Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sgt. Stephen O'Neil Gumbs, United States Army Veteran

Stephen Gumbs was born September 14, 1966 in St. Kitts, West Indies, and passed away on October 21, 2010 at Round Rock, Texas, surrounded by his loving family, at the age of 44.  He was affectionately known as Gummy Bear. 

Stephen obtained a BS in Information Technology from American InterContinental University. He enlisted in the United States Army and proudly served his country for eight years as an Automated Logistics Specialist.  His service included service in Operation Desert Storm.

After leaving the Army, Stephen continued to work in management and went to work for the University of Texas at Austin as a Buyer and Desktop Support Specialist.

Stephen was a devout Christian and was known by all for his strength and optimism, traits that helped him in his final years. 

Stephen was diagnosed in April 2008 with Glioblastoma Mulitforme grade IV.  He underwent extensive therapies, always strong and positive, until the end. 

Funeral services were held October 29 at the Memorial Chapel of Cook-Walden Funeral Home in Pflugerville, Texas.  Present were Patriot Guard Riders from the Austin and CENTEX regions to form a line of American flags at the entrance of the funeral home to welcome the arriving family and friends.

At the conclusion of the service, the Riders escorted the funeral procession to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.  At the cemetery were more Riders, and fifty American flags, blowing gently in the morning breeze.

At the committal shelter, the coffin was removed from the hearse and carried into the shelter, as over fifty Patriot Guard Riders stood at attention and saluted.  The Riders then formed a line of American flags around the shelter as the United States Army Honor Guard rendered military honors.  The Army bugler played taps, and the flag that had draped the coffin was folded into a tight triangle and presented to Stephen’s dear wife, Dione, also an Army veteran of Desert Storm, on behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Army and a grateful nation, in thanks for Stephen’s dedicated service.

Dione and one of her daughters then walked the entire flag line and shook the hand of every Rider.

Sgt. Stephen Gumbs was then laid to rest on the gentle slope of the cemetery, and the American flag at the top of the hill flew at half-staff in his honor.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, two daughters, his mother and step-father, six siblings and many other dear family, friends and co-workers.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

With thanks to the Cook-Walden Funeral Home for biographical information.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the post, informative and graceful as ever. It is so sad to lose good ones "out of time." His wife and family are brave soldiers, too.