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William Augustus "Bill (Bumpy)" Cumbie


1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
William Augustus "Bill (Bumpy)" Cumbie Obituary
William (Bill) Augustus Cumbie passed away peacefully on May 8, 2017, in San Marcos, Texas. He had been in declining health for some time. He was predeceased by his loving wife Thelma Leland Cumbie and first grandchild, Rachelle Walters Gould. Bill was born September 18, 1924, to Carroll Sanders Cumbie and Nell Robinson Cumbie in Conecuh County, Alabama. Known as "Bumpy" to many, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather. He is survived by his 5 daughters: Pam Walters, Sandy Stirling (husband Bruce), Kathie Cumbie, Mary Beach (husband Brad), and Carol Virden (husband Shel). Additionally, he leaves 15 grandchildren and their 7 spouses, 21 great grandchildren and 7 great-great grandchildren.

Raised in rural Alabama with his 2 brothers (Carroll and Marcus) and 2 sisters (Irene and Mary Nell), he attended Red Level High School. Bill excelled in sports, particularly baseball where he was an outstanding pitcher. Throughout his entire life he was a dedicated Alabama Crimson Tide fan. Following graduation from high school, Bill joined the Navy and served with distinction in the Pacific Theater during World War II. While in port following a war injury he met Thelma, and they were married 6 weeks later in Clarkston, Washington on December 26, 1945. Shortly afterward he was discharged from the Navy, became a TV repairman, and began working for Montgomery Wards. Blessed with a clever mind and a strong work ethic, he quickly began rising through the ranks. When he retired nearly 35 years later, he had become Western Regional Vice President for Wards. Bill and his beloved Thelma were approaching their 63rd wedding anniversary when she passed away in 2008.

A devoted Christian, Bill was always active in his local church. He loved to teach Sunday school and lead Bible studies. Even when he could no longer physically get to church, he would lead a study at his assisted living facility. He loved to tell people about Jesus.

He was also fond of many other activities. A top priority was frequently returning to Alabama for vacations and family visits. For years golf, fishing and deer hunting were enjoyable diversions. He loved being with his grandchildren and foster babies cared for by daughter Mary. As his mobility became limited, he looked forward to a steady stream of pictures of these children so he could follow their development. Few were more gifted at telling stories than Bill. He could entertain a room full of eager listeners for hours with (only slightly embellished) tales of childhood mischief with his brothers or distant Navy adventures.

Family and friends will gather this September in Alabama for a celebration of Bill's life.

Psalm 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
Published in Tucson Local Media on May 31, 2017
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