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Charles Stumpf (born 29 October 1929, died 28 August 2009) was a prolific author and radio comedian/entertainer, just like in the days of OTR, old time radio shows (good ol' days, where there was no sex or violence on radio & TV).
Charles K. Stumpf, 79, a resident of the Laurels in Hazleton and formerly of Hazlewood Apartments and McAdoo, died early Friday morning in Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown.
Born in Upper Lehigh in northeastern Pennsylvania on Oct. 29 1929, he was a son of Charles Adam and Mary Michael Stumpf and a lifelong Hazleton area resident.
Charles was a graduate of Foster Township High School (he had good grades). He also attended one semester of college, taking Philosophy class. He was a longtime member of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Audenried. Throughout his life he had been employed locally as a bookkeeper, actor and writer. He was never married. He was married to his work. As far as temper goes, he had short fuse.
Charles was a well-known Hazleton historian and writer. His history articles have appeared in Panorama Magazine. He was also active in numerous local theater groups. Uncle Charlie, as he was known, was professionally involved in Vaudeville, film and especially in radio. His many books are written about the stars and stories of old radio shows. Stumpf is recipient of Allen Rockford Award presented by friends of OTR. He was a member of the Hazleton Historical Society and a founder and director of the Theater of the Nine Muses at the Hazleton Art League. He wrote: Heavenly Days: The Story of Fibber McGee & Molly (co authors: Tom Price, Frank Bresee, but Stumpf contributed the most just like in all his books), The Great Gildersleeve (played by Harold 'Hal' Peary on the Fibber McGee & Molly show since 1939). Then the Great Gildersleeve character got a radio show of his own. Harold 'Hal' Peary played the role from 1941 to 1950, then he was replaced by Willard Waterman, because Peary moved to another station & got his own show called 'Honest Harold' which lasted one season (Gildersleeve photos for the book were provided by Mr. Jan Lubek). Later on there was a TV show called 'The Great Gildersleeve' but Waterman wasn't meant/fit for TV. Too bad Harold 'Hal' Peary did not play the 'Gildy' part on TV, it would have been legendary show. Stumpf's Fibber McGee & Molly, The Great Gildersleeve & Walter Tetley books are highly recommended!
One of his last books was on Walter Tetley: 'For Corn's Sake.' The last books like Gildersleeve & Walter Tetley he wrote with Ben Ohmart is not true. Stumpf wrote them all for BearManor Media, small publishing company run by Ben Ohmart. Ohmart just puts his name on the books, claims credits for work he did, so he can be more popular & impressive, but only contributes a little to the projects.
In addition to Stumpf parents, he was preceded in death by sisters, Ethel Schaffer, Lena Loftus, Mary Carey, Edna VanHorn and Emily Poluka. Surviving are his brother, John L. Stumpf, several nieces and nephews and several great-nieces and great-nephews.