Erich Jakob Kump, 89, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2023, surrounded by family.
Dad, Opa, Gross Opa, Uncle, Brother, Son, Friend: These are just some of the many loving titles held by Erich during his long life. Erich was born in Gottschee/Austria as the 6th of 8 children born to Mathias and Rosa Kump.
With the outbreak of World War II, the family, and the majority of the Germanic people of Gottschee were relocated from their homes to what amounted to a resettlement camp. It wasn’t till the mid 1956 that Erich, his mother and two younger brothers received sponsorship and was able to leave Europe and immigrate to Kansas City, Kansas in the United States. There at a New Year’s Eve Party hosted by a German Club he met his future wife, Christa. They were married in 1958 and would live and raise a family in Kansas City.
Erich grew up speaking German, but once in America taught himself English by watching westerns, and John Wayne was a big favorite of his. During the course of his life Erich learned to speak and understand about 6 different languages. He was also a skilled stone carver early in his career, and as a tribute to his mother when she passed, carved her headstone. He went on to make a 34-year career at Best Tool and Die Manufacturing Company. Upon retirement Erich settled in rural Missouri and raised cattle, getting back to his boyhood farming roots. He only left the farm when his health began to decline, first living with his youngest brother and then into a Garden Terrace Nursing Facility.
He was predeceased by his parents, all his siblings, several nephews and niece. He is survived by his children, Thomas, Alexander (Kathy), Norman (Michele), Heidi (Aaron Heunergarde). 14 grandchildren: Geoffrey (Sheyenne), Andrew, Audrey (Tony Subasic), Charles, Erich, Savannah, Annabelle, Thatcher, Winston, Eleanor, Rosemary, Morgan, Jennifer, and Kyle. 2 great Grandchildren, Kyler and Colson as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A Visitation for Erich will be held at Skradski Funeral Home, 340 N 6th St, Kansas City, KS 66101, on May 16th from 5pm - 7pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on May 17th at St. Mary-St. Anthony Church, 615 N 7th St Trfy, Kansas City, KS 66101 at 9:30am followed by a burial at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.