Family Login:

Robert Payton Shumate, Jr.

Robert Payton Shumate, Jr.
  • April 30, 1926 - November 20, 2017
  • Charleston, South Carolina

Pause Holding Hands by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
Share This Obituary
Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Robert by adding your memories and photos.


Send Flowers
 Local Florists

Memories & Candles

“Bob was one of the most talented people I had the pleasure to work with in my 32 year career working for IBM in the computer business. His pioneering...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: DON RAKEY - ST LOUIS, MO - Friend

“I knew no one that my father, the hero of our lives, admired more than Bob, and in 2016-15, I got to see with my own eyes and understand Bob's...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Elizabeth Hovey - NY

“We are sorry and deeply saddened by your family's tremendous loss. Please know you are being held close in thought and prayer during this painfully...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Jay Ard & Debra Jo Endres-Ard - IN

“It was an honor to know you. Thank you for the wonderful memories and may you rest in peace ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Debbie Shumate - Davie, FL

Robert Payton Shumate, Jr. died at home of lymphoma on November 20, 2017. He was born in Portsmouth NH on April 30, 1926. His family moved to Nottingham, NH when Bob was 4. He attended grammar school there and later, Middle School and High School in Portsmouth.. In 1944 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and after training served in the 5th Airforce in the Asian Pacific Theater. After discharge from the Air Corps he worked for New England Tel and Tel until he joined the Maine State Police in 1949.

Bob began his Public Safety career as a trooper with the Maine State Police in 1949 and in 1953 received a Kemper Fellowship for a year's study at the Traffic Institute at Northwestern University. He subsequently joined the faculty of the Traffic Institute in 1956. During his tenure at the Traffic Institute he headed a project in which the Traffic Institute was retained by the State of Wisconsin to set up the Wisconsin State Patrol and he served as Director of Training of the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy for the first two years of its existence. Subsequently Bob served as Associate Director Research and Development for the Traffic Institute at Northwestern University. In 1959 he became Assistant Director of Research & Development for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. In 1961 Bob joined the faculty of Indiana University Department of Police Administration and also served as a member the Indiana University Computer Center's Executive Committee. It was while at Indiana University that Bob lead a team that implemented the first police computer system that provided on line data storage and retrieval as well as a store and forward message switching system.

He was the founder and CEO of Systems Science Corporation, a pioneer in the development of Public Safety information systems, which was later, acquired by Planning Research Corporation a NYSE company .Bob remained at PRC for 10 years and served as Executive Vice President of PRC International, a wholly owned subsidiary of PRC for nine years. He has served on numerous corporate boards including Tiburon Inc., Logica Inc., and served as non-executive Board Chairman of Finalco Inc. an equipment leasing company, which he founded in 1967, and of Dialcom Inc. a provider of online computer services. He was also the founder of Transaction Verification Systems Inc. a manufacturer of security equipment and served as its CEO from 1980 until 2000. Bob also served as both a board member and CFO of URL Integration a computer technology company from 2005 until 2012.

In 2001 Bob was one of the original incorporators of the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute, a not for profit organization designed to provide a bridge between industry and government in pursuing the goals of information sharing and interoperability in the Public Safety and Justice community. He served as the Institute's first President and as a member of the Institute's Board of Directors. After completing two terms as President of the Institute, he served as Chairperson of the Industry Working Group, an effort sponsored by the US Department of Justice and presided over its integration into the IJIS Institute. Later, he chaired the IJIS Institute committee on Procurement Innovation and Interoperability Standards.

In 2006 the IJIS Institute established the Robert P. Shumate National Public Safety and Justice Contributor to Excellence Award. The award is presented annually by the IJIS Institute to the person, either from industry or the public sector, that has made the most valuable contribution to justice and public safety information sharing and interoperability.

For most of the period 1976-2000, Bob and his wife, Sara, lived in the Washington, DC area. In 2000 Bob had his 1st retirement and he and Sara moved full time to their vacation home in Rockbridge Baths, VA

Bob is survived by Sara Hargrove Robertson, his wife of 41 years. They became part time residents of Charleston in 2001 and, upon Bob's 2nd retirement, moved here full time in 2014. He continued to write computer programs for his own amusement while continuing an active dialogue with his many friends and acquaintances in the computer and particularly the public safety and justice field.

He is also survived by his daughters, Sheri Lee Miller (John) and Vicki Jo Burnett (David) and his son, Robert P. Shumate, III (Debbie). There are 6 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. His younger brothers Richard and Jack predeceased him. Bob's favorite sister-in-law, Dolly Shumate also survives him.

In case you're wondering, Bob's photo was taken in 1978 when he and Sara were vacationing on Bali Island, Indonesia. He was a youngster of 52 at the time. He lived a fabulous, very long life and enjoyed it all.

There will be a memorial service and farewell celebration in early 2018 on a date still to be determined.