Duker & Haugh Funeral Home


Benjamin Bumbry, Jr.

Benjamin Bumbry, Jr.

Benjamin J. Bumbry, Jr., age 86, of Quincy died on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in Sunset Home. Ben was born on August 24, 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri to Benjamin James and Melzia L. (Walker) Bumbry, Sr. He married Helen E. Robbins on March 16, 1957 in Quincy. Mr. Bumbry worked for over 20 years at Moorman Manufacturing, and following his retirement he went on to teach at Quincy Public Schools for 22 years, retiring in 1998. He also coached girls' softball and basketball at Quincy High School.

He was a graduate of Sumner High School in St. Louis, MO; and he attended Drake University in Des Moines, IA. Bumbry received a bachelor's degree in physical education from Quincy College (now Quincy University) in 1976. He played basketball for both Quincy College and Drake University. While at QC in the 1954-55 season, the team he was on earned a berth in the national tournament and broke racial barriers by fielding a starting five that were all African-American. Mr. Bumbry was inducted into the Iowa AAU Hall of Fame as well as to his alma maters Sumner High School and Quincy College.

Mr. Bumbry was a long-time member and Trustee of Bethel A.M.E. Church. He had been a member of Unity Lodge #16 of the Free and Accepted Masons for 54 years. He was also a member of the Illinois/Missouri Male Gospel Chorus that performed throughout the Tri-State area.

Bumbry served on the Quincy City Council from 2004 to 2010 as Alderman of Ward #1, the Quincy Park Board from 1993 to 2003 and was Director of the Redmon & Lee Community Center. He was a member of the QU Board of Trustees and the SIU Board of Directors. He served as Executive Director of the Jackson-Lincoln Pool where he was mentor, employer, coach, and true friend to many young people who look to him for guidance and an example to live by. Bumbry received the John Quincy Adams Award in 2005 for his role in enhancing the quality of life in our community and in 2009 he received the Lincoln Legacy Award from the Adams County Bar Association for his efforts to foster equality and justice. In 2013 he received an award from the Martha K Majors Club for Dedicated Service to the Community. In 2014 he received the Humanitarian Award from Bethel A.M. E. Church.

He served as a guest lecturer at both John Wood Community College and QU. In 2009 Bumbry was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Culver-Stockton College for his commitment to education, charity, and community service.

Well-known throughout the area, for his band, Ben Bumbry and the Messengers, he performed for over 60 years as a professional musician in Quincy and the Tri-State area, including aboard the Mark Twain River Boat in Hannibal, MO, where he performed for 28 years. He also helped organize the Mississippi Muddy Waters Blues Society.

Bumbry enjoyed pitching horseshoes, swimming, bike riding, basketball, bowling, softball and watching his granddaughter Monica play volleyball.

He is survived by his wife, Helen; three children, Charles Tyrone Bumbry of Quincy, Cynthia Marie Bumbry of Chicago, IL, and Benjamin James Bumbry, III of Quincy; three grandchildren, Jared Andreas Bumbry, Jacob Cameron Bumbry and Monica Marie Bumbry; three great grandchildren, Alexander, Aalyah and Skylar. He is also survived by his sister, Grace Ann Bumbry of Berlin, Germany; brothers in law, Floyd Robbins, Leon Robbins and an aunt, Vernie Robbins; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Robbin Andre Bumbry and a brother, Charles Bumbry.

Masonic Rites will be given on Saturday May 19, 2018 at 12:15 at Madison Park Christian Church.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday May19, 2018 at 1:00 at Madison Park Christian Church.
Interment will be in Greenmount Cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday evening from 4:00 until 7:00 in the Duker & Haugh Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Jackson-Lincoln Pool Complex or to Bethel A.M.E. Church. The Duker and Haugh Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Leave Condolences ›


Jan Barrett
Quincy, IL
Deepest condolences to all who hold Ben in their hearts. We loved dancing to his music and really appreciated his heart and soul in our community (including our Unity Church of Qcy congregation, where he played for us several times). We send our love & blessings, from Jan Barrett & Michael Smart
Jeff & Joanne Bergman
Quincy, IL
Our deepest sympathy to the family.
Jerri Benton
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. Mr. Bumbry was a remarkable man and his legacy will live on.
Lloyd (Alan) & Cassandra Nelson
St.louis, MO
although our hearts are broken we will still find victory in keeping our family together, strong in the word and continuously loving on each other. With all our love...
Alan and Cassandra
Celinda Skinner Gilmore and Vincent Gilmore
South Haven, MI
Mrs. Helen Bumbry and Family,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Love, Celinda Skinner Gilmore and Vincent Gilmore
Melissa and Bill Holden
Conneaut, OH
We are deeply saddened by the passing of this good, good man. Ben and the band played at our wedding and we were partners on many community projects, from the Human Rights Commission, to the Quincy Cultural Festival to Community Study Circles and Rev. Dr. MLK, Jr. street naming. The world needs more citizens, fathers and men as devoted to family, neighborhood and schools as Ben. He will be sorely missed, but all who knew him are the better for having made his acquaintance. Peace to the family.
Joe Desmond
Hannibal, MO
Deepest sympathy to Ben's family. I have known Ben for over 20 years and have had the privilege of playing with him many many times aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. Ben provided top notch entertainment for our family at the boat for a very long time and it was always a class act. Ben honored my wife and I by playing for our wedding on the the boat in 2009 and helped make the evening all the more memorable. There's an empty hole in the tri-states that Ben left that will be very hard to fill. He was a class act indeed and we are better people for knowing him.
W.T. Johnson
Palmyra, MO
On behalf of my entire family our prayers go out to the family and friends of Ben. Our family was blessed to know Ben. He was so supportive of us in our daily lives. He provided the music for our oldest daughter wedding. He leaves behind some giant footprints in the sand of time. Happy Trails until we meet again. Peace be with us all at the loss of this man.
Doug Wilson
Quincy, IL
Ben lived his convictions and will be greatly missed.
Dick & Pat Wentura
quincy, IL
Dear Helen and the Bumbry Family,
We were happy to call you our friends. Our community has lost another shining star. Please know we are thinking of you and remembering Ben, a very good man.
As ever,
Dick & Pat Wentura
LaFreda Sias
Jackson, MS
Ben loved people and he especially loved his family. He brought joy wherever he was and I will miss him so very much. I pray peace and strength to Helen and the rest of the family. I love each and every one of you.
Bosco N Semanda
Quincy, IL
Pops!! i salute you with with sadness but with utmost greatness that you have touched many lives. Im gonna miss you personally because you opened your home for me . You accepted me even when i had nothin at a time. Had no family except my friendship with your son. With open arms you and the great Bumbry family welcomed me and i will never forget this. Im gonna escort you with tears and words of wisdom you shared with me:
"Young man, keep polite, Speak when its your turn and listen very careful, take note of what you are told or asked and think extensively so you can act positvely on it .You never forgot about your friend Robbin and thank you for remembering him.. Robbin will be proud of you. My health is weak but Hellen will be there with you at your JWCC graduation ceremony".
I will miss you and so is everyones story that you have left behind most importantly family , friends, all the places and people touched by your wisdom and love. Thank you and may God bless your soul..RIP Pops..!!
Gretchen Yager Merriss
Bridgeton, MO
"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy and each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof." - Richard Bach
Helen, this is how I have always felt about you and Ben. You were family. Growing up, you and Ben were a big part of my life, probably the best part and I will always have those memories. Being able to bring my children back to Quincy so that Ben could be a part of their lives was amazing. I want you to know that my heart and my prayers are with you and your family always. Love always. Gretchen
Jan Barrett
Quincy, IL
Ode to Ben

I stand in a line,
Mixes white skin and black.
Good-bye to Ben Bumbry
Who's not coming back.
He's played his last note,
He's beat his last drum.
But rhythm he is
Cannot be un-done!
His work in the world
Was being God's best.
Bein' with Ben
Was like bein' in nest.
A place of safe-keeping,
A place filled with love.
This love and this power
He drew from above.
His time at the pool
And on the ball field
Endeared him to kids
Whose souls he helped heal.
He spoke his own truth,
A pioneer spirit.
When he was around
Old conflicts were knit --
Not just bandaged up,
But more deeply healed.
He helped us remember
To God to reveal
Our feelings and pains
And what's gone awry.
Ben knew for certain
God hears every cry.

We bless this dear man
Who's nourished our lives.
We give him to God:
With God he now thrives!

(With my love & blessings to all who treasured Ben)
Lisa Musolino-Scholz
The heavens are getting great music. The notes of Ben's life have left scores of goodness to each life he touched & those who had the pleasure of listening to his musical talents. Bless Ben & his family.
Tom & Lisa (Musolino) Scholz