RUM­BOUGH

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY -

fighter pi­lot who flew more than 50 missions dur­ing World War II, Mr. Rum­bough earned two Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Crosses and eight air medals.

Mr. Rum­bough lived in Palm Beach for nearly a half-cen­tury. He once told an in­ter­viewer that when he first vis­ited Palm Beach in 1940, it was “love at first sight.” Once he de­cided to make the jun­gled is­land his home, he im­me­di­ately be­came ac­tive in the com­mu­nity.

He played a key role in the de­vel­op­ment of the Civic As­so­ci­a­tion, whose mis­sion is to pro­tect and en­hance the qual­ity of life on the is­land. Mr. Rum­bough was among a group who pushed for the or­ga­ni­za­tion to take a more proac­tive ap­proach to solv­ing town prob­lems.

“He is a man of deep con­vic­tions — a very in­clu­sive man who has reached out to vir­tu­ally ev­ery group within Palm Beach,” the late William Guttman, who im­me­di­ately pre­ceded Mr. Rum­bough as the as­so­ci­a­tion’s chief of­fi­cer, said in 2005. “He is a good lis­tener and a good del­e­ga­tor.”

Bob Wright, chair­man and CEO of the Civic As­so­ci­a­tion since 2010, said Mr. Rum­bough per­suaded him to get in­volved with the or­ga­ni­za­tion, propos­ing him as a board mem­ber af­ter the two met about 15 years ago.

“He was just a re­mark­able per­son and had a won­der­ful life,” Wright said. “He did so many things and touched peo­ple in a pos­i­tive way.”

Mr. Rum­bough re­ceived nu­mer­ous hon­ors for his civic and char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions, in­clud­ing the 2010 El­lis Is­land Medal of Honor, the Pride of Palm Beach Award from the Palm Beach Cham­ber of Com­merce, the Com­mu­nity Ser­vice award from the Palm Beach Civic As­so­ci­a­tion, and the Dis­tin­guished Com­mu­nity Cit­i­zen Award from the Town of Palm Beach United Way.

“Stan Rum­bough em­bod­ies all of the qual­i­ties that this award rep­re­sents, through his spirit of phi­lan­thropy, vol­un­teerism and com­mu­nity lead­er­ship,” said Daniel Pon­ton, who, with Pa­tri­cia Cook, served as chair­man of that year’s Alexis de Toc­queville So­ci­ety Cam­paign.

Mr. Rum­bough was ac­tive in GOP pol­i­tics and founded the Cit­i­zens for Eisen­hower group, a grass-roots move­ment that helped pro­pel Dwight Eisen­hower into the White House. He worked in the White House, where he or­ga­nized the Ex­ec­u­tive Branch Li­ai­son Of­fice, from 1953 to 1956 as spe­cial as­sis­tant to the pres­i­dent.

A busi­ness­man and in­vestor, he was a founder, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer or direc­tor of more than 40 com­pa­nies in the United States, West Indies and Mex­ico.

In a 2005 in­ter­view, Mr. Rum­bough said he was for­tu­nate enough to have come from a priv­i­leged back­ground and to have par­ents who in­stilled val­ues of hard work, ser­vice to oth­ers and en­joy­ing life.

He took his first steps into the busi­ness world in 1945, af­ter re­turn­ing home to New York City fol­low­ing V-J Day. Rum­bough and pal Char­lie Willis started a small air freight com­pany based in New Jersey, us­ing sur­plus DC-3s and DC4s. The two en­ter­pris­ing young men helped load cat­tle onto their planes bound from New Jersey to South Amer­ica.

“Why not?” Rum­bough laughed. “We wanted to make a liv­ing.”

Not long af­ter, they sold the com­pany and “did very well,” he said.

It was the first of many com­pa­nies that would take flight un­der Rum­bough’s vi­sion. Other ven­tures, not all suc­cess­ful, in­cluded a bur­glar alarm com­pany in Mex­ico City, a flour mill in Trinidad, food com­pa­nies, pack­ag­ing com­pa­nies, col­lapsi­ble alu­minum tubes and a lot more.

He was the pres­i­dent and direc­tor of Planned Par­ent­hood of the Palm Beach Area for al­most 20 years un­til 1995, when he be­came hon­orary direc­tor.

Mr. Rum­bough also was ac­tive in the U.S. Com­mit­tee for the United Na­tions, for which he served as chair­man; the For­eign Pol­icy As­so­ci­a­tion, the Pop­u­la­tion Re­source Cen­ter, the U.S. Lawn Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion Davis Cup Pol­icy Com­mit­tee, In­ter­na­tional House in New York; and the Kravis Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, where he was a life trustee.

Lau­rel Baker, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Palm Beach Cham­ber of Com­merce, met Mr. Rum­bough 40 years ago when she be­came a board mem­ber at Planned Par­ent­hood. The two re­mained friends, lunch­ing to­gether as re­cently as a few months ago.

“He has been an ex­tra­or­di­nary per­son in my life — his abil­ity to see the world the way it is and ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery day that he had,” Baker said.

As the years ad­vanced and his health de­clined, Mr. Rum­bough re­mained en­gaged with friends and the com­mu­nity.

“He didn’t have a self­ish mo­tive in his car­ing,” Baker said. “There will never be an­other one like him. He didn’t hang on to his­tory. He be­lieved in the fu­ture. That’s why he was an en­tre­pre­neur.”

Mr. Rum­bough was a life­long ten­nis en­thu­si­ast who played for Yale and later played in men’s dou­bles com­pe­ti­tion at Wim­ble­don. An avid golfer, he co-held the am­a­teur course record at Shin­necock Hills Golf Club with a 68 that he scored in 1959.

He and his wife, Janne Har­low, a cham­pion dres­sage rider, di­vided their time be­tween homes in Palm Beach and East Hamp­ton, N.Y. The cou­ple mar­ried in 1990.

An ear­lier mar­riage to Ne­de­nia Hut­ton, the daugh­ter of Mar­jorie Mer­ri­weather Post and E.F. Hut­ton and known pro­fes­sion­ally as the ac­tress Dina Mer­rill, ended in di­vorce.

Mr. Rum­bough was a mem­ber of the Bath & Ten­nis, Ever­glades and Beach clubs in Palm Beach; the Semi­nole Golf Club in Juno Beach; the Maid­stone Club in East Hamp­ton and the Na­tional Golf Links in Southampton; and the Rac­quet & Ten­nis Club in New York.

In ad­di­tion to his wife, Mr. Rum­bough is sur­vived by his chil­dren, Stan­ley Hut­ton Rum­bough of Palm Beach and New York, and Ne­de­nia “Nina” Col­gate Rum­bough Roosen­burg of Bray’s Is­land, S.C.; stepchil­dren Kai Chris­tian Jan­son and Ka­rina Jan­son Fitz; and his grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren.

He was pre­de­ceased by his son, David, and by his sis­ter, El­iz­a­beth van Nor­den.

A pri­vate me­mo­rial ser­vice and a cel­e­bra­tion of life will be held at a later date.

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