Dorothy Stumpe, community and 4-H leader, environmentalist, dies at 93

Sunday, January 29, 2012 | 9:52 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Dorothy May Stumpe is remembered as saying, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" and passed on her values to her children and family.

"She was amazing and led by example," her daughter, Ruth Tofle, said. "She had tremendous values that were so important."

Dorothy Stumpe of Washington, Mo., died Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, from acute leukemia. She was 93.

She was born on Nov. 11, 1918, in Richmond, Kan., to Harry and Myrtle (Wagner) Horstick.  She married Clarence Frank Stumpe on June 5, 1944, in Richmond, Kan., and they lived in Washington, Mo. They were married for nearly 48 years until his death in 1992.

Growing up in a farmhouse, Mrs. Stumpe became the first woman to receive the American Grand Championship award for her calf at the American Royal in 1933 in Kansas City. She sold her calf for one dollar per pound and used the money to pay for her college education.

Mrs. Stumpe graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in home economics in 1942. She also received a master’s degree from MU in home economics in 1970.

Mrs. Stumpe started Washington's first 4-H club in 1960. She taught children knitting and crocheting so they would be passed down to other generations. She was inducted into the Missouri 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame in 2008. She also taught at various schools for 35 years, and managed family businesses.

"She kept on working and she never stopped," Tofle said.

Mrs. Stumpe was an environmentalist and strong community member.

"When everyone was in a throw-away society, she practiced sustainability," Tofle said. 

She found a use in everything and never let anything go to waste.

"When I was growing up, people would come over and eat some of her fruit pies and ask if she made it from scratch," Tofle said.

She said her mother would respond, "I planted the tree, I picked the fruit and I made the pie."

Mrs. Stumpe also had an herb garden, which was a place that could brighten her spirits after a hard day.

"She’d like to be in the sunshine in her garden," Tofle said. "Sometimes she would pop corn and that’s how she would get in a better mood."

Mrs. Stumpe is survived by her daughter, Ruth Brent Tofle, and her husband, Marvin, of Columbia; her brother, Edwin Horstick, of Richmond, Kan.; her daughter-in-law, Marcia Mauter, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio; five grandchildren, Meagan Stumpe Mauter and her husband, Daniel Colvard, Melissa Stumpe Mauter, Justin Stumpe Mauter, Jessica Brent Breed, and her husband, Tom Breed, and Jonathan Edward Brent and his wife, Alicia Bridges Brent; five great-grandchildren; and seven nieces and nephews, and their spouses.

Her husband, Clarence Frank Stumpe; son, Lester Allen Stumpe; and brother, William Wagner Horstick, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 214 W. Fifth St., Washington, Mo. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the same location.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Stumpe-Tofle Fund, University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, 137 Stanley Hall, Columbia, Mo., 65211; or Missouri 4-H Foundation, Stumpe-Tofle Endowment, 819 Clark Hall, Columbia, Mo., 65211.

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