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Jerry Rump, 72, was ‘a true gentle man'

CRESTVIEW HILLS- Jerome "Jerry" Raymond Rump was described as a "gentle giant." The term aptly describes the man who stood nearly 6'10" and played basketball for the University of Kentucky in Lexington and Xavier University in Cincinnati, said his brother, Steve Rump of Taylor Mill.

He was a business owner who valued the love of his family and serving the community in humble, behind-the-scene ways.

"He had a gentle nature and was a true gentle man. I've always respected him for that," his brother said.

Mr. Rump of Crestview Hills died Aug. 21 at Madonna Manor Rehabilitation Center in Villa Hills from complications of a stroke. He was 72.

He was the second oldest of nine siblings born to Charles and Jess Rump of Latonia.

He attended Holy Cross High School in Latonia and played on the school's basketball team. He also enjoyed playing baseball.

Just before Jerry started his junior year, he was taken ill with rheumatic fever. His daughter, Tracy Maccioli of Raleigh, N.C. said her father was bedridden and unable to do anything but rest. After a long year of recovery, he never lost his positive attitude. He had also grown many inches taller. By the time he entered his senior year, the doctors gave Jerry permission return to school and the activities he loved.

Rump was resolute. He practiced hard to regain his abilities on the hardwood. When basketball season started, he was playing at full pace.

Adolph Rupp, the noted basketball coach from the University of Kentucky, came to the Rump's home during a recruitment trip. He had heard about Jerry and wanted to see if he "measured up" for the team – literally. Standing on the steps, Coach Rupp took a yard stick to measure Jerry's height - and he saw his heart for the game.

Mr. Rump also found himself drafted to play baseball for the Milwaukee Braves.

He chose basketball and played for UK for several years.

By 1961, Rebecca "Becky" Neal won his heart. He returned home, finishing his college career at Xavier University. The couple married and began their family.

He worked for Miller Inc., a manufacturing company in Cincinnati.

In 1976, he started his own manufacturing business, Jero Inc., working out of his garage, which started as a welding and safety supplies company. The company grew, moving to Norwood and then Florence. He retired and sold the company in 2004.

Throughout his life and career, Mr. Rump, made sure those around him were comfortable and felt at home. He could be speaking with President Reagan one minute and in the next, with a stranger on the street. He was unassuming and humble. He treated individuals equally, with respect and care, his daughter said.

"My father was so grateful that his hard work had rewarded him; giving a comfortable lifestyle. But, even with all of that, he maintained a deep and abiding Catholic commitment to others, especially the least fortunate. When he wanted to help organizations or individuals, he preferred to provide assistance anonymously," his daughter said.

His first wife, Becky Rump died in 1970 and second wife, Sandra Rump died in 2009.

Along with his brother and daughter, survivors include his daughters Shelly Summe of Crestview Hills, Barb Wulker of Milford, Ohio; Lorie Bailey of Union; son, Randy Rump of Hamilton, Ohio; sisters, Carolyn Blasingame of Southgate; and Teresa Rump of Crittenden; brothers, Tom Rump of Seattle, Wash., Ken Rump of Memphis, Tenn.; 15 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Memorial Mass of Christian Burial be 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at Holy Cross Church, Latonia. Connley Brothers Funeral Home, Latonia, is handling arrangements.

Memorials: Lisa Rump Scholarship Fund, c/o Holy Cross High School, 3617 Church St., Latonia, KY 41015.

Online condolences to www.connleybrothersfuneralhome.com.

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Published in the Kentucky Enquirer from Aug. 29 to Aug. 30, 2013
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