The Society mourns the loss of Bump, our beloved holiday volunteer “trainman,” whose passion for trains and kindly demeanor made the annual Great Trains show a delight for kids and adults alike.
Ivan “Bump” Spangenberg III passed away suddenly due to injuries suffered in a fall on June 18th while vacationing on Block Island with his family. The day marked his and Dell’s 62nd wedding anniversary.
Bump was born on August 13, 1929 and raised in Westport, Connecticut. A member of the class of 1947 at Staples High School, he excelled athletically in football, basketball, and baseball. He graduated from Brown University in 1951, where he played baseball and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Post graduation, he served as an officer in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He then enjoyed a successful career at Merrill Lynch from which he retired.
He and Dell (née Graham) were married in 1955 and raised their six children in Wilton, moving into the home where Dell had been raised. Bump’s true passion was his family. He was lovingly involved in the lives of his six children, nineteen grandchildren, and four great grand children. Always active in the community, he served as a Wilton Fire Commissioner, coached Little League, volunteered at both the Wilton Historical Society’s Train Exhibition and Norwalk Hospital, and was a past president of both the Lion’s Club and The Shore and Country Club.
In addition to his wife, Bump is survived by his six children: Beth Shea of Laytonsville, MD, Mark Spangenberg and his wife Robin of Millis, MA, Terry Walters and her husband Clint of Santa Cruz, CA, Tom Spangenberg and his wife Anna of Dover, MA, Katy Williams and her husband Rob of Wilton, CT and Maggie O’Brien and her husband Greg of Lynnfield, MA. He is also survived by nineteen grandchildren: Katy Shea Pagano (Peter), Kerry Shea Offterdinger (Bobby), Brian Shea (Theresa), Kevin Shea, Sara, Caroline, Luke, and Kate Spangenberg, Alex Spangenberg (Kristy), Mack, Scott, and Will Spangenberg, Maggie, John, Michael, and Danny Williams, Andrew, Margot, and David O’Brien, and four great grandchildren: Juliana, Marcus, and Leo Pagano, and Olivia Offterdinger. His parents, Ivan and Helen Spangenberg, his brother, Peter Spangenberg, and his son in law, Daniel Shea, predeceased him.
Bump loved working on projects around his home. The vegetable garden served as a particular source of pleasure, with family and friends sharing the bounty. His workshop produced a steady output of repaired furniture, home improvements, model trains, wooden toys, and assorted creative solutions to any project that got his attention. Hearing the machines from the basement, or the sound of his tractor, his family knew that Papa was hard at work. For years he drove around his property on his tractor, custom fitted by him with a wooden train exterior complete with a passenger car and bell for his grandchildren to ring. The night before he died, he again drove the tractor, this time with his great grandchildren on board, enjoying every minute.
His family cherishes a life well lived by a man who exemplified integrity and commitment to his family and community.
The family will hold a reception in his honor at the Wilton Historical Society from 2 – 4 pm on July 8th, 2017.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the Wilton Historical Society.