William Farrell "Bill" Bump, 94, of Purdy, passed away on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Mo. He was born on Nov. 13, 1917, the only child of Everett and Flora (Hayworth) Bump.
As a young man, Bill joined the Air Force and became a pilot flying B-17 and B-29 aircraft over Europe during World War II. He also served in the Korean conflict. When he left the military, he went into civil service at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Okla. As crew chief he supervised over 30 men whose job was servicing aircraft engines. He took early retirement from his job at Tinker when he was in his 50's to return to the family farm when his parents needed his help.
Bill will be remembered as a man who never tired of learning. He read the Joplin Globe from front to back every Sunday. He spent hours pouring over each new issue of National Geographic. While in the military, he traveled to Europe and Africa and of all the places he visited. He said his favorites were The Vatican and the Sistine Chapel in Rome. In fact, he always wanted to go back. He suffered frost bite to his toes while in North Africa and his feet were cold from that day forward.
Bill appreciated his life through good times and bad. His strength and optimism were evident as he faced many challenges throughout his 94 years. Simple things gave him great pleasure. A ripe apple or a persimmon from one of his trees made his day. He enjoyed working his farm, fishing his ponds, and visiting with his friends. He knew every square inch of his property. He was an avid bird watcher and kept a daily journal of weather conditions, any wild animals he spotted and all visitors of the human variety.
His favorite pond was one he stocked and designed himself. He selected the trees and bushes that surround it. He fed the fish daily and he had a strict "catch and release" policy if he invited you to go fishing.
He collected arrowheads and was always on the lookout for Indian artifacts. He cooked on a wood stove and to say he was particular about his diet would be an understatement. Always health conscious, he knew exactly what he could or could not eat.
Bill will be remembered for his kindness, his generosity, and his sense of humor. He was a devoted son, a trusted friend, and a good neighbor to all. He lived a long and productive life, and he leaves behind a legacy of caring for the environment and a group of friends who will miss him very much.
Graveside services for Bill will be held Saturday June 30, 2012 at 11a.m. at Russell Cemetery outside of Butterfield, Mo.
Online condolences may be made at www.bennettwormington.com.
Arrangements are under the care of Bennett-Wormington Funeral Home in Monett, Mo.