Earl Milham Mumford
(1928 - 2017)

Profile:
Earl Milham Mumford

Birth:
Howard South Dakota
March 12, 1928

Passing:
Hayward Wisconsin
August 1, 2017


Memorial
Wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and good friend, Earl M. Mumford, age 89, of Bradenton, FL and before that Longboat Key, FL and Sioux City, Iowa for many years, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday evening, August 1, 2017 at his summer home on Grindstone Lake near Hayward Wisconsin, a place he loved so much.

A founder of Iowa Orhopedics and distinguished board member of the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Mumford was an early pioneer in hip replacement surgery. In the late 1960’s, he he was one of the few surgeons who received FDA approval to use acrylic cement, enabling him to perform this novel procedure which had enormous impact in improving the quality of life for thousands of his patients. In July 1989, Dr. Mumford joined first responders and medical personnel in aiding many survivors of United Airlines #232, which suffered a catastrophic engine failure and crash-landed in his hometown of Sioux City, Iowa.

Additionally, he served on the board of directors for St. Luke’s Hospital, Marian Health Center and Norwest Bank. He is survived by his wife, Ann; five children and seven grandchildren.

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In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the University of South Dakota Foundation:

E.M. Mumford Memorial Scholarship Endowment, P.O. Box 5555, Vermillion, SD 57069.

You can also go online at http://onwardsd.org/donate then select "other" and on the drop down menu, type in E.M. Mumford Memorial Scholarship Fund, and pay by credit card.

OVER $10,000 RAISED SO FAR - THANK YOU!
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Ann Mumford's address is 6404 21st Avenue West, #M201 Bradenton, FL 34209. Her home phone is 941-383-1896 and cell is 941-218-3495.

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Earl Mumford Tribute

My father, Earl Mumford, was a remarkable man. He rose from small-town Howard South Dakota humble beginnings, earning three college degrees, becoming a renowned doctor in Sioux City Iowa, marrying his college sweetheart Ann, raising five children and spending wonderful retirement years in Longboat Key, Florida.

As a renowned Doctor, people would stop him at parties and on the street for a diagnosis, and he would answer without hesitation. He loved to cook and was as comfortable in the kitchen as he was in the operating room. At Christmas, he would hand deliver his famous fruit cakes and mouth watering divinity fudge to friends & family, despite Iowa's freezing temperatures. His amazing hands could heal a patient but also fix a tangled fishing pole, repair a crying child’s broken toy, prepare a gourmet meal, paint a picture, and even create a homemade corsage for a prom date.

He was a spiritual man who attended Trinity Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa and All Angels Episcopal Church in Longboat Key, Florida. Earl served on the Vestry and never hesitated helping others in need.

He constantly surprised us. Shortly after he retired, Dad started wearing a gold chain around his neck that he purchased in one of his favorite places, Acapulco Mexico. He was the only guy among his conservative midwest friends to proudly sport this beautiful piece. He never told us why…we never asked…but my brothers, sisters and friends loved that we had the hippest dad in the neighborhood! That’s why he was a Renaissance Man, defined as "a person with many talents or areas of knowledge."

On the day of his passing, he was enjoying one of those picture-perfect cabin days on Grindstone Lake in Wisconsin. The sky was bright blue, the air was crisp, and the lake was calm. He woke up early to treat his visiting son & grandson to his famous Swedish “skinny" pancakes. Earl truly enjoyed spending time with his children & grandchildren and always took interest in the latest news in their lives.

Then, as usual, he read the newspaper, completed the crossword puzzle, monitored the lake, dock & boats, tended his flower pots, and discussed the day’s events with his wife Ann. In the early evening, as is his routine, he carefully mixed that perfect half gin/half vodka martini with not two, but four onions. He sat outside on the porch watching a gorgeous sunset, and ended the day with pizza at one of his favorite restaurants, “Angler’s Haven.” Gazing at the beautiful Northwoods sky, he and Ann debated whether there was a full moon.

Upon returning home, Earl put on his favorite pajamas, took a sip of water from his nightstand and gently set down his reading glasses. Perhaps he gazed out at the bright stars as he bid good night to Ann. He laid down on his left side, those amazing hands gently tucked under his head, shut his eyes - and - a short time later, died peacefully in a place he loves so much.

Once in a generation someone special like Earl Mumford comes into our lives. From his humble beginnings, this brilliant, favorite son of small-town Howard, South Dakota, wasn’t ordinary, he was extraordinary: Army veteran, Orthopedic surgeon, devoted husband for sixty-four years, proud father of five, proud grandfather of seven, gourmet cook, avid sports fan, accomplished gardener, outdoorsman, world traveler, talented painter, loyal friend, gifted teacher, and a Disciple of Christ.

A founder of Iowa Orhopedics and distinguished board member of the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Mumford was an early pioneer in hip replacement surgery. In the late 1960’s, he he was one of the few surgeons who received FDA approval to use acrylic cement, enabling him to perform this novel procedure and improving patient recovery time. In July 1989, Dr. Mumford joined first responders and medical personnel in aiding many survivors of United Airlines #232, which suffered a catastrophic engine failure and crash-landed in his hometown of Sioux City, Iowa. Additionally, he served on the board of directors for St. Luke’s Hospital, Marian Health Center and Norwest Bank.

Pastor Danner from All Angels Church in Longboat Key FL, where Earl & Ann retired, said it best, "there's no doubt that the Lord had a special place prepared for Earl and he would be welcomed with the words "well done good and faithful servant.” We were blessed for the long life - and the good life - which Earl enjoyed. And we give thanks for all of the precious memories which he inspired in us, memories which will guide us and sustain us in this life until we are reunited in the next.”

Dad gave us many gifts, particularly the gift of years. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Earl Mumford was truly one of God’s most beautiful children and led a life well lived.

--David Mumford

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“A Life Remembered” by Karen Mumford

Good morning. My name is Karen, I’m the 4th of 5 children of Ann and Earl Mumford. I join my mom and brothers and sister, our spouses and grandchildren in thanking you all for joining us in celebrating and remembering our dad, husband, grandfather, uncle, in-law, son, faithful friend, physician, volunteer, educator, artist, and spiritual role model: Earl Milham Mumford.

There is so much I wish I could tell you about our amazing Dad, but I am going to share just a few personal memories that reflect the legacy that Dad leaves in our hearts.

1. Dad had a loving and playful nature that came out in so many ways - one of which includes the NICKNAMES he gave to his family and friends, which to this day, are still in use! Mom is “Annie,” sometimes “Macreedie.” How many times have I heard, ”oh Annie.” My brother Dave was “Teedlebaum,” shortened to “Teedle.” My brother John was “Hookie,” followed by “Juano” in his later years. My brother Joe was “Jose.” I was “Karrie Berrie Beep.” And Kris was “Fin-a-maroon” or “Matroonie.” Krissy, there is something about you that is truly a “Matroonie” - but what the heck does it mean?

And these names went well beyond the immediate family. Jeanne, there you are, was “Teenie Weenie Jeanne.” Dad’s friends were “Giwador,” the “Zeeb,” “Marsha Mae.” His nephews “Stevarino” and “Screech”…and on and on.

This same form of love and affection is happening in us, his children. Jeannne - back to you - I often call her “Smitty.”Joe refers to his daughter Erin as “Er-Bear, wife Suzanne is “Zan,” and son “Ben-ja-mine.” Dave calls Drake, “Snakey,” Katie is “The Princess.”John and Rachel - Emma is “Em” and Jackson is “Action Jackson.” I have literally dozens of names for Cheryl - “Peach,” “Cakes,” and do not even get me started with my friends “Hooch” and the “Looster.” Thank you Dad for sharing your playfulness and loving ways with all of us—we cherish it and live it every day.

2. Every year my family went on vacation to our grandparents cabin in Hayward, Wisconsin - YES - in a GREEN STATION WAGON. Dad was behind the wheel and Mom next to him navigating. With 5 children horsing around and carrying on in the car as kids would normally do, these early trips actually contributed to the skills we now use in our professional lives.

For example, Joe is now a talented surgeon, much like his dad. Those skills were honed in the car by his adept ability to carefully place trash in the hair of siblings who sat in from of him. Most notable was the day he calculated the amount of hairspray in Mom’s doo and managed to carefully balance a glass coca-cola bottle on her head.

Dave and John - the two oldest - learned the art of negotiation and persuasion when jockeying for the more comfortable seat near the window - they have since become successful businessmen.

Kris, our smart peacemaker baby sister, was many times placed between the two older boys to prevent them from fighting. She is a patient, wise and a kind person who now reports on crimes committed in the city of Nashville….hmmm?

Dad, I am so grateful for the experience of each other’s company on those wonderful trips - they gave us the time and space to grow close. Green station wagon stories will live on—thank you.

3. While growing up in Sioux City Iowa, we attended Trinity Lutheran CHURCH. I confess on Sunday mornings, we would lay in our beds praying dad would forget to wake us for services - rarely to never did this happen. Dad’s knock and gentle voice said, “Up and at ‘em.” He rousted us, and off we went in the green station wagon to church. Sadly, our early church years were spent sneakily and silently taunting one another in the church pews. My sister Krissy could remove a shoe and pinch your calf with her toes…it really hurt!

Around 8th grade, I was standing next to Dad, and all of a sudden, what we were doing in the services and through worship connected with me. I watched and followed Dad as he went thru the liturgy and began to think about the meaning of worship. I can now recite most of that liturgy by memory and reflect on its meaning. And I still see Dad in his suit next to me worshipping together.

Sharing time with him him at All Angels by the Sea was equally moving - listening to his voice as he sung harmony to the hymns; watching him kneel in prayer. Dad, thanks for being an incredible role model and for sharing so much of your spiritual journey with all of us.

4. It is hard to reflect on Dad without thinking about his amazing partnership with MOM - Ann Miriam Mumford. So many nights, I would fall asleep to the sound of their voices murmuring as they discussed their day and made plans for the future. Together they created a full life with wonderful friendships and thoughtful and genuine contributions to their family and community. The strength of their commitment to each other was reflected in the respect they received from their family and friends.


Thank you, Dad, for sharing your committed, loving, fun, smart, fascinating and deeply loving relationship to Mom with all of us. I see your relationship reflected in the lives your children and in the hopes and dreams of your grandchildren.

I am going to let you go Dad with prayers filled with gratitude - you have given me and all of us so much. Thank you for sharing with us your fun, smart, kind, loving and deeply moving ways. Know that we will do our best to walk in your shoes and live with gratitude for the life you shared with us.

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“A Life Remembered” by Joe Mumford

I’m Joe, I am Dad’s third son, flanked by older brothers Dave and John, sisters Karen and Kris. That puts me in the middle, which by convention, should have made me the neglected child. That did not happen. We had love and nurturing. It was incredible growing up together…with Mom and Dad.

I have been immensely blessed and honored to have followed in my father’s footsteps in many ways. We have a lot in common. We’re both left-handed. We’re both orthopedic surgeons. Sorry Father [Danner]. We married amazing women. We raised incredible kids…well above Garrison Keillor’s standards.

And we enjoyed golf. We both played a rather mediocre bogey round. On Dad’s end, that’s not for a lack of trying.

I remember, back in the past, he would come home from a day at work, he would decompress in the backyard, he would light up a cigarette, prune some flowers…and he’d get that seven iron out with those plastic “wiffle-ball” golf balls. It did not help the game much. We also share a love for gardening and cooking and travel.

As Father Danner said, Dad was a quiet man, a very reserved man. I don’t think I ever heard him raise his voice in anger, with an exception, that I only heard about. This would have been at my high school football games.

He would be sitting with Mike Moeller. Apparently, they were so vocal and loud, criticizing bad calls and poor coaching, that Mom and Bev Moeller refused to sit with the guys anymore.

There’s one story I want to share with you. The summer of 1982, Dad took me out to college. I remember that like it was yesterday. We took little Ozark Airlines from Sioux City, Iowa to Chicago and connected with United to LaGuardia. And took a little puddle jumper, called Pilgrim Airlines, to New Haven, Connecticut.

It’s a trip that I would do many times in the ensuing four years. We checked into the Omni Hotel, which was on the New Haven Green, just across from the Yale campus. Mind you, I had never set foot at Yale. I had never been east of Chicago until that trip. It was kinda cold, and rainy and getting dark and we checked in. My brother Dave was in New York at the time, and he came up.

At the advice of the concierge, we went out to the dinner at this Italian restaurant. Dave wisely told the waiter why don’t you just order for us. We had course after course of this amazing Italian food, several bottles of amazing Italian wine.

We conversed for three or four hours. And I learned things about Dad that I never heard. Growing up in Howard, South Dakota. A stint in the service. How he met Mom. Training years in Ann Arbor. Kind of an amazing event.

The next morning we woke up to this brilliant sunshine, blue skies…and a mild hangover(laughter). We walked across the New Haven Green to the campus and the freshman quad, and I was wearing cut-off jeans and a University of Okoboji t-shirt.

All my possessions for college were in two suitcases. As I stood on this campus, I got this horrible, sinking, dark feeling: what is this hayseed from Sioux City, Iowa doing on this venerable Ivy League campus?

And Dad took me by the shoulders, looked me square in the eyes, and said “Hose,” which is short for “Jose,” “it’s going to be ok.” And he was right. I had four pretty amazing years there.

I think Dad left this life, much as how he lived it, with grace and dignity and honor. Many of you have heard the story: we spent a week - all the family - in Wisconsin.

We could all tell that he wasn’t feeling well. He was taking longer naps. He was going to bed earlier. He was on his walker. He loved playing pitch, a card game. He only played one game of pitch. He owes me five bucks by the way Mom. And I don’t think he ever went on a boat ride. He just wasn’t himself.

A couple days after we left, he laid down after dinner and passed away peacefully in a lake cabin, a place that he loved. And I truly hope and pray…when my day comes, when the good Lord is ready for me, that I follow in his footsteps one last time.

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“A Life Remembered” by John Mumford

Good morning. I’m John, and I’m the second of the five Mumford kids. I don’t know what the afterlife holds. But I do know it is important that we remember my father. And we will, because we will all carry Earl with us; the kind of man he was…what he believed. If we spoke with him today, I think most of us would know what he would say if asked a question.

Most of you know him well and have your own opinions. As Earl’s son, maybe I saw a different side of him, but I don’t know. He never seemed to struggle with important moral and psychological issues. He always had a casual certainty about him, a moral compass that always told him right from wrong. And he possessed a simple goodness and decency which attracted people to him. He was profoundly ethical and was immensely competent at whatever he set his mind to. No wonder he was such a successful surgeon.

Most people are good advice givers and bad advice takers. My father was the opposite. I can only remember two pieces of advice that he told me in my life.

The rest of what I learned from him, and that has served me very well, when I open up my heart to it, I learned from his conduct and the way he comported himself. The way he treated my mother. The way he treated his children. The way he conducted business and his personal life.
Most importantly, the way he treated those who less powerful than himself.
So, I’ll tell you the two pieces of advice he gave me. One, he said, “as long as you stay in school Juano and you matriculate”…I looked that up, what does that mean?” I will pay for your education.” Hence law school. But that statement told a lot about Earl.

He believed deeply in the power of education to improve society anad to lift up the individual. He loved our country and believed we need to take care of ourselves. And that government, by its very nature, can never do it as well. His charity was local, and he and my mother were always deeply involved in their communities giving money, and more importantly, their time to make whatever local community they were living in a better place.

Before I give you the second piece of advice he told me, he was wise enough to know you can’t tell people what to do. You can only educate them and help them. They have to decide for themselves. And I hope that understanding descends to my children. My mother and father always said, “teach your children early that you’ll be gone.” Teach them how to take care of themselves.

The second advice was: “don’t ride motorcycles.” He said if you want to, then let me take you to the emergency room to show you some of the bikers I fixed up. And it was never their fault. It was always the lady that didn’t see them pulling out. The lady’s car won that battle. So when I took a trip to India, I rented a Rajoot Indonesian motorbike and drove around a bit; but much slower traffic there.

When I was - I think - about 15, I shouldn’t say this in front of Jackson, my boy, but I stole my dad’s car to impress my current girlfriend, to show her what a cool guy I was. Dad and mom came home at the wrong time when I pulled up. I kicked my friends out of the house. It was very embarrassing. Cool John showing the girlfriend how cool he is. And it all went south. I went crawling back into the house.

I remember Mom sent Dad to dicipline me. So we’re sitting down in the room, he has his bathrobe on. His back is to a big window, and my three jerk friends are making faces. He didn’t know that so I had to keep a straight face. All I remember from that is, the one time I saw this kind of dialed up style of anger, and it was: “Juano, I can’t believe you did that!”

There was a little conversation after that and everything cools off. I’m expecting the other shoe to fall…the beating, whatever, but it never happened. I never heard another word about it. But I never took his car again.

Another little story about tells how easy it was to grow up a Mumford in Sioux City, Iowa in the 70s. I’m having a kegger party. I’m probably 16 or 17 then. At kegger parties, we just set up a couple of kegs of beer in the middle of a cornfield. This one was about 20 miles north of Sioux City. I drove the red Chevrolet Impala which had a horn that played “Oh Susanna.” I had three or four buddies in the car with me all holding beers when we pulled out of the party.

Beer was sloshing around the car on the floor boards, and the State Troopers stopped every kid coming out. Ahhh…this looks bad I thought. The State Trooper at the exit asked me for my license, takes a look at it…and leans over and sternly said: “are you Dr. Earl Mumford’s kid?” Yeahhhh, I am.

He then proceeded to go on about how my father performed some operation on his grandmother in Anthonoto, Iowa…and how it changed her life and what a remarkable guy he was, how decent he was to her. Well, they busted everybody else. But he looks at me and says, “Boy, do you think you can drive home?” Absolutely, I said!

Another story: whenever a Mumford kid would graduate from college, you would be allowed to go to Acapulco, Mexico to the Villa Sioux with 10 or so friends. So I was all over that. We went down there and had a great time.

And, today, I ask myself, how does a guy that is born in Howard South Dakota get around to buying or even thinking about buying an interest in a villa in Acapulco? For the first time, I understood. He would go down and get sick, I think, virtually every time.

But he loved the Spanish culture. He learned the language. It was called the Villa Sioux, named after the S-i-o-u-x Indian tribe. When I got down there, I saw a different man I hadn’t seen before. He’s got the gold chain on…lounging, relaxed. Earl was a man who knew how to relax, because he was innocent of heart.

He could really relax well. He seemed to turn off the cares of he world. He was holding court there…and Concha, Choo-choo and Eliza, people who worked there…they loved him, because he always showed a genuine interest in their well-being and treated them with respect. He was the “El Jefe.” Acapulco sun glinting off that gold chain. He had some great times down there and loved that life.

One final story: I decided to leave Sioux City where we all gew up. I went to school in Chicago. The Mumford children now live in all four corners of the country. My way out was a trip around the world, right. We always had the National Geographic at our home. My mother, to this day, still sends me that magazine every year. Thank you mom. And it always tweeked my interest in all the exotic places in the world.

So I prepared this chart with a line around the world showing where I intended to go. And I was really nervous about telling Mom and Dad that I was going to leave my law job, my house, and everything else. I think Mom was concerned. But I’ll never forget Dad when I told him. At first, he kind of just sat back. And he said, “hmmm, well Juano,” he stood up and grabbed the globe, put it down, and he spun it. And he said, “you should try to go here, or try here.” “But don’t go down to Sri Lanka because those Sinhalists and Tamils are fighting it out.”

He was very knowledgable and open to the world. He was always the man that said yes. Yes to skiing vacations I was always pushing. Yes to college and law school. Yes to a down payment for a house. Yes to a car. Yes to a loan to start a law firm in Los Angeles which I was never able to pay back until years later. And he never mentioned it once. I never heard, “Where’s my money?”

Finally, later in life, I asked him something about a person’s obligation beyond family. And he said, again not the advice giver, ”Well, try to do a little good Juano.” And he knew everybody had their own gyroscope…you don’t need that explained…we all know what that means. He did so much good: as a husband, as a father, as a friend, as a doctor. He played all these roles masterfully with dignity, grace and charm.

I am grateful that Jackson, my son, and I were with him the last day and night of his life. After hearing my mother’s cry, we ran over to the red cabin. And he was laying in bed, his hands peacefully under the side of his head.

He had his pajamas on, and it was as though he was a little boy, a child at peace. Jackson was wonderful; he was the one who had his wits together. And now, upon reflection, I can see that God granted my father the dignitified and peaceful exit, from all the cares of this world, that he so deserved.


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Father David Danner All Angels Episcopal Church Longboat Key FL Sermon:

Earlier this week, a member of the congregation, who has known Earl, as a fellow parishioner for at least a dozen years told me "I was shocked to find out that Earl was an orthopedic surgeon." "All of the orthopedic surgeons that I have met, and there have been many of them, will let you know within the first two minutes of meeting them what they do." I tell that little anecdote, not to anyway, disparage the profession…but... because I think it really captures the character of the Earl Mumford that I knew.

Although out of fashion in our rather brash and often uncivil world, Earl was a gentleman of the old fashion kind in every sense of the word. He was generally soft spoken, unassuming, modest, kind and ever helpful. I have heard him called a renaissance man...that is one with a wide and diverse array of talents and skills and interests, and really excels in all of them and that's accurate. But he was never one to flaunt his accomplishments.

During the first few years that I knew him, there are many occasions when Earl surprised me...like arriving arriving at church in a sports car or offering to translate into Spanish when I was helplessly trying to convey to a member of our maintenance crew. Or volunteering to cook for a St Patrick’s Day party. Or sharing advice advice on how to revive my dying flowers. I mean…I could go on and on, but my point is that his unassuming nature allows for all of these surprises that always made being with Earl a really interesting time. You just never knew what you might discover about him. But I will stop there, because in a few moments you will hear from three of his children. And later during our fellowship time, over sharing some food, breaking bread, you will see a short video that will provide much more, many more insights into the life of our dear father and grandfather and friend...that I would possibly want to say.

When my wife and I came to All Angels to be interviewed, it was Ann and Earl who picked us up at the airport and acted as our chauffeur for the few days that we were here during the interview process. So they were two of the first All Angels people that we got to know. Then after being called to serve at All Angels and moving here, they were some of the first people to invite us to their home for dinner. That's when I first discovered that Earl was a gourmet chef.

If there is one word that I might use to characterize the man that I have come to know pretty well in my home of 13 years here: it is faithful. Earl was faithful in his church attendance. It was rare for him to miss church unless he was really, really sick. Earl was faithful in his generous support of the church and its meaning. And Earl was faithful in giving of his time. He was a member of our endowment committee. He also served on the vestry, our church's governing board. My favorite memory of Earl, when he was on the vestry, came about when we needed a junior warden. Traditionally, this person oversees the church’s property. The person who had just retired from that position was John Redgrave. Parishoners will understand that those were pretty difficult shoes to fill. John had acted as sort of the engineer. John knew every square inch of the place. And he was a very hands on kind of guy who thought nothing of standing on the very top step of a 15-foot ladder so he could reach those lights up there. I remember saying to Earl that we really needed him to serve as the junior warden and asking if he would do it for at least one year. He readily said yes. Then he paused and added “but on one condition:" you are not going to get me up on the roof!

That’s Earl…always faithful, always willing to help. By this point, I am sure that you have read the tribute on the back of your bulletin that was written by David. As we reflect back upon a truly blessed life, I cannot think of a better ending than that which Earl experienced. Passing from this life to the next in a place that he loved so much. After enjoying a picture-perfect day with family and his beloved wife of 64 years. Topped off by a half gin/half vodka four onion martini.

I also mentioned that Earl was a man of faith. So I certainly would be remiss if I did not say a few words as Earl's pastor about the Christian faith which he believed and lived. St John records as Jesus saying: "he came to give us life, that he would give us abundant life." Earl was a man who knew abundant life in an earthly sense but also in a spiritual, everlasting sense. For a Christian, death is not the end, it is only the beginning of a new and glorious adventure.

Our service today is therefore not characterized by morning for the dead but by celebration for the new life that Earl is now experiencing in the nearer presence of God. I have no doubt that our Lord already had a place prepared for Earl as we heard in today’s gospel and welcomed him with the words "well done good and faithful servant.” So let us bless the Lord for the long life - and the good life - which Earl enjoyed. And give thanks for all of the precious memories which he inspired in us, memories which will guide us and sustain us in this life until we are reunited in the next.

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ABOUT EARL M. MUMFORD, M.D. (Official Newspaper submitted Obituary):

Earl M. Mumford, age 89, of Bradenton, FL and Hayward, WI passed away on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. In the day prior to his passing, Earl enjoyed one of those picture-perfect days with family on Grindstone Lake in Wisconsin. He died peacefully in his sleep in a place he loved so much.

Earl Milham Mumford was born March 12, 1928 in Howard, SD the son of Earl and Anna (Matson) Mumford. He was raised in Howard, SD and graduated from high school there in 1946. In his youth Earl was an avid pheasant hunter and fisherman. In 1946, Earl joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Italy. After being honorably discharged, Earl continued his education by attending the University of South Dakota where he received his Bachelor’s degree. He completed medical school at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and his Orthopedic Residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. He spent his medical career as an Orthopedic Surgeon in Sioux City, Iowa.

On December 27, 1952, Earl was joined in marriage to Ann Miriam Paulsrud in Sioux City and was a devoted husband for 64 years. Earl was one of the doctors to create Iowa Orthopedics in Sioux City and practiced in that area until his retirement in 1990. During that time, he served on the board of directors for St. Luke’s Hospital, Marian Health Center and Norwest Bank. Earl enjoyed golfing, growing orchids and roses, and making artistic gourmet meals. He served on the Church Council at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sioux City, IA and on the Vestry at All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church in Longboat Key, FL.

Earl is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ann; five children, David (Sabrina) Mumford of Santa Monica, CA, John Mumford of Calabasas, CA, Joseph (Suzanne) Mumford of Topeka, KS, and Karen (Cheryl Contant) Mumford of Eau Claire, WI, and Kristin Mumford (Sara Atherton) of Nashville, TN; seven grandchildren, Alexander, Benjamin, Drake, Erin, Emma Lyla, Jackson, and Kaitlyn; one sister, Mary Klesney; one brother, Franklin (Aileen) Mumford of Wilmington, DE; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Earl gave us many gifts, particularly the gift of years. He will be sorely missed by all of his family and friends.

A memorial service celebrating Earl’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church in Longboat Key, FL. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the University of South Dakota Foundation (Attn: E.M. Mumford Memorial Scholarship Endowment, P.O. Box 5555, Vermillion, SD 57069

Online condolences may be left at: ilasting.com

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A Memorial service celebrating Earl Mumford’s remarkable life was held on Saturday, August 19th at 11am at All Angels Episcopal Church, 563 Bay Isles Rd, Longboat Key FL 34228. It was a wonderful service honoring a great man. Despite the August heat & humidity, many people attended, and Father Danner thought it was a record for this time of the year. There were wonderful speeches and readings by all five of Earl's children. A lovely catered lunch was prepared after the service.

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Guest Book (19 entries)
Dear Dr. Mumford's family,
Your father and I began a close patient/doctor relationship following my head-on car/semi truck underride accident in 1974. 10 days in intensive care; ruptured spleen; shattered femur/tibia/pelvis led to a 2 month recovery in traction at St. Lukes hospital as I had developed an embolism three days after the accident. I waited daily to hear your father's footsteps (along with Ruth and Mrs.?) coming down the hall-way to give me the speech on "patience is a virtue", "adversity develops character","don't ever ride a motorcycle", and "even though I will classify you as severely disabled you can be a Physical Education teacher". I was 19 at that time and took some of his advice quite seriously. He later told my dad that, "if I was his daughter (in a complete body cast at the time)he would find a way to get me to my faithful boyfriend's college football game". I saw the game lying on a board in the back of a station wagon! On the one occasion he had to tell me that I wouldn't be allowed to go on a previously planned college trip. He left the room when both of his nurses and I began crying. Dr. Mumford performed three other surgeries on me and one on my son. He was a gifted Dr., who did smell of smoke on occasions. I cherish his influence on my life and the time and efforts he gave to make my life better. Thank you for letting me read your tributes.
Anita plantage-Bomgaars (patient)
October 15th, 2017
Please allow me to express my sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. May you find comfort in knowing that in the very near future, "there is going to be a resurrection." (Acts 24:15) Our loving God puts before all of us the prospect of being reunited with our deceased loved ones and enjoying everlasting life with them right here on the earth. (Psalm 37:29) What a wonderful time we have to look forward to.
someone who cares
October 10th, 2017
MORE ABOUT DAD:
A founder of Iowa Orhopedics and distinguished board member of the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Mumford was an early pioneer in hip replacement surgery. In the late 1960’s, he he was one of the few surgeons who received FDA approval to use acrylic cement, enabling him to perform this novel procedure and improving patient recovery time. In July 1989, Dr. Mumford joined first responders and medical personnel in aiding many survivors of United Airlines #232, which suffered a catastrophic engine failure and crash-landed in his hometown of Sioux City, Iowa. Additionally, he served on the board of directors for St. Luke’s Hospital, Marian Health Center and Norwest Bank.

David Mumford (son)
September 16th, 2017

“A Life Remembered” by John Mumford

Good morning. I’m John, and I’m the second of the five Mumford kids. I don’t know what the afterlife holds. But I do know it is important that we remember my father. And we will, because we will all carry Earl with us; the kind of man he was…what he believed. If we spoke with him today, I think most of us would know what he would say if asked a question.

Most of you know him well and have your own opinions. As Earl’s son, maybe I saw a different side of him, but I don’t know. He never seemed to struggle with important moral and psychological issues. He always had a casual certainty about him, a moral compass that always told him right from wrong. And he possessed a simple goodness and decency which attracted people to him. He was profoundly ethical and was immensely competent at whatever he set his mind to. No wonder he was such a successful surgeon.

Most people are good advice givers and bad advice takers. My father was the opposite. I can only remember two pieces of advice that he told me in my life.

The rest of what I learned from him, and that has served me very well, when I open up my heart to it, I learned from his conduct and the way he comported himself. The way he treated my mother. The way he treated his children. The way he conducted business and his personal life.
Most importantly, the way he treated those who less powerful than himself.
So, I’ll tell you the two pieces of advice he gave me. One, he said, “as long as you stay in school Juano and you matriculate”…I looked that up, what does that mean?” I will pay for your education.” Hence law school. But that statement told a lot about Earl.

He believed deeply in the power of education to improve society anad to lift up the individual. He loved our country and believed we need to take care of ourselves. And that government, by its very nature, can never do it as well. His charity was local, and he and my mother were always deeply involved in their communities giving money, and more importantly, their time to make whatever local community they were living in a better place.

Before I give you the second piece of advice he told me, he was wise enough to know you can’t tell people what to do. You can only educate them and help them. They have to decide for themselves. And I hope that understanding descends to my children. My mother and father always said, “teach your children early that you’ll be gone.” Teach them how to take care of themselves.

The second advice was: “don’t ride motorcycles.” He said if you want to, then let me take you to the emergency room to show you some of the bikers I fixed up. And it was never their fault. It was always the lady that didn’t see them pulling out. The lady’s car won that battle. So when I took a trip to India, I rented a Rajoot Indonesian motorbike and drove around a bit; but much slower traffic there.

When I was - I think - about 15, I shouldn’t say this in front of Jackson, my boy, but I stole my dad’s car to impress my current girlfriend, to show her what a cool guy I was. Dad and mom came home at the wrong time when I pulled up. I kicked my friends out of the house. It was very embarrassing. Cool John showing the girlfriend how cool he is. And it all went south. I went crawling back into the house.

I remember Mom sent Dad to dicipline me. So we’re sitting down in the room, he has his bathrobe on. His back is to a big window, and my three jerk friends are making faces. He didn’t know that so I had to keep a straight face. All I remember from that is, the one time I saw this kind of dialed up style of anger, and it was: “Juano, I can’t believe you did that!”

There was a little conversation after that and everything cools off. I’m expecting the other shoe to fall…the beating, whatever, but it never happened. I never heard another word about it. But I never took his car again.

Another little story about tells how easy it was to grow up a Mumford in Sioux City, Iowa in the 70s. I’m having a kegger party. I’m probably 16 or 17 then. At kegger parties, we just set up a couple of kegs of beer in the middle of a cornfield. This one was about 20 miles north of Sioux City. I drove the red Chevrolet Impala which had a horn that played “Oh Susanna.” I had three or four buddies in the car with me all holding beers when we pulled out of the party.

Beer was sloshing around the car on the floor boards, and the State Troopers stopped every kid coming out. Ahhh…this looks bad I thought. The State Trooper at the exit asked me for my license, takes a look at it…and leans over and sternly said: “are you Dr. Earl Mumford’s kid?” Yeahhhh, I am.

He then proceeded to go on about how my father performed some operation on his grandmother in Anthonoto, Iowa…and how it changed her life and what a remarkable guy he was, how decent he was to her. Well, they busted everybody else. But he looks at me and says, “Boy, do you think you can drive home?” Absolutely, I said!

Another story: whenever a Mumford kid would graduate from college, you would be allowed to go to Acapulco, Mexico to the Villa Sioux with 10 or so friends. So I was all over that. We went down there and had a great time.

And, today, I ask myself, how does a guy that is born in Howard South Dakota get around to buying or even thinking about buying an interest in a villa in Acapulco? For the first time, I understood. He would go down and get sick, I think, virtually every time.

But he loved the Spanish culture. He learned the language. It was called the Villa Sioux, named after the S-i-o-u-x Indian tribe. When I got down there, I saw a different man I hadn’t seen before. He’s got the gold chain on…lounging, relaxed. Earl was a man who knew how to relax, because he was innocent of heart.

He could really relax well. He seemed to turn off the cares of he world. He was holding court there…and Concha, Choo-choo and Eliza, people who worked there…they loved him, because he always showed a genuine interest in their well-being and treated them with respect. He was the “El Jefe.” Acapulco sun glinting off that gold chain. He had some great times down there and loved that life.

One final story: I decided to leave Sioux City where we all gew up. I went to school in Chicago. The Mumford children now live in all four corners of the country. My way out was a trip around the world, right. We always had the National Geographic at our home. My mother, to this day, still sends me that magazine every year. Thank you mom. And it always tweeked my interest in all the exotic places in the world.

So I prepared this chart with a line around the world showing where I intended to go. And I was really nervous about telling Mom and Dad that I was going to leave my law job, my house, and everything else. I think Mom was concerned. But I’ll never forget Dad when I told him. At first, he kind of just sat back. And he said, “hmmm, well Juano,” he stood up and grabbed the globe, put it down, and he spun it. And he said, “you should try to go here, or try here.” “But don’t go down to Sri Lanka because those Sinhalists and Tamils are fighting it out.”

He was very knowledgable and open to the world. He was always the man that said yes. Yes to skiing vacations I was always pushing. Yes to college and law school. Yes to a down payment for a house. Yes to a car. Yes to a loan to start a law firm in Los Angeles which I was never able to pay back until years later. And he never mentioned it once. I never heard, “Where’s my money?”

Finally, later in life, I asked him something about a person’s obligation beyond family. And he said, again not the advice giver, ”Well, try to do a little good Juano.” And he knew everybody had their own gyroscope…you don’t need that explained…we all know what that means. He did so much good: as a husband, as a father, as a friend, as a doctor. He played all these roles masterfully with dignity, grace and charm.

I am grateful that Jackson, my son, and I were with him the last day and night of his life. After hearing my mother’s cry, we ran over to the red cabin. And he was laying in bed, his hands peacefully under the side of his head.

He had his pajamas on, and it was as though he was a little boy, a child at peace. Jackson was wonderful; he was the one who had his wits together. And now, upon reflection, I can see that God granted my father the dignitified and peaceful exit, from all the cares of this world, that he so deserved.
John Mumford (Son)
September 10th, 2017
“A Life Remembered” by Joe Mumford

I’m Joe, I am Dad’s third son, flanked by older brothers Dave and John, sisters Karen and Kris. That puts me in the middle, which by convention, should have made me the neglected child. That did not happen. We had love and nurturing. It was incredible growing up together…with Mom and Dad.

I have been immensely blessed and honored to have followed in my father’s footsteps in many ways. We have a lot in common. We’re both left-handed. We’re both orthopedic surgeons. Sorry Father [Danner]. We married amazing women. We raised incredible kids…well above Garrison Keillor’s standards.

And we enjoyed golf. We both played a rather mediocre bogey round. On Dad’s end, that’s not for a lack of trying.

I remember, back in the past, he would come home from a day at work, he would decompress in the backyard, he would light up a cigarette, prune some flowers…and he’d get that seven iron out with those plastic “wiffle-ball” golf balls. It did not help the game much. We also share a love for gardening and cooking and travel.

As Father Danner said, Dad was a quiet man, a very reserved man. I don’t think I ever heard him raise his voice in anger, with an exception, that I only heard about. This would have been at my high school football games.

He would be sitting with Mike Moeller. Apparently, they were so vocal and loud, criticizing bad calls and poor coaching, that Mom and Bev Moeller refused to sit with the guys anymore.

There’s one story I want to share with you. The summer of 1982, Dad took me out to college. I remember that like it was yesterday. We took little Ozark Airlines from Sioux City, Iowa to Chicago and connected with United to LaGuardia. And took a little puddle jumper, called Pilgrim Airlines, to New Haven, Connecticut.

It’s a trip that I would do many times in the ensuing four years. We checked into the Omni Hotel, which was on the New Haven Green, just across from the Yale campus. Mind you, I had never set foot at Yale. I had never been east of Chicago until that trip. It was kinda cold, and rainy and getting dark and we checked in. My brother Dave was in New York at the time, and he came up.

At the advice of the concierge, we went out to the dinner at this Italian restaurant. Dave wisely told the waiter why don’t you just order for us. We had course after course of this amazing Italian food, several bottles of amazing Italian wine.

We conversed for three or four hours. And I learned things about Dad that I never heard. Growing up in Howard, South Dakota. A stint in the service. How he met Mom. Training years in Ann Arbor. Kind of an amazing event.

The next morning we woke up to this brilliant sunshine, blue skies…and a mild hangover(laughter). We walked across the New Haven Green to the campus and the freshman quad, and I was wearing cut-off jeans and a University of Okoboji t-shirt.

All my possessions for college were in two suitcases. As I stood on this campus, I got this horrible, sinking, dark feeling: what is this hayseed from Sioux City, Iowa doing on this venerable Ivy League campus?

And Dad took me by the shoulders, looked me square in the eyes, and said “Hose,” which is short for “Jose,” “it’s going to be ok.” And he was right. I had four pretty amazing years there.

I think Dad left this life, much as how he lived it, with grace and dignity and honor. Many of you have heard the story: we spent a week - all the family - in Wisconsin.

We could all tell that he wasn’t feeling well. He was taking longer naps. He was going to bed earlier. He was on his walker. He loved playing pitch, a card game. He only played one game of pitch. He owes me five bucks by the way Mom. And I don’t think he ever went on a boat ride. He just wasn’t himself.

A couple days after we left, he laid down after dinner and passed away peacefully in a lake cabin, a place that he loved. And I truly hope and pray…when my day comes, when the good Lord is ready for me, that I follow in his footsteps one last time.
John Mumford (Son)
September 10th, 2017
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Candles

"Great memories of fun & games together in Sioux City."
JUNE HORSLEY
August 8th, 2017
"The wonderful memories of you will glow in our hearts like this lovely candle."
Marian Levitt
August 4th, 2017
"Love you so much and miss you dearly:)"
Katie Mumford
August 4th, 2017
"Miss you already Dad"
David Mumford
August 4th, 2017

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