By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun
5:22 PM EDT, May 16, 2013
Augustine H. "Humpy" Stump Jr., a retired Baltimore insurance executive who had been president of Stump, Harvey & Cook Co. Inc. and an active churchman and volunteer, died Sunday of complications from a fall and pneumonia at Springwell, a Mount Washington senior-living community. He was 87.
"He was smart, worked hard and liked people," said his brother, Dawson Stump of Owings Mills, who had been vice president and secretary at Stump, Harvey & Cook. "He had a great outgoing personality and liked the job and worked hard at it."
Augustine Herman Stump Jr. was born in Baltimore and raised in Owings Mills. After graduating from Gilman School in 1944, he began his studies at Princeton University. He left to join the Navy during World War II, stationed as a signalman at the Panama Canal.
After the war ended, Mr. Stump, who never used his first name and was known as "Humpy," returned to Princeton, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1950. He then began his business career selling shoes at the Hecht Co.
In the early 1950s, he joined Stump, Harvey & Co. Inc., an insurance company at 17 E. Saratoga St. founded by his father in the 1920s.
Mr. Stump, whose specialty was selling insurance to road and bridge contractors, eventually headed the company until it was sold in the 1990s to Corron & Black in Hunt Valley.
He remained with the company, which is now part of Willis of Maryland Inc., until retiring about 2008.
In 1952, Mr. Stump married Louise Warfield. For nearly 60 years, the couple lived in an old log cabin on their 15-acre farm on Millender Road in Reisterstown, which they named "Not Far From Boring."
The couple also shared an interest in fox hunting and showing horses, which they passed on to two of their children.
Their daughter, Alicia N. Murphy, a steeplechase horse trainer who won the Virginia Gold Cup two weeks ago, lives in Reisterstown. James Stump, their son, who was also a noted steeplechase rider, was 20 when he was killed in 1977 in a racing accident at Fair Hill.
Mr. Stump was an active communicant and had been a junior warden at St. John's Episcopal Church in Glyndon. He also had been an active member of a Bible discussion group that met before work on Tuesday mornings at 7 a.m. at the church.
"I meet with 25 other people, and we choose a chapter of the Bible, and from that we get into a free-for-all discussion of all kinds of issues," he told The Baltimore Sun in a 1985 article. "It's nothing scholarly — just kind of a cross section of humanity just baring their souls to one another — but it sets me up for the day."
"Humpy had always been a faithful Christian and the holiest man I've ever known in my life," said the Rev. Philip Burwell Roulette, retired rector of St. John's, who lives in Rodgers Forge. "He never heard any evil, saw any evil or did any evil. He just cared so deeply about people."
Mr. Roulette said that his friend's faith and kindness toward others was genuine: "He was a caretaker. There was nothing unctuous, sugary, schmaltzy or saccharine about him. He was immensely kind. He was a prince."
In 1982, Mr. Stump was a founder along with his church of Paul's Place, a Ward Street soup kitchen in the Washington Village-Pigtown neighborhood in Southwest Baltimore.
When Paul's Place operated Barnabas House, a men's shelter, Mr. Stump would go in at 8:30 p.m. and leave about 7 a.m. the next morning.
"It's no big deal. We have places for 10 people, and in the morning we serve them coffee and toast, and maybe someone will bring in hard-boiled eggs; but it puts me in touch with humanity, and it makes me feel I'm being helpful," Mr. Stump said in the 1985 interview. "I'm grateful for that."
"Humpy had a very quiet strength, and his faith was part of his day-to-day living," said Bill McLennan, executive director of Paul's Place. "He was here at our founding and was active for the next 30 years. He was a gentle giant."
Mr. Stump was also a founder in 1973 of the Valley School, which is now the Jemicy School, in Owings Mills.
"Humpy was a great character and a great human being, and one of the most caring men I've ever known," said Truman Semans, a friend since they were 12, who lives in Brooklandville.
Mr. Stump also volunteered and was a mentor at Genesis Jobs, a Baltimore nonprofit job-placement organization.
"Over the years, I couldn't begin to count the number of people who have come up to me to express what a wonderful man he was and some way in which he helped them during their lives," said his son, Willie L.L. Stump of Seattle.
In 2010, Mr. Stump and his wife, who died earlier this year, moved to the Mount Washington retirement community.
"Humpy liked sipping a Southside and gardening. He'd spend part of the summer at our farm in Virginia, and within moments of arriving, would have a scythe in his hand and he'd be mowing the grass," said Mr. Semans.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at his church, 3738 Butler Road.
In addition to his son, daughter and brother, Mr. Stump is survived by five grandchildren.
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