August 22, 1929 - January 9, 2020
John Edward Kumpf, retired E-Systems (acquired by Raytheon in 1996) Vice President of Corporate Communications, retired US Air Force pilot and avid golfer, passed away January 9, 2020. Kumpf lived an exciting, happy, noble, blessed, successful, full life enhanced by a gentle sense of humor, a loving family and many friends. Kumpf was fortunate to be involved in the pioneering days of jet aviation and early development of the computer and its applications. Born during the Great Depression in Chicago, IL on August 22, 1929, as a twin son of Ruth Elizabeth (Westphal), also a twin, and John Lyle Kumpf, he grew up in Minneapolis, MN. He attended the University of Minnesota for two years before entering pilot training with the USAF in 1950 at Randolph AFB, San Antonio, TX and Craig AFB, Selma, AL where he flew the F-51, along with several other first operational jets. As a fighter pilot in the Korean War, he flew 100 missions in the F-86, the first supersonic jet. Kumpf was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters and various other awards and medals. After serving as an instructor, Kumpf was honorably discharged. He then joined the US Air Force Reserve and returned to the University of Minnesota, graduating with a BS in Economics in 1956. In 1974, Kumpf also graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He retired from the USAF Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Kumpf’s business career began with Remington Rand Univac in St. Paul, MN. He left Univac in 1972 as the Director of Public Relations to join E-Systems, a world leader in developing advanced intelligence and reconnaissance systems, from which he retired in 1996. During his career, he served for two years as Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association Communications Council, Chairman of the Electronic Industries Association Public Affairs Council, past President of the Dallas chapter of the Air Force Association, as well as remaining active in several other business-related organizations. He served as Trustee of the Airmen’s Nantambu Memorial Foundation, which raised money to build a school for the children of natives who helped save the lives of downed airmen during World War II, in the jungle of New Guinea. He was a member of the Quiet Birdmen, the Daedalians and past member on the board of Frontiers of Flight Museum. He was an avid, better than average, obsessed golfer, who was an active member of the Bent Tree Country Club.
He is survived by sons Stephen Paul, Rosemount, MN and Thomas John Kumpf, Dallas, TX, stepchildren; Gregory Richard Hatch, Joshua, TX and Sarah Jane Kreiner, Lewisville, TX, ten grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and sister Mary Bloomquist Emerson, Woodbury, MN.
Memorial services will be held at the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX on Friday, January 24, 2020 at 11:00 AM.
Kumpf raised money for the inception of the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, so we ask in lieu of flowers, please send donations directly to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, TX in loving memory of John Kumpf.
Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.
To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.