020
Mary O'Reilly
July 31, 2020
Deborah Boylan
July 30, 2020
My husband and I had the privilege to know Dr. Shoemaker both as a professor when we attended SLU School of Medicine, as well as a fellow church member at Trinity Presbyterian. He was an excellent teacher, dedicated researcher, and kind friend. We are sorry to hear of his passing. ~Christine & Ed Chen
Christine Chen
July 28, 2020
I knew Jim throughout my Urbana days and spent many an hour hanging out at his house. What a fun and witty friend to have! Like Diana, I remember being among the "skippers" (although my recollection is that we skipped from 4th to 6th grade). In addition to Jim and Diana, John Looper and I were in that group and I seem to recall there were 1 or 2 others. For this reason we (at least Jim, John, and I) ended up among the shortest people in our class in junior high although Jim eventually grew out of it, although he never reached the "5 foot twenty" of his oldest brother. Jim liked to refer to himself as a PK -- Preacher's Kid. As I recall both his grandfather and father were ministers. Jim always had a kind heart. I was looking forward to reconnecting with him at the 50th reunion and was so sorry to hear of his passing.
David Pasta
July 28, 2020
I was so sorry to hear about Jim's passing. Jim was always a sweetheart and he will be dearly missed. He was definitely a Renaissance man with all of his interests and talents. He performed with my ex-husband in a beloved men's quartet while at Trinity Presbyterian Church and beyond. I also performed many concerts with him in a combined group and in the Trinity Choir. I was honored to have performed his first cantata "Promises of God" with him for a recording. I makes me so sad to know that Jim in no longer on this earth making music and fascinating conversation with his friends. Even though it has been years since I last saw him, I remember him fondly. My heart goes out to his beautiful daughters, Paul (whom I've never met but am sure is a wonderful person), and everyone else he has left behind to go to the place that Jesus has prepared for us.
Denise Stevenor
July 24, 2020
I am so sad to learn of Jim's passing. He was a loyal colleague, and a highly effective member of the Admissions Committee. He had calm judgment; an advocate for all students, finding the best in each. We all miss his remarkable ability to find the "rock star" in each person. Peace and prayers to those in his family and all who were close to him.
James Willmore MD
July 22, 2020
I remember when I saw him at Carle in the 80's. He was in residency. I was surprised he remembered me. I was a nurse working the Urology floor at the time. Sweet memory.
Martha Martin
July 22, 2020
This is such sad news to hear. Jim was a force in determining diagnosis of infants with abnormal newborn screens.He was an important member of our metabolic team st Glennon. He was always willing to listen to our questions, always helpful,always kind. We will miss you Jim.
Deb Boylan
July 20, 2020
Such a shocking loss. My first boyfriend. And one of the 3 of us who were skipped from 3rd to 5th grade - a big deal in those days. Glad Id been in touch with him the last few years. Such a kind, smart soul...major condolences to all his family and friends...
Diana Nall Browne
July 20, 2020