YMCA community remembers Pumphrey
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:10AM
Former North Suburban YMCA associate executive director Bryan A. Pumphrey was “a gentle soul who was liked by all and will be sorely missed.”
Those words by Y’s executive director and CEO Howard Schultz were echoed by many upon hearing the news that Pumphrey, 33, of Kansas City, Mo., died Sunday in Kansas after being hospitalized due to blood clot complications.
Many NSYMCA members and guests are still learning of Pumphrey’s passing via a front desk sign and photograph.
“I mean, it’s shocking,” said Jane Bendewald, NSYMCA guest services manager, who is often the first to greet those arriving to the building.
“They’re just so sad,” said Bendewald, of patrons who encounter Pumphrey’s photograph near a countertop computer.
Pumphrey was employed at the NSYMCA from August 2007 to April 2011, said Schultz.
“He took a job as a branch director at the Kansas City YMCA. It was a step up,” added Schultz.
“Anytime that somebody you work with is able to move up and grow in the field, you feel pride that you have had something to do with their learning and growth.”
Pumphrey was present at the celebrated mortgage document burning staged in the NSYMCA parking lot. The 2008-posted YouTube video can be viewed at http://nsymca.org/y/video-page/12-video-archive/60-mortgage-burning
“Bryan was a major part of our recovery as we paid off the old debt and built the NSYMCA to the point where we are now, as we resumed a place of leadership in our community,” Schultz added, as he viewed NSYMCA event photographs of Pumphrey on a laptop in his Northbrook office.
Most of those images showed a smiling Pumphrey at a Strong Kids dinner at the Northbrook Allgauer’s Hilton, also at a NSYMCA Halloween party.
“Bryan was instrumental in the development of our Spooky Halloween which is now a gigantic program here, and Bryan ’s fingerprints were all over that program,” said Schultz.
“He (Pumphrey) facilitated everyone to get together, helping everybody get to do what they needed to do, that’s what supervisors do.”
AnaMaria Raptis, a NSYMCA Spanish teacher, recalls Pumphrey’s vote of confidence when she was began working at the NSYMCA in 2009.
“He was so good,” said Raptis, who was hired by another NSYMCA associate who had left employment there.
“”He (Pumphrey) honored the fact that somebody else hired me as there was no paperwork,” said Raptis.
“He was always smiling, always smiling…”
Added Raptis, with a message to Pumphrey’s family: “I am so sorry for their loss, he was so kind and he always had a smile.”
In his last text message to Richard Clegg, YMCA of the USA resource director ( Illinois ), Pumphrey wrote: “Last week not so good and God has still brought me complete peace and joy in the midst. All will be well.”
Pumphrey leaves a wife, Kayme, and two young children, a daughter, Addison, and a son, Madden.
Funeral services are at 2 p.m. at Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W. 83rd St., Leawood, Kan., 66206. A reception follows services at the church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made out to the Bryan A. Pumphrey Memorial Fund, sent to the church at the address above.
Facebook users have also been notified by the NSYMCA. Visit www.nsymca.org