Dr. Ronald “Ron” Adelbert Gum fought the good fight with grace and courage over many years until, peacefully slumbering, he succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease while living out his final days at Holmes Park Hospice House in Medford, Oregon.
He was born in San Antonio on June 19, 1938, to proud parents, Adelbert Eugene (A.E.) and Irene Wendland Gum.
Dr. Gum finalized his plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at Walter Reed Army Hospital and headed to his next station at Beaumont Army Hospital in El Paso, where the now Lt. Col. Gum was named assistant chief of Plastic Surgery Services. His tour ending, he was assigned to Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, and was installed as chief of the Plastic Surgery Department.
Dr. Gum served in leadership and teaching positions over several years, realizing his dream of repairing the serious injuries afflicting men and women of all stripes wounded in service to their country.
In 1982, after 20 years of service, Dr. Gum retired as a colonel and opened a private practice in plastic and reconstructive surgery in El Paso. He especially enjoyed his years, in partnership with other specialists, operating the El Paso Cleft Palate Clinic. He participated as clinical assistant professor, Department of Surgery, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Dr. and Mrs. Mary Ann Gum lived in El Paso after his second retirement from his civilian practice, and in 2002 bought a home in Southern Oregon.
Dad Gum delighted in his children: Robin Smith (Kenny), Aspen, Colorado; Casey Gum, (Rhonda), Austin; Bret Gum (Mary Beth), Venice, California; and his four “grands” – Gracie, William, Dominic and Gavin.
Celebration of Life Memorial Service in El Paso is at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10 at St. Clement’s Anglican Church, 810 N. Campbell. Pastor Lenae Rasmussen and Pastor Ron Thomson will preside. Burial will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Fort Bliss National Cemetery, 5200 Fred Wilson.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, University of Texas Medical Branch, Department of Plastic Surgery, Friends of Hospice, Providence Hospice Foundation, National Alzheimer’s Association, your local Alzheimer’s Association, or the organization of your choice.