Robert Sumner Wild, 1917-2013


My father’s father passed away last night, peacefully, at the age of 95. We called him “Bompa” – a young cousin’s mispronunciation of Grandpa that stuck. I’ve known never known anyone more kind, gentle, and good-natured. We’ll miss you, Bompa.

And yes, that is a propeller beanie.

23 thoughts on “Robert Sumner Wild, 1917-2013”

  1. Thanks guys, I appreciate it. Kudos to my parents for putting in a herculean effort over the past week to handle what seems to me like insurmountable end-of-life issues.

    1. This comment really strikes home with me, Alex. (Been there.) But this will pass, and the wonderful memories will persist.

      And out of curiosity, did your “Bompa” have anything to do with nurturing your naturalist tendencies?

      1. Bompa was always supportive of just about everything his many, many descendants did. He was an extraordinarily affable guy. But nurture natural history tendencies in particular? Those were more in the purview of my parents.

  2. Molly Hunter Giles

    Alex, a lovely photo and statement. I have heard your mom say only sweet things about your grandfather. Condolences and love to your whole family.

  3. What a wonderful photo. So full of love and life. I know that’s how you’ll remember him. Thanks, Alex, and Don and I send our sympathy to you all.

  4. Very sorry to hear about the death of your grandfather, Alex. That wonderful photo tells us all that you’ll always have wonderful memories of him.

  5. I love being referred to as a young cousin, thank you. I think I was trying to combine Granny’s “oh, Bob” with Mom’s “grandpa” and came up with Bompa. It appears thatGranny must have said “oh, Bob” more often and louder. I think I can still hear her. ;-).

    PS. You take wonderful people pictures too.

    1. Condolences to the family – Nancy, could your family have Belgian roots, because “Bompa” is Belgian Dutch for “Grandpa”?

        1. Marc "Teleutotje" Van der Stappen

          Condolences from me also!

          “Bompa” isn’t “Belgian” Dutch, it’s just an old Dutch word meaning grandfather. Now we say “grootvader”. Oh yes, I’m from Belgium and if you talk about our Southern variants of Dutch you speak of “Flemish” as compared to the more Northern forms from The Netherlands. Those Northerns think Dutch speaking people are more high-standard people but we, the “Flemish”, have the greatest poets of all, e.g. Prosper Van Langendonck, Karel Van de Woestijne,… And yes, we all, from North and South, learn Dutch in school. Besides “Bompa” we also have “Opa”, “”Pepe”,…

  6. Sorry to hear of your loss Alex. It is never easy to say goodbye to those we love. I loved the beautiful photo. Bompa seems like a wonderful soul and I am sure your memories of him will keep him near to you throughout your life to come.

  7. Although I never really knew “Bompa”, I have heard many stories about him over the years from my aunt, Nancy Clasen. I know he was a pillar of stregnth for your family. He was a very fortunate man to have had the family and friends that he had for so many wonderful years full of love and memories. He was truly blessed. He was called home on Valentines Day to spend the rest of eternity with “Grannie” and Phyllis, which I know will brings him joy beyond belief. Celebrate his long happy life with the memories you hold so dear. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.

  8. I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa’s passing. It seems like the propeller beanie might be a testament to his nature.

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