June 29, 1951 – Aug. 31, 2017

Dr. Marion Lee Schmucker, 66 years of age, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, at home in La Junta, Colorado.

M. Lee Schmucker was born on June 29, 1951, in Canton, Ohio, to Wilbur and Arline Schmucker. He was a loving husband to Barbara Elaine Schmucker; father of Ron, wife Erin, and daughter Emma of Lakewood, Colorado; Tony, wife Jill, and children, Ryder, Rollie and Leedan of Fort Collins, Colorado; Aaron, wife Marci, and children Ashley, Ethan and Evan of La Junta, Colorado; MaryAnn Barela, and children Chasity and Christopher also of La Junta, Colorado; John, wife Amanda, and children Connor and Roxanna of Loveland, Colorado. He is survived by siblings, Edna Troyer, Velma Bridges and Lloyd Schmucker of Ohio. He was preceded in death by son Tony Schmucker and parents Wilbur and Arline Schmucker.

From early on in life his faith in Christ has always been important to him. He never hesitated to share his faith with his patients and others in his life. He was a member of Emmanuel Mennonite Church for many years and then became a member of The First Church of the Nazarene in La Junta. His church family meant a lot to him over the years.

Fall was his favorite time of the year. He enjoyed hunting with his sons and friends.

He grew up in Louisville, Ohio, and graduated from Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he met and married Elaine. He received his doctorate at Ohio State University and completed his residency in family practice at Grant Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Schmucker first came to La Junta in 1978 to do a medical rotation at Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center (AVRMC) with Dr. Howard Stutzman, before joining Loma Vista Family Practice.

Dr. Schmucker dedicated his life to medicine and to the care of his many patients in La Junta and the surrounding communities. Over the course of his career he delivered over 6,000 children, including five of his own grandchildren. He was also the chief of staff at AVRMC for several years. He became CEO of Loma Vista Medical Center in 1990 and assisted in many surgeries with Dr. Kent Gay and Dr. Baumgartner. He was also mentor and friend to many of the new physicians who moved to the valley. Dr. Schmucker often worked 80-100 hours a week for 38 years, saving countless lives.

He received several awards including the People's Choice Award in 1997, 2009, 2011, and 2017. In 1999, he was awarded the Colorado Family Practice Physician of the Year, and he was awarded and served as Chief of Medical Staff at AVRMC from 2004-2005. Most recently, in 2017, he received the first-ever Humanitarian of the Year Award from the La Junta Chamber of Commerce, which will hereafter be called the M. Lee Schmucker Humanitarian Award. The award is presented to an individual who, through their outstanding professional contributions and/or volunteer leadership, have significantly improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity.

The family would like to thank, AVRMC oncology staff and Rocky Mountain Cancer Center, Dorsey Cancer Center, Country Plains Home Health, Ark Valley Hospice, and countless individuals who have offered their support and prayers. We would also like to thank the staff at Loma Vista and AVRMC, and his friend, colleague, mentor and personal physician, Dr. Richard Shand.

Dr. Schmucker would often say "We do good things for many people" and "The possible we do right away and the impossible may take five minutes to accomplish!"

A celebration of life service will be Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at 10 a.m. at the First Church of the Nazarene, with Pastor Gordon Smith officiating. Interment will be Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins, Colorado.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Samaritan’s Purse Relief, Hurricane Harvey, in care of the Colorado Bank & Trust, P.O. Box 499, La Junta, CO, 81050, direct or through the funeral home.

Online condolences may be made at www.peacockFH.com. Peacock-Larsen Funeral Home & Arkansas Valley Crematory is in charge of arrangements.