Michael R. Pump, age 77, of South Elgin, IL, passed away on October 9, 2021. He was born March 10, 1944 in Hamburg, Germany to his loving parents, Rolf Hannes Heinrich Pump and Karla Adele Frieda Pump (née Stohr).
During his childhood, Michael’s family moved to the United States, making their way to Chicago, IL. From there, he joined the United States Army in 1965, serving faithfully for two years before being honorably discharged. He worked as a supply specialist, earned the rank of Sergeant, and received the following awards: Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Expert (Rifle).
After the Army, Michael joined the Teamsters Union, and he worked in the garment district as a truck driver.
Michael was very self-sufficient and hardworking, always wanting to do everything himself. He had a great sense of humor, and was always making jokes about himself. He felt it was better to have others laugh with him instead of at him. He had a very caring attitude toward those less fortunate, especially those he thought of as the underdog.
Michael enjoyed buying corvettes, working on them, then selling them. He loved riding his Harley, and listening to 80’s rock music. He was a bit of a rebel. He was also a diehard Chicago Blackhawks fan. He loved going fishing up north, and would spend time in Eagle River, WI, or in Canada where he would fish all day, then grab a beer and a hockey game at night. He also enjoyed listening to audiobooks and doing craft projects.
Michael never married or had a family of his own. Later in life, he became disfigured, and he felt like a monster. He met Cathie Kross and they became friends, but when she invited him over to spend Christmas with her and her family, he said, “You don’t want a monster in your house!” So instead, Cathie and her whole family brought their entire Christmas to him. He was a very guarded man who was very proud and independent, especially because of all he had been through. He didn’t easily let people in, but the Kross family won his heart, and he eventually “adopted” them as family. The Kross family feels blessed and fortunate to have gotten to know Michael, because once he finally let his guard down, they discovered a wonderful and great man at the core.
For the last 11 years of his life, Michael lived at the Heritage Woods of South Elgin. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by the Kross family which he adopted as his own (David, Cathie, Tori, and Daniel Kross).
A memorial will be held from 2:00pm until funeral service with full military honors at 4:00pm, Saturday, November 13, 2021 at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park Street, Elgin, IL 60120. Rev. Timothy Perry will be officiating.
Mourners are encouraged to review the funeral home COVID-19 public health policies ahead of time.
To access the visitation remotely, loved ones are encouraged to log on safe from home via Zoom.us (Meeting ID: 867 1253 8962, Password: 011870).
Interment will be at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, 20953 W. Hoff Road, Elwood, IL 60421 at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Michael’s name to either the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans, the Nationwide Chaplains Services Veteran Fund, the Cancer Research Institute, or the American Diabetes Association.
Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home. For more information, call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadison.com.