Corrine Arleta Stumpf, professionally known as Mary Randolph, passed from this life
Sunday April 25, 2004 at the St. James Nursing Center. She was 79 years of age.
Corrinee had a remarkable career that spanned more than 50 years. She had an unusual
voice that critics called a cross between Patti Page and Mary Fod, without imitating
Born at High Gate, Missouri, to John and Eliza Stumpf on January 31, 1925. Corrinne,
her sister Carmolee, and brother Clifford, began singing together at an early age. They entertained
throughout the community, extending to St. Louis with appearances at the Fox Theatre
and the St. Louis Police Circus. Their first professional job was at WDZ, Tuscola, Illinois.
This came after world War II, when her brother Clifford returned from the ARmed Forces. By
this time, a fellow musician friend, Bob Hastings in St. Louis, named them "The
Sagebrush Serenaders" because of their strong tie to Western style music.
Clifford was on tour with other artists from WDZ when they had a car accident and
was hospitalized for several months. When ready to work again, the act was
hired at KWTO, Springfield, Missouri. The highlight of the week was an appearance
on the (M)utual (N)etwork program that aired each Saturday night, "Korn's-A-Krackin'".
It was at KWTO they were privileged to work with musicians Chet Atkins, Red Foley, Porter Wagoner,
Billy Walker, the Haden Family, the Goodwill Family and others.
Her next move was to WHO, Des Moines, where she was hired as a girl soloist
with Dusty Owens and the Rodeo Boys. She later became the third female of a
new girl's trio being formed which became a favorite act and was always
in demand for personal appearances.
With the invention of television, live radio entertainment fell by the wayside.
Corrinne returned home to join the Austin Wood group who had a regular
program on KTTR, Rolla. She was also a regular guest on his television show
which aired from KRCG TV, Jefferson City. While working with Austin, a
request came from Springfield for the "Sagebrush Serenaders" to make a guest
appearance on the popular Red Foley Show "Ozark Jubilee." Don Cornick had taken
the place of Clifford who was no longer singing with the trio.
An operator's job came open at United Telephone Company and Corrinne began
a second career. She retired after 26 years of service when the operation
moved from Rolla.
An active Christian of the Baptist faith since her youth, she was a member
of the First Baptist Church of St. James where she was faithful through the
years to the church music program. For much of her life she was asked to
sing at community events and many weddings. Loved ones will long remember
her comforting words sung at countless funerals.
The later years of Corrinne's life was devoted to being a volunteer
at the St. James Nursing Center. Her life touched so many people she will be
missed by not only her family but a host of friends near and far. Corrinne
was preceded in death by her parents, an infant brother and brother
Clifford. She is survived by a sister, Carmolee Cornick and husband Don, of
Fulton; a nephew, John Cornick, wife Cary, and their children Jamie
and Jessica, of Blue Springs; two nieces, Carol Jo Stumpf, of St. James,
and Catherine Roster, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a
sister-in-law Martha Stumpf, of St. James.
St. James Leader-Journal Editor's Note: According to James and Gahr Mortuary, Corrinne Stumpf sang
at over 2,100 funerals over a period of 35 years at their facility alone.
She was truly an amazing woman, and will be sorely missed.
Full Obituary and other Biographical Notes: