Willie Joe Bumpus, Jr. was born in Des Moines, Iowa on May 16, 1928 to Willie Joe Bumpus and Christine Lewis Bumpus. He was the eldest of three children.
Willie was a self made man. He left school early to work and see the world. He enlisted in the United States Army during World War II and served with the 47th Infantry unit.
Willie was honorably discharged from the Army on November 9, 1947 and he came home to work. He found employment at one of the local meat packing houses. Later, Willie transferred employment to the Des Moines Public Schools as a bus driver.
About that time he also found what the Bible describes as “a good thing”. He walked Gloria Simmons home and it was a love match. They loved and cared for each other for 52 years.
As a young man, Willie also found the Lord and was called to preach the gospel. He was an Associate Minister at Maple Street Baptist Church for most of his life.
June 15, 2019, on his 52nd wedding anniversary, Willie left his bride to go with Jesus. He was 91 years old. What a reunion! His mother and father were there; his sister, Deloris Johnson and brother, Jerald Wayne were there. Willie’s children David, Willie Joe III, Christine and Paula Fowler were there, as was his nephew, Steven.
Willie leaves behind his wife, Gloria; daughter, Rebecca (Joe) Jackson; his brother, Claude , nieces and nephews, Claude, Mickey, Jerry, Gary, Sarah, Rebecca, Ruth, Teresa, Ronnie, Shirley, Roberta, and Terry; grandchildren, Lynn, Erica, Fonda, Teone and Trey, great-grandchildren Brittney, O’Shay, Wilshawn, and Lindsey, and a host of other relatives and friends.