LONGMEADOW, Mass. — Garold Wesley Thumm, 96, a resident of Keystone Woods in Springfield, Mass., died peacefully at the Jewish Nursing Home, Friday, May 18, of complications from a fall on April 18.

Garold was born to George Wesley and Myrtle Virginia (Jarrett) Thumm on Sept. 22, 1915, at Pinch, W.Va., a village some 10 miles up Elk River north of Charleston. In October 1919, the family moved to Highland County, Va., where George had been assigned to his first “charge” as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal (now United Methodist) Church.

After a series of appointments in the West Virginia Conference, the family reached Ripley, W.Va., where Garold graduated from Ripley High School in 1931. Following a number of family moves, an assortment of jobs and a year at Asbury College, he graduated from Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston) in 1940.

On Aug. 7, 1941, Garold was drafted into the Army and after basic training in the Signal Corps was sent to the Fourth Division. Following graduation from officer candidates school, he served at several posts in the U.S. and Panama, returned to the U.S. and was officially separated in February 1946.

In March, he entered the University of Pennsylvania as a graduate student in political science. After having completed course requirements for the Ph.D., he was appointed instructor. After two years, he went to Europe for a year to work on his dissertation, then returned to the University of Pennsylvania to resume teaching.

Meanwhile the would-be scholar had been recruited by the 446th Strategic Research and Analysis Team, an Army intelligence reserve unit at the University of Pennsylvania.

The United States having become involved in a war in Korea, the now-reserve captain was recalled to active duty at the end of the first semester and assigned to duty in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Army, Pentagon, where he remained for two years and then again returned to the University of Pennsylvania.

This time he finished his dissertation and in 1954 was appointed assistant professor of political science. During his life in Philadelphia, he became deeply interested in choral music; he sang for some time with the Philadelphia Oratorio and with the First Presbyterian Church choirs.

In 1961, Professor Thumm left the University of Pennsylvania for an appointment as professor of government and chairman of the Division of the Social Sciences at Bates College, Lewiston.

He took two leaves of absence as visiting professor, first for two years (1966 to 1968) at the National War College, Washington, D.C., and later a semester in 1985 as visiting professor at the Christian-Albrechts Universit?t, Kiel, Germany, in 1985. He retired from Bates College in 1987. In Maine, he became a mediocre gourmet cook, a fair bridge player and a terrible golfer, but loved trying.

Garold always regretted that the courses of his life and theirs deprived him of closer association with his siblings and their families. He loved them none the less, and is survived by his brother, Milford of Durham, N.C.; and his sisters, Janice Woods of Keystone Woods in Springfield and Doris Shank of Elkview, W.Va.

He was predeceased by his brother, Byron of Fredonia, N.Y. in 2005; and his sister, Phyllis Cunningham of Elkview, W.Va. in 2011.

Uncle Gary is survived by nephew, Michael Thumm of Durham, N.C.; niece, Suzanne Woods Kelley and her husband, Doug, of Monson; nephew, David Woods and his wife, Julie Brocklehurst Woods, of Geneseo, N.Y.; nephew, James Shank and niece, Linda Shank, of Elkview, W.Va.; nephew, John Shank and his wife, Vicky (Black) Shank, of Elkview; nephew, Steven Woods of Fredonia, N.Y.; niece, Mary Catherine (Cunningham) Russell and her husband, Mark, of Louisville, Tenn.; niece, Brenda Joyce “Joy” (Shank) Hill and her husband, Jerry, of Scott Depot, W.Va., and niece, Ruth Ann (Cunningham) Holbrook of Elkview, W.Va.; five grandnieces; six grandnephews; and four great-grandnieces.

For online condolences and/or directions please visit www.lombardfuneralhome.com.

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