Advocate mourns staff writer

Shanna Lee Cummings passed away unexpectedly on March 31, 2022, in Van Horn, Texas. Although Shanna was only 43 years old, she left her mark on Van Horn, not quite three years after moving here with her husband and soulmate, Dr. David Cummings.

Shanna joined the Advocate about 15 months ago, covering school board meetings, but she was soon asked to write feature stories for the newspaper. Shanna would dissect each assignment and research every aspect before putting pen to paper, with one of her stories on immigration submitted recently to the Texas Press Association for consideration of their yearly awards. She was previously a writer/reporter for the Humboldt Sun in Winnemucca, Nevada before moving to Van Horn.

She was also working on her own “great American steampunk novel,” which was nearing completion with editing planned for this week. Shanna was no slouch when it came to her writing, with an undergraduate degree from Mary Hardin Simmons and her graduate degree in English, Literary Theory and Religion from Union Institute and University.

Besides being an accomplished writer, Shanna was also a talented musician and singer, but to those who knew her, her greatest attribute was her gentleness and non-judgmental and unconditional love for all living things. She was a unique human being who revealed that uniqueness which some would describe as quirky, but which made her who she was.

She is survived by her husband, David Cummings, brother, Stacey Paul Austin, sister-in-law Leah Lombardi, numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, and her furry children, Tigger, Wicket, and Zasha. Viewing will be today at the Scancio Harper Funeral Home in Temple, Texas with services on Friday at 3:00 p.m and burial at the Bellwood Cemetery. (See obituary on page 3).

One of her Facebook posts seems to sum up her spirit perfectly and serves to console those many who miss her already:

Tomorrow, I will continue to be.

But you will have to be very

attentive to see me.

I will be a flower, or a leaf.

I will be in these forms

and I will say hello to you.

If you are attentive enough,

You will recognize me,

and you may greet me.

I will be very happy.

Thich Nhat Hanh