George Kumpf Obituary
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In Memory of

George Arthur Kumpf

October 12, 1918 - October 22, 2013
Obituary

George Arthur Kumpf, a native son of old Seattle, died Oct. 22, 2013 at Evergreen Health Hospice Center in Kirkland, WA. He had just celebrated his 95th birthday. The only son of George Washington Kumpf and Della Dorthea Paulina Hacker, George was born Oct. 12, 1918 at Swedish Hospital during the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. He grew up in South Seattle on the western edge of Beacon Hill in a small home built by his grandfather which was demolished to make way for the I-5 freeway. George attended South Seattle Elementary School and graduated from Cleveland High School in 1936. He enrolled at the University of Washington, graduating in...
George Arthur Kumpf, a native son of old Seattle, died Oct. 22, 2013 at Evergreen Health Hospice Center in Kirkland, WA. He had just celebrated his 95th birthday. The only son of George Washington Kumpf and Della Dorthea Paulina Hacker, George was born Oct. 12, 1918 at Swedish Hospital during the deadly 1918 flu pandemic.

He grew up in South Seattle on the western edge of Beacon Hill in a small home built by his grandfather which was demolished to make way for the I-5 freeway.

George attended South Seattle Elementary School and graduated from Cleveland High School in 1936. He enrolled at the University of Washington, graduating in June 1941 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business.

While attending UW, George was a member of the University Symphony (string bass) and the Husky Marching Band (tuba). As a freshman, George got the chance to travel by train to Pasadena for the 1937 Rose Bowl where he marched in the Rose Parade and performed during halftime. Sixty years later, about 20 members of that band, including George, were honored at a halftime ceremony at Husky Stadium. George was a member of Seattle Musicians Local 76 for over 30 years where he played in Jackie Souders' World's Fair Band, the 1962 Ringling Bros. Circus Band and the Musicians Local 76 Band in parades and park concerts from 1950-1968. In 1951, George substituted for the regular tuba player in the Seattle Symphony for the Standard Symphony Hour and proudly stated that conductor Dr. Stanley Chappelle noted afterwards "excellent tuba!"

With World War II looming, George enlisted in the Navy and on Dec. 8, 1941 began active duty. He served assignments on the U.S. west coast, Russell Island and China, concluding active duty in April 1946. George continued in the Navy Reserve until 1968, retiring as a Lieut. Cmdr.

Returning to Seattle after active duty, George landed a job with the Ford Motor Company in purchasing and accounting at their parts distribution center. He was a member of the Purchasing Agents Association of Washington and retired after 30 years of service to Ford on November 1, 1976.

Preferring to stay on Beacon Hill, George built a home on the eastern edge in the Lockmore neighborhood. In April 1953, George moved into the home with his bride, Elizabeth Easson Stewart. An avid gardener, in retirement George took advantage of a neighbor's offer to let him use four adjoining empty lots behind his home to grow berries and vegetables which were some of the best produce in Seattle! Peach trees graced the front yard, a pumpkin patch for the grandkids and canning and jam making were yearly events.

George began moonlighting as an usher at the Seattle Center during the World's Fair in 1962. At the conclusion of the fair he continued ushering including a stint as head usher at the Opera House. The Seattle Times' Pacific NW Magazine did a profile on George -- the 90-year-old usher -- in December 2008. He retired after 49 years of service in 2011 and was honored with a plaque at the entrance to the usher's room in McCaw Hall.

George is predeceased by his parents; his sisters Barbara Louise (infant) and Marjorie Rose; and his wife of 48-years Elizabeth. He is survived by daughters Elizabeth (Doug) Pizac and Marjorie (Gary) Atkins; grandchildren Geoffrey (Jenna) Atkins, Douglas Pizac, Kelsey Pizac and Daniel Atkins; and niece Barbara Long.

Graveside services with military honors will be held at Acacia Memorial Park, 14951 Bothell Way NE, Seattle, WA 98155, on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 3:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in George's memory to:

University of Washington Husky Marching Band
Graves Building
P.O. Box 354070,
3910 Montlake Blvd,
Seattle, Washington 98195-4070

"I first met George at the Opera House--I had season tickets to the Ballet for many years. Then in 2003 when I moved to the Chateau @Bothell Landing--we met..."

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Seattle Times, The
George Arthur Kumpf George Arthur Kumpf, a native son of old Seattle, died Oct. 22, 2013 at Evergreen Health Hospice Center in Kirkland, WA. He...

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