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Columbia Missourian

Carolyn Lee Rumph loved cooking, gardening and travel

By Arthur Cook Bremer
October 23, 2012 | 8:35 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Carolyn Rumph had a passion for cooking.

"We always had cookies," her daughter, Lorri Wheeler, said. "These days it's hard for me to eat lunch and not want a cookie afterwards."

Wheeler remembers how her mother would always bake a spice cake on her father's birthday. The three-layer cake would be topped with a seven-minute frosting, slightly hard at the surface and sweet. 

Carolyn Lee Rumph of Columbia died Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. She was 75.

She was born Dec. 6, 1936, in Kansas City, to Louis and Catherine (Potter) Cochran. She married Vash Rumph on Dec. 27, 1957, in Topeka, Kan.

Mrs. Rumph met her husband when they were both attending Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. She graduated in 1958 with her bachelor's degree in dietetic management.

Mrs. Rumph liked reading, growing flowers in her garden and cross-stitching gifts for her family and friends. 

She loved to travel and would often take trips with her family to revolutionary war forts in New England, camp grounds in Colorado or the beach in Wilmington, N.C.

Mrs. Rumph also served as a deacon and an elder at her church and performed in the church choir. 

"She was just a very caring person," Wheeler said. "I think that's why she was so active in the church, because she cared and she wanted to help people."

Mrs. Rumph and her friend, Norma Spurgeon, sat together in the choir at Trinity Presbyterian Church and quickly became friends when they learned they shared an interest in etymology, the study of words.

"She was just such a lovely person and lots of fun," Spurgeon said. "I just feel very blessed for having known her."

Mrs. Rumph is survived by her daughter, Lorri Wheeler and her husband, Gene, of Columbia; and three sons, Tim Rumph of Laurinburg, N.C., Matthew Rumph of Minneapolis, and Andrew Rumph of Iron Station, N.C.

Her husband, Vash Rumph, died earlier. 

A memorial service, conducted by the Rev. Dr. Rim Massey, will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 31, 2012, at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1600 W. Rollins Road.

Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice Compassus, 3050 I-70 Drive SE, Suite 100, Columbia, MO 65201, and the Alzheimer's Association, 2400 Bluff Creek Drive, Columbia, MO 65201.

Tributes can be posted at

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu