of Chelsea, Michigan, formerly of Albion, Michigan, died Thursday, February 9, 2023, at the age of 91.
Jack was born on January 18, 1932, in Santa Rosa, California, the son of John Richard and Helen (Skinner) Crump. He attended public school in his hometown of Sebastopol, graduated from Analy High School, and then attended Santa Rosa Junior College and the University of California, Berkeley. An excellent student, he was elected to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, and to Phi Beta Kappa in recognition of his academic achievement. Following graduation from Berkeley, Jack traveled east to pursue a doctorate degree in chemistry at the University of Illinois. At Illinois, he was active in the campus Wesley Foundation, where he met Beverley J. (Bev) Hill, the love of his life. They were married in Urbana, Illinois, on June 19, 1955.
After completing his PhD in 1956, Jack accepted a position in research at Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. While at Dow, he taught an extension course through Central Michigan University that sparked his interest in teaching. He joined the faculty of Albion College in 1962 as an associate professor of chemistry and served as department chair beginning in 1969.
Jack’s passion for chemistry and the liberal arts inspired generations of Albion College students, and he continued to mentor many of them even after his retirement in 1997. Rarely seen on campus without a cup of coffee in hand, he greatly enjoyed collaborations with his colleagues in chemistry and beyond, including co-authoring two chemistry textbooks. His interest in a wide variety of subjects led to enriching sabbatical years at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) in 1970 and Lucknow Christian College (India) in 1978.
When Jack and Bev moved to Albion with their young family, they had just finished construction on a new home in Midland, where Jack built all the cabinets in the kitchen. In Albion they purchased a historic home, the only house on tiny Cedar Street, and their inquiries into the history of the unusual house with a turret inspired a lasting interest in genealogy. Throughout their married life, they spent many hours and drove thousands of miles tracing their family roots.
Jack devoted his time to serving the communities where he lived. In Albion he served as a Cub Scout leader for Stephen’s scout pack, particularly enjoying the challenge of making racecars for the pinewood derby. With Bev he chaperoned all three daughters’ Camp Fire Girls groups, leading them on camping trips and other adventures. He worked to support racial and ethnic diversity in Albion through his support for integration of the school board in the 1960s and contributed to the betterment of the town through his work for the United Way and the Albion Civic (Community) Foundation. He was a regular participant in the annual Crop Walk for Hunger and helped establish Habitat for Humanity in Albion. A lifelong Methodist, he was active member of the First United Methodist Church in Albion, where he especially enjoyed teaching the senior high school Sunday School class. After moving to Chelsea, he became a member of the First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor, where his daughter Nancy is pastor.
Jack enjoyed spending time and sharing interests with his family and friends. His generally quiet demeanor was often punctuated by eruptions of laughter as he delighted in those around him. His children recall camping trips when he shared his love of the outdoors through fishing, hiking, skipping stones, and making blueberry pancakes over the campfire. He loved the woods and enjoyed identifying birds and many species of plants and wildflowers. He and Bev shared a deep appreciation of music. They held season tickets to the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Detroit Symphony, and the Michigan Opera Theater for over 20 years. In 1998, they had the thrill of a lifetime when they attended The Elixir of Love at La Scala in Milan, Italy. Jack always enjoyed singing, and together he and Bev were founding members of the choir at the Silver Maples of Chelsea retirement community.
Jack pursued many of his lifelong hobbies at the Cedar Street home in Albion. He had a woodshop in the basement, set up a ham radio station in the furnace room, and enjoyed building fires in the basement fireplace. In the large back yard, he and Bev planted flower and vegetable gardens. He continued gardening after he and Bev moved to their home outside of Albion in 1984, developing a penchant for dahlias. After moving to Silver Maples of Chelsea, he continued his habit of voracious reading and enjoyed cooking, gardening, and attending concerts and other events.
Jack is survived by his wife of 67 years, Bev, and by his children: Stephen (Diana) Crump, of Sanford, Florida; Becky (Paul Gottschalk) Crump of Chelsea; Sandra (Paul Rardin) Crump of Havertown, Pennsylvania; and Rev. Nancy Lynn of Ann Arbor. In addition, he is survived by three grandchildren, Emmett Lynn Howard, and Lily and Violet Crump; nieces Julie Cohen, Kristen Hill, Cindy Atchley, and Christina Scott; and nephews Mike Spiess, Greg Scott, and David Hill. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Lou Spiess, and his parents.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on March 10, 2023, at Silver Maples of Chelsea, 100 Silver Maples Drive, Chelsea. At a later date, burial will take place at Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor. Memorial contributions may be made to the John Crump and Paul Cook Research Scholarship at Albion College (albion.edu/jack-crump). The Silver Maples of Chelsea Retirement Neighborhood’s Silver Lining Fund (checks to Silver Maples of Chelsea, noting that the gift is in memory of Jack; or online at https://silvermaples.org/donate), or the United Methodist Committee on Relief (https://umcmission.org/umcor/).
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