Guenter Krumme

1937 - July 15, 2021


Guenter was a sailor, academician, community volunteer and devoted husband, father and grandfather. Guenter taught as a Professor of economic geography for 38 years at London University, Columbia University in New York City, the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, and the University of Washington School of Arts and Sciences in Seattle. His keen analytical mind challenged colleagues and students alike to embrace new pathways to learning. He was among a cadre of pioneering professors to integrate the internet into his economic geography classes, one of the “early adopters.” He was also a prolific author of research and scholarly publications. His life was purpose-ridden as he adjusted his sails throughout his almost 84 years before passing on July 15, 2021.

Guenter was born in Dortmund, Germany in 1937 to Erich and Dr. Margarete Krumme, and was brother to Hans-Jochen Krumme, Dr. Baerbel Krumme and Pastor Ulrich Krumme. His family spent the years during World War II in various evacuation centers in the countryside. During these boyhood years, Guenter especially enjoyed the handling and grooming of horses.

Upon returning home to Dortmund after the war, he helped bring in family income by cleaning bricks from bombed houses, and selling them to construction crews building new homes. He continued with his studies in secondary schools and earned his high school diploma in March of 1957. He was then drafted into the German military for his one-year service requirement. During his time in the military, he was lucky enough to be stationed in the German Alps, where he spent most of his time cross-country skiing.

After his one year of service, he began his studies in Economics and Business Administration at the University of Munich in October 1957. His six-month internship requirement for his degree was conducted at the Deutsche Bank. He then moved across the Atlantic in 1962 to continue his studies at the University of Washington, pursuing his Doctorate in Economic Geography which he then completed in August 1966.

Guenter’s hobbies included skiing, sailing and photography. He had numerous photos published in sailing magazines and newspapers, and won awards in many photo competitions. He enjoyed teaching sailing in the Starnberger See in Bavaria, Germany at the University Institute of Sports.

While pursuing his PhD at the University of Washington, Guenter met his future spouse on a university-organized ski trip to Mount Baker. He had volunteered to help a faculty member in the UW School of Nursing who was unfamiliar with driving in the snow. It was love at first sight. Guenter and Ursel were engaged a few weeks later on Valentine's Day 1964, and were then married in Dortmund’s Gothic Cathedral in 1964 and honeymooned in Venice, Italy. Guenter and Ursel spent their first year of marriage in Munich, where Ursel attended philosophy classes at the university while Guenter collected post-war economic recovery data from regional German companies for his PhD dissertation. He had a daughter Heidi and a son Lars.

Beginning with a 17-foot trailer-able Venture sailboat, Guenter introduced his family to the art and science of sailing. He then purchased a Catalina 27 and later a Catalina 30 “Blauer Peter” spending weekends and summers on the boat, especially enjoying the San Juan Islands, Canadian Gulf Islands, and Desolation Sound and locally Blake Island, a favorite memory of the grandchildren. Perpetual warm waters lured Guenter to spend many winter vacations with family on Maui.

Guenter joined the Bremerton Yacht Club as a member in 1999 when he and Ursel moved to Bremerton. He looked for how to contribute to the club’s goals and activities. When he learned there was no website for the club, he set out to create and design the initial site. Decisions were then made to create a public site to meet some of BYC’s goals such as advertising community programs. One of these programs was the Youth Sailing Program — Guenter would become one of the advocates for the newly to-be-established Youth Sailing Program, helping to find and purchase the initial 8-foot single-handed Dewitt sailboats to teach sailing and assisting in organizing summer sailing camps for children age 8 to 12 years old. All six of his grandchildren ultimately completed the program thereafter. He took photos for the Bremerton Sun, advertising the program. Guenter wanted to leave a legacy of support of the Youth Sailing Program by committing donations annually to support its growth and accessibility for youth to the program. Donations can be made in his memory to Bremerton Yacht Club, Youth Sailing Program, 2700 Yacht Haven Way, Bremerton, WA 98312.

Guenter and Ursel purchased a condominium in Port Ludlow in 2000 and were active in serving the community. They immersed themselves in the Port Ludlow Council Health and Wellness committee work taking over its co-chairmanship. There was lots of wonderful help from like-minded advocates committed to make them all more knowledgeable about their own health, common health conditions and complex healthcare issues. Details could be checked at the expanding website he helped develop.

Guenter leaves his loving and devoted wife, Ursel Krumme; daughter, Heidi Hutchinson; son-in-law, Chad Hutchinson; son, Lars Krumme and daughter-in-law, Jean Bergevin; with grandchildren, Alyssa (Hutchinson) Harper and Chris Harper, Kimberly Hutchinson, Kylee Hutchinson, Tabitha Bergevin-Krumme, Tyler Bergevin-Krumme and Benjamin Bergevin-Krumme. He also is survived by his sister, Baerbel Krumme; and a number of nieces and nephews and their families, in Germany. He will be greatly missed.