This is my dad. He would have disliked this page. He would have had strong words about being publicly showcased on a website. However, I like to believe that he would also be proud to contribute to helping others and their families. He never wanted us to endure the struggles of mental illness and PTSD with him. He worked tirelessly to shield us from its effects. Unfortunately, PTSD permeates everything and everyone around it, making it impossible to hide or escape. Despite this, our love for him and his love for us remained unwavering. However, it did alter the way we supported one another and how we received love.

Henry was born in a small town in southern Minnesota to Catholic farming parents. He was the youngest of three boys, and both of his brothers served in the military. During high school, he enjoyed partying, driving fast cars, and goofing around. Given his low draft number and the knowledge that he would be called for service, he voluntarily enlisted in the US Army in 1970. As a member of the 501st and 502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles, he fought in the Vietnam War, rising to the rank of Sergeant before receiving an honorable discharge. While in the service, he married my mother, and upon their return, they settled in Minneapolis. Henry graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in horticulture and was fortunate enough to secure a position at the University of Minnesota North Central Experiment Station in Grand Rapids, MN. He took great pride in being a father to three children. He valued his work, enjoyed tinkering and fixing things, cherished his family, loved his country, and treasured his privacy. His contributions to wild rice research over four decades earned him recognition within the wild rice research community. He was loyal, humble, and had a great sense of humor. Although he was a man of few words, when he did share his opinions, they were insightful, encompassing, and often wise. These are the aspects of his life that shine the brightest.

I have chosen to omit the years of self-medication with alcohol and the details of his passing. Those are the memories that remain most vivid, but they do not represent the best parts of him. The war changed him, as did returning to a country that despised him. It robbed him of his zest for life, eroded his trust in people, and left him angry, bewildered, and frustrated. There were moments in his life when he sought help and engaged with his fellow Vietnam veterans. In the 1990s, he played a role in establishing the Vietnam Vets chapter in Northern Minnesota. He participated in parades as a flagbearer and maintained a skeptical stance on sending people off to war, while always supporting those who served in the military. He was proud to be an American and went to great lengths to ensure that people understood the significance and value of the US Flag.

This painting represents my focus on the best aspects of the man that was Henry Schumer.


To read his obituary CLICK HERE



About Henry

Henry was and is my father.
He is not replaceable and will be forever my dad.


In Flanders Fields

By John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Vikings Death Prayer
Until Valhalla

Lo, There do I see my Father

Lo, There do I see my Mother and My Brothers and my Sisters

Lo, There do I see the line of my people back to the beginning

Lo, They do call to me

They bid me take my place among them in the halls of Valhalla

Where thine enemies have been vanquished

Where the brave shall live Forever

Nor shall we mourn but rejoice

for those that have died the glorious death.

**these are two poems that meant a lot to him