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Richard "Dick" McUmber
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Birth: Mar. 26, 1926
Death: Jun. 14, 2004

Noted prosthetist and innovator Richard "Dick" McUmber, 78, died peacefully June 14 at his home in Lake Columbia, Michigan.Called an "unsung hero" by one of his former student residents, McUmber dedicated most of his life to the orthotics and prosthetics profession. While with the University of Michigan, he was on the development team of the Michigan Gel Liner and helped develop sleeve suspension methods. However, it was to his patients that McUmber really shone. Patients drove for miles or flew for hours to see him."I was honored to have Dick McUmber work in our patient care division for several years," said Rudy Becker, president of Becker Orthopedic, Troy, Michigan. "Those in real estate like to say, location, location, location.' If you talked to Dick, it was, the patient, the patient, the patient.' He would not rest until the patient was ambulating as well as possible. If that meant making a house call like the beloved doctors of yesteryear, then he would make the house call. His patients liked him, respected him, and insisted on seeing him--and only him."Becker continued, "All his peers looked up to him. He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word, and I was blessed to know and work with him."McUmber's professional career encompassed working at Wright & Filippis, headquartered in Rochester Hills, Michigan; 18 years as director of prosthetics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; director of Tucson Limb and Brace, Tucson, Arizona; director of prosthetics for Becker Orthopedics in Lincoln Park, Michigan; owner of McUmber Prosthetics, Muskegon, Michigan; and in retirement, as consultant for Becker Orthopedics, Allen Park, Michigan. He was a member of the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists.Wendy Beattie, CPO, FAAOP, fondly recalled her time as a resident under McUmber: "I found out [later] that there was a good deal of concern if this ultra-experienced man and this fresh-out-of-school startup would clash. We got along splendidly! Dick was a fabulous prosthetist and a fabulous teacher. He was always willing to learn himself, interested in trying out the latest techniques, but able to rely on some ancient methods if he felt they would benefit the patient."Beattie, who is a prosthetist/orthotist at Becker's Waterford, Michigan, office, continued, "Over the years, I have had several residents myself, and I try to let them think things through for themselves and keep myself open to learn from them, as Dick did with me."Bob Diamond of Bracemasters, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, remembered working with McUmber at Becker: "He'd take difficult cases--patients other prosthetists were unsuccessful with. Being an AK amputee himself, his knowledge was just incredible, and his patients really loved him. They would follow him as he moved to new locations."Diamond recalled Dick McUmber's energy: "You'd have these young guys right out of school coming to Becker; they would try to follow him around, and he would just wear them out. I'd still call him and discuss cases, even when in the last few years he wasn't actively seeing patients."Paralympic medalist Jim Lagerstrom also worked with McUmber at Becker. "It was a real honor to work with him," said Lagerstrom. "He was a great mentor. He taught me a lot about prosthetics, including fabrication and fitting." McUmber and Lagerstrom, who is now with Ohio Willow Wood, Mt. Sterling, Ohio, worked together developing prosthetic ski legs, which, as Lagerstrom says, "helped me to medal in the Paralympics and in national competitions."McUmber was born March 26, 1926, in Jackson, Michigan, to Wallace and Ruth McUmber. He joined the Army Air Force in 1944, gaining the rank of sergeant, serving as a ball turret gunner in B-17s.He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Terry; seven children: Lynn Pawlowski, Lisa Greer, Kelly Reckendorf, Deborah Williams, Diana Braun, David Kamke, and Doug McUmber; 13 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; two brothers, Walter and Donald; and one sister, Barbara Beamish. 
 
Burial:
Unknown
 
Created by: James Hustis
Record added: Nov 20, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12419780
Richard Dick McUmber
Added by: James Hustis
 
 
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