Dorothy May Stumpe, nee Horstick, 93, Washington, lost her battle with acute leukemia Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, and leaves a legacy in community service.
Born on Nov. 11, 1918, Armistice Day, marking the ending of World War I, in Richmond, Kan., where she also attended grammar school and high school. Her B.S. home economics degree was received at Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (1942) and her M.S. home economics degree was received at the University of Missouri (1970).
Mrs. Stumpe had been an environmentalist for most of her 93 years. At 15 she created a windbreak, by relocating invasive cedar saplings from a cemetery to the north side of her family's farm, which is credited for saving that farm from a tornado. She received the 4-H Best Conservation Award, State of Kansas (1933).
During the Depression in 1933, she was the first woman to ever receive the American Grand Championship for her calf at the American Royal. Selling the calf for "an unheard of price of $1/lb." she bought a college education and a gold watch now on display at the Richmond, Kan., Museum.
Her master's thesis was titled, "Acquisition, Utilization, and Disposition of Used Clothing." In 1984-1985 she was an interviewer for the University of Missouri Center for Aging Studies on effects of flooding and dioxin contamination on Missourians located in east central Missouri. And, she raised two children to be environmentalists.
Just as her mother created the 4-H Club, Mrs. Stumpe began to pay back to 4-H and her community by starting the Washington 4-H Club for her children in 1960. She was a club leader and/or project leader for over 50 years.
Her youth work focused on herbs, knitting, crocheting, sewing, cooking, electricity, crafts, home improvement, conservation and community service.
She was honored by her induction to Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society of Agriculture, University of Missouri (1998), Naomi Crouch 4-H Leadership Award (2000), and the Missouri 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame (2008).
For community betterment, she was servant, steward and leader. Organizations included the Professional Home Economics Club of Franklin County; co-chairman of the Home Economics Department at the Washington Town and Country Fair (1960-1985); president of Washington Preservation, Inc. (where she helped restore the freight depot, Kohmueller homestead, hosted a living history day with re-enactors of the Civil War, planted an herb garden and organized annual Christmas house tours); and president for three years of the American Association of University Women.
In addition, she belonged to Immanuel Lutheran Church since 1944 and its church organizations, where she is known for her presentations on "Herbs of the Bible," "Women's Veils" and "The Life of Martin Luther."
Her farm girl work ethic was demonstrated throughout her life. She was a waitress at the Toddle House in Omaha, Neb. (1940), teacher at Prescott Rural High School (1942-1944), investigator for insurance claims in Washington (1960s), teacher at R-7 East Franklin Elementary (1956-1966), teacher of homebound children (1969), teacher of home economics and social studies at the Meramec Valley School System (1966-1980), substitute teacher in several local schools (1980-1985), surveyor of home accidents in Franklin County for a MU Ph.D. student (circa 1980), licensed real estate agent with Coldwell Banker (1982-1985), in-home service employee with the North East Community Action Corporation (1991-2000), and was manager and bookkeeper for the family businesses of Washington Excavating and Hauling, Inc., Stumpe Motor, Stumpe Development and Dorothy Stumpe Business (1972-2012).
Mrs. Stumpe was ambitious and talented in personal activities and crafts. She traveled to Europe with a University of Missouri group in 1970 and was an avid reader of books from the public library. Her favorite book was "Three Cups of Tea." She also enjoyed the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Missouri Conservationist, Mother Earth and Quilter's Newsletter.
She made handcrafted prairie dolls, potholders and annual Christmas ornaments as gifts to friends. Baking, sewing, quilting and gardening brought joy to many. Grandchildren think she is famous for her onion bread. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren each adore their quilt.
Mrs. Stumpe retained a strong national patriotism. She married Cpl. Clarence Frank Stumpe June 5, 1944, in Richmond, Kan., the day before D-Day of the Normandy Landing in World War II. While Clarence was in the service, they lived in Galena, Kan., and Camp Crowder as she got a job sewing chevrons on Army uniforms, patches on olive green heavy-torn comforters and changing uniforms into an Eisenhower style.
After Clarence's active duty, they made their home in Washington. She worked at voting polls beginning in 1955, was active in the Republican Women's Organization and won the first-place Bicentennial Award for her needlepoint sampler displaying U.S. flags.
She was a U.S. census worker in three phases of the 1990 census and two phases of the 2000 census. She is listed in "Who's Who of American Women" (Marquis 18th Edition) and was the featured cover story in the Washington Missourian's Senior LifeTimes, July 2011.
Mrs. Stumpe is the daughter of Myrtle Wagner (12/6/1887 - 9/7/1987, born in Muscatine, Iowa) and Harry Cornelius Horstick (8/11/1883 - 7/5/1959, born in Harrisburg, Pa.). She was born in the same farmhouse, where her parents were married in Richmond, Kan. - the home of grandparents John and Julia Wagner.
She and Clarence Frank Stumpe (12/13/08 - 5/7/1992, born in Washington) were married for nearly 48 years and blessed with two children and their spouses, the late Lester Allen Stumpe (11/11/1949 - 3/7/2010) and wife Marcia Mauter, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Ruth Brent Tofle and husband Marvin Tofle, Columbia.
Mrs. Stumpe is survived by five grandchildren, Meagan Stumpe Mauter and husband Daniel Colvard, Melissa Stumpe Mauter, Justin Stumpe Mauter, Jessica Brent Breed and husband Tom Breed and Jonathan Edward Brent and wife Alicia Bridges Brent; and five great-grandchildren, Laura Anne Breed, John Edward Breed, Mark Lester Breed, Mae Josephine Brent and Jane Leona Brent.
She was the sister of the late William Wagner Horstick, and leaves her brother, Edwin Harry Horstick, Richmond, Kan. Her nephews and nieces and their spouses are Arthur and Kathy Winters, Walter and Belva Winters, Mary Jane and Richard Brinker, Grace and Tim Bertholdi, Jerry and Linda Horstick, Tom and Linda Horstick and Kathleen Horstick. She will be missed by generations of 4-H children.
In lieu of flowers, suggested charitable contributions may be sent to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 214 W. Fifth Street, Washington, MO 63090; Washington Historical Society, P.O. Box 146, Washington, MO 63090; Missouri 4-H Foundation, Stumpe-Tofle Endowment, 819 Clark Hall, Columbia, MO 65211; University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, Stumpe-Tofle Fund, 137 Stanley Hall, Columbia, MO 65211; Richmond Community Museum Association, P.O. Box 284, Richmond, KS 66080, or a fund to support women in need or environmentalism.
Visitation will be held Friday, Feb. 3, from 4-8 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church narthex, 214 W. Fifth St., Washington.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 4, at 10:30 a.m. at the church with a graveside service and luncheon following.
Published in The Missourian on Feb. 1, 2012.