It is with profound sorrow that the family of David Gumpper announces his passing early on the morning of January 8th, 2016. David, aged 74, died in his home after an almost two- year struggle to overcome the effects of a massive stroke, suffered in February, 2014. By his side to comfort him that night were his son Paul and his wife Barbara. Born June 6, 1941 in Butler, Pennsylvania, David was the son of Alfred Henry Gumpper & Dorothy Crawford Gumpper Sinkevich, and the stepson of Frank Sinkevich. After completing his high school education in 1960, David enrolled at Penn State University, University Park, Pa. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1964, his Master’s in Psychology in 1967, and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1970. While completing work on his graduate degrees, he was employed at the university as a Research Assistant by the Institute for Research on Human Resources. There he was involved in several research projects, including a study of high school dropouts in the Pittsburgh area, a study of the problems of retraining the hard core unemployed, and the design of educational programs for imprisoned juveniles. In the fall of 1970, David was hired by the University of Tennessee as Assistant Professor of Psychology. In 1973, he returned to Pennsylvania where he began a twenty-eight year career as an associate, and subsequently fully-tenured, professor of Psychology at East Stroudsburg University. David served as ESU’s representative in the state-wide faculty union, (APSCUF), and chaired the Psychology Department for a number of years. In addition to his duties at ESU, David taught courses at Tobyhanna Army Depot, and came full circle when he was hired by one of his former University of Tennessee graduate students as an adjunct professor at Lafayette College. David retired from East Stroudsburg University in 2001, the same year both his daughter and son graduated from ESU. When David didn’t have a garden tool or a paint brush in his hand in an attempt to groom his pre-civil war home and property, he read continually, including many hours reading aloud to his young children who were always the priority in his life. Perhaps David’s greatest gift was his ability to absorb and impart knowledge. He was a life-long learner and took great joy in teaching, sharing what he learned unselfishly and humbly. In 1978, he co-founded the Growing Concern Montessori School and served for many years as its first director. But the thing he enjoyed most there, was devising and teaching the Elementary Science program. To the children he was “Mr. Science.” For David it was his favorite part of the week Surviving David are his wife Barbara whom he married in 1966, his son Paul Gumpper, Paul’s wife Molly Belmont, and their sons, Henry and Reece. His daughter Leah preceded him in death. Those who wish to join in a Remembrance and Farewell for David are invited to gather at Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania on February 27 at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully accepted by the Growing Concern Montessori School in Tannersville, Pennsylvania in honor of David and can be sent to PO Box 828 Tannersville, PA 18372.
Published in The Express Times from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22, 2016
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