Howard Kent Lumpkin passed away Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Roswell, at the age of 85. Kent was born July 3, 1925, in Belair, Kan., to Frank and Ruby Wilson Lumpkin.
Kent served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged and attended the University of Illinois on the GI Bill, graduating in 1951 with a degree in chemical engineering. While at the university, Kent met and married his one true love, Helen Marsh, on Sept. 26, 1947. They spent 60 wonderful years together raising four children until her passing in March 2008. Kent worked for the U.S. government in the missile defense program at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. He specialized in rocket propulsion and during his career he worked with many distinguished scientists, including Werner Von Braun.
After his retirement in 1976, Kent and Helen traveled the country for several years and settled in Roswell. Kent was a docent at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, where he used his knowledge of rocketry in the Goddard Rocket Exhibit. He was also a member of the Chaparral Rockhounds, where he enjoyed participating and leading many field trips.
As a lifelong learner, Kent was always interested in discovering new ideas and new places to visit. He was very involved in his childrenâ€™s and grandchildrenâ€™s lives, always there to cheer and encourage them.
Kent is survived by daughter, Kathy Hamilton, of Roswell; son and daughter- in-law, Kevin and Linda Lumpkin, of Denton, Texas; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Roger Dobbins, of Scottsboro, Ala.; daughter and son-in-law, Kelley and Oliver Peck, of Roswell; sister, Pauline Wetz, of Kiowa, Kan.; eight grandchildren and spouses; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Kent was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; and his parents, Frank and Ruby Lumpkin. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home, with Vista Care Chaplain Garth Hyde officiating. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and memories with the family in the online register book at andersonbethany.com. Services are under the direction of Anderson- Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory.