STUMBERG, GEORGE WILFRED (1889~1964) George Wilfred Stumberg was born August 31, 1889, at St. Charles, Missouri. He died at his home in Austin on November 15, 1964 after an illness of several months. By special authorization of the Governor of Texas, he was given honor burial in the State Cemetery.
His grandfather, Johann Heinrich Stumberg, was one of three brothers who came from Germany to New Orleans. He and one brother went up the Mississippi River to settle in Missouri in 1840. The third brother moved to Texas and it was his son, who on a visit to St. Charles, Missouri, offered George, then a small boy, a pony if he would come to Texas. George went to Texas years afterward but too late to get the pony.
John Henry Stumberg, Georges father, was a surgeon in the Union Army during the Civil War. After the War he returned to St. Charles and married Helene Linneman, whose people had come from the Kingdom of Hanover in Germany. To them were born eight children, of whom George was next to the youngest. Georges father supplemented his medical training in this country by a year of post-graduate study in Vienna. He was always interested in politics and retired early from active medical practice in order to serve several terms in the Missouri Legislature. In St. Charles at the time of the Civil War sympathies were divided, as they were also in Texas. Professor Stumberg in his later years often pointed out that in Texas the legislature voted to secede, but this was vetoed by Sam Houston. In Missouri, on the other hand, the legislature voted to stay in the Union, but this decision was vetoed by the Governor of Missouri. Although Dr. Stumberg had been in the Union Army, he had friends among both northern and southern sympathizers and was influential in healing their animosities. He had many long talks with his son, George, and undoubtedly inculcated in him an attitude of tolerance and an abhorrence of prejudice in any form.
One of Georges brothers was a physician who was trained at Johns Hopkins University and another, Charles H. Stumberg, was a distinguished and honored member of the faculty of Louisiana State University from 1895 until 1940. He was Georges senior by 20 years and he also exerted a great influence over the life of his younger brother.
When George was eighteen he went to Louisiana State University, but at the insistence of his brother his period of training there was interrupted by a year in France which was spent in acquiring proficiency in the language of that country. He graduated from Louisiana State University in 1909 and then attended Law School at Washington University in St. Louis, and later at Columbia University, from which he received his LL.B. degree in 1912. The next year he was chosen as a Rhodes scholar from Louisiana and was at Oxford until shortly after the beginning of the War. He then went to France to join the Foreign Legion, but instead became a special attache in the American Embassy. When the United States entered the War, many American tourists were stranded in France and it was part of his work to help them to obtain financial assistance and passage home. Soon after the United States declared war, George joined the United States Army and was assigned to the Intelligence Corps, where his work included the interrogation of German prisoners.
When the War ended, George accepted a position on the law faculty at Louisiana State University. He soon returned to France to marry Marie Theresa Leroy, whom he had met during the War. They made their home at Baton Rouge and his bride studied English and American History at the University. During his four years in Baton Rouge, George engaged in the part-time practice of admiralty law in New Orleans.
In 1923 he received a Sterling Fellowship in Law at Yale, and earned the S.J.D. degree from the school in 1924. His first child, Marie Helene (Marilyn) was born during the year in New Haven.
In 1925 Professor Stumberg began his long career as a member of the law faculty of the University of Texas. A second daughter, Lucette, was born in 1928. In 1930 a son, John, was born, but the mother lived for only a few months thereafter, and John died at the age of five. Very soon after this, Georges mother died and the succession of tragedies was almost enough to break his spirit. He was comforted by his many Austin friends, and by his sisters, Alma and Helene, who came to Austin to be with him during this difficult time.
Six years after the death of his first wife, Professor Stumberg married Ione Steele Connor of Franklin, Texas, who was then an honor student in the School of Law. She received her LL.B. degree in 1937 and the 28 years of their marriage she was not only a devoted wife and mother, but was his close associate in his legal research and his prolific writings. In 1939 Martha Mel, his youngest child, was born to them.
When the United States entered World War II, Professor Stumberg attempted to go back into the Army, but was rejected because of age and health. He thereupon accepted a position with the Board of Economic Warfare in Washington. Because of his fluency in French he was sent to North Africa where he traveled extensively on his mission of procuring strategic war materials for the United States. The need for his services ended in 1944 and he returned to his position at the University of Texas. He became Professor Emeritus in 1964, but was teaching a Seminar in Admiralty at the time of his death. His keenness of mind and ready wit remained with him to the end.
Professor Stumberg [was] survived by his widow, Ione, and his three daughters. Marie Helene is married to Roger J. Williams, Jr., an economist. They have three boys and live in Westfield, New Jersey. Lucette is married to a lawyer, Eugene J. T. Flanagan, and with their five children they live in New Rochelle, New York. Martha Mel is married to Dr. Louis Edmunds, Jr., a physician, and has two little girls. They are temporarily residing in Leeds, England, but are soon to be located in Seattle, Washington. Professor Stumberg has two living sisters, Helene Stumberg, who still lives in St. Charles, Missouri and Mrs. Martin White, (herself a Ph.D.), wife of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky.
Source: Excerpt of, In Memoriam: George Wilfred Stumberg, a memorial resolution prepared by a special committee of the Faculty Council at The University of Texas at Austin by Professors Gus M. Hodges, Roger J. Williams, Joseph P. Witherspoon, and M. K. Woodward, Chairman, and was accessed from the Faculty Council Website at http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/2000-2001/memorials/SCANNED/stumberg.pdf.