Aug. 12, 2015: Stan Bump, a very close friend, formerly of Sammamish and a former member of the Sammamish Planning Commission, died yesterday after a long struggle with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Stan and his wife Ellie became a fixture at Sammamish City Council meetings after his term expired on the Planning Commission. The Council reserved seats for them in the front row–the only citizens so honored–for their long dedication to attending council meetings.
Stan was a career Naval officer, retiring as Rear Admiral, with his last command that of Kings Bay (GA), an Ohio-Class Trident Nuclear submarine base. When I had to unusual opportunity of spending two days and two nights on the Trident sub, USS Maryland, in the Atlantic out of Kings Bay, I saw Adm. Stan Bump St. on the base.
Stan had years earlier arranged a VIP ride for my wife and me on the USS Alabama right here out of the Bangor (WA) base.
Stan was a no-nonsense sort, as you might expect from a career Naval officer, and blessed with a wonderful sense of humor. We often kidded him that while Stan was a two-star Admiral, Ellie was a four-star and therefore out-ranked him. He freely acknowledged this was the case.
Stan and Ellie moved to Issaquah after ALS was diagnosed. My wife and I visited every few months or so and watched him progressively succumb the to ravages of ALS. The last time we saw Stan a few months ago, it was clear he struggled to breath and talk. But it was remarkable how his spirits held up throughout his ordeal–and even more so, how strong the grip of his handshake was even then.
It was also remarkable to see how well Ellie’s spirits held up. She was as cheerful as ever at these visits. This was truly a couple deeply in love and committed through “better or worse.”
Remembrance service has not been set. Stan’s wishes are no flowers or things, but rather donations to the ALS Society.
I shall miss Stan. I won’t be the only one. But he’s a peace now after a terrible disease.
And so is Ellie.
Thoughts and prayers with both, and their entire family.