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Published: Sunday, 8/1/2004

Farmer served church, was township trustee

BLISSFIELD - Ralph Klump, a former conference president of the Evangelical United Brethren Men and its former area director for southeast Canada, Michigan, and Indiana who was instrumental in the formation of the Detroit conference chapter in 1977, died of kidney failure Friday on his Ogden Township farm near here. He was 89.

"He loved the Lord, and he loved working for the Lord in the church and in the community," his wife of 63 years, Ruby Klump, said.

Mr. Klump was a lifetime member and co-worker in the former Ogden United Methodist Church in Ogden Township until it closed in 1992. He then became a member of Blissfield First United Methodist Church.

He served as conference president of the Evangelical United Brethren Men of Michigan and was its area director for about 10 years, beginning in 1952. On the conference level, he was a member of the board of connectional outreach, chairman of the health and welfare section, nominating committee, and a member of the Chelsea agency.

In 1989, he was awarded the United Methodist Rural Fellowship Citation of Merit for outstanding service to town and country ministries.

Over the years, he was an Evangelical United Brethren delegate to the national general conference several times over the years. Mr. Klump also was a charter member of the Detroit chapter of the United Methodist Town and Rural Fellowship in the mid-1980s.

Mr. Klump, an Ogden Township native and a 1932 graduate of Blissfield High School, farmed with his younger brother, Gordon Klump, raising pigs and growing corn, wheat, and oats on the farm, which is on East Ridgeville Road. He farmed until about 1979, when he retired.

During World War II, he also worked at a defense plant in Adrian for two years.

Mr. Klump served 17 years on the Blissfield Community School Board in the 1960s and 1970s. He also was an Ogden Township trustee for several terms in the 1970s and was president of the Family Counseling Children's Services of Lenawee County from 1972 to 1977.

In retirement, Mr. Klump enjoyed Florida vacations with his wife.

Surviving are his wife, Ruby Klump; sons, Norris Klump and Virgil Klump; daughter, Barbara Kolaski; brother, Gordon Klump; nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Blissfield First United Methodist Church. The body will be in the Tagsold Funeral Home, Blissfield, after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to the church or to Hospice of Lenawee.

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