Fred Houston Rumfelt, devoted husband, father, grandfather, musician and friend, age 80, went to be with the Lord on 12/27/2011 after several years of declining health.
Born on November 16, 1931, Fred, a lifelong resident of McDowell County, spent the early years of his life working for Marion Manufacturing Company and working as a labor organizer. He went from there to working in the music industry as a musician and recording engineer, both locally and in Nashville and then on to opening Country Roads Recording Studio in Marion, NC, which he operated for more than 40 years. Over the course of his life, Fred donated countless hours of time to local musicians, churches and the music and drama departments of the local public schools. Fred became one of the most respected and sought after recording engineers in the Southeast and his influence will be felt for many years to come through the hundreds of thousands of tapes, albums, records and compact discs he recorded and produced over the decades. Though his musical expertise spanned many genres, Fred’s first love was the local bluegrass and gospel music of the mountains of North Carolina. Fred mentored literally thousands of aspiring musicians, singers, song writers and fellow recording engineers and never turned anyone away who had a talent or dream to make music. He was generous to a fault with his knowledge, advice and talents. Even during his later years when his health began to decline, Fred never failed to offer support and encouragement to anyone seeking his wisdom and advice. All the while, Fred remained a devoted family man. His death will be a big loss to his family, to the local and regional music industry and to the community in general.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Houston B. and Eursley Rhom Rumfelt of Marion; a son, Michael Fred Rumfelt, of Asheville and a daughter Nancy L. Rumfelt of Marion. He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Marlene Church Rumfelt, of Marion; his son and daughter in law, Phillip and Charlene Rumfelt of Asheville; his daughter, Janet Rumfelt McGalliard, of Marion; his son, Christopher Rumfelt of Marion; granddaughters, Carmen Rumfelt, Candice Gibson, Casey Rumfelt, Taryn Brown, Katie McGalliard, Vanna Kealy, Sarrah Hennings and Kirsta Hennings; one grandson, Fredrick Rumfelt and four great grandchildren; along with a brother, Wayne Rumfelt of Marion; sisters: Frances Williams, Mary Boone, Joyce Estes, Jeanette Jarrett and Janice Stevenson, all of Marion.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 pm on Friday 12/30/2011 at Westmoreland Funeral Home in Marion with Reverends Terry Cheek and Ray Hall officiating. Burial will follow at Chapel Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Thursday, 12/29/2011, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Westmoreland Funeral Home. The family is grateful to, and would like to express a heartfelt thank-you to Hospice of Rutherford County and Judy Wilson who provided extraordinary care and support to Fred and his family