- Ada, Oklahoma

October 17, 2013

Henry Blum

Zurich, Switzerland —

Henry Blum, 83, died Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Zurich, Switzerland, after a four-and-a-half year battle with Alzheimer’s. 

The longtime Oklahoma resident was born in Zurich on Aug. 13, 1930, to Hans and Lina Schnellmann Blum. He lived many years in McAlester, Ada and Venice, Fla.

Heinrich (his Swiss name) came to the United States to go to college in 1952 after completing primary and secondary school in Zurich and the Swiss Commercial College with an apprenticeship in international shipping. 

He graduated with a major in Bible from Abilene Christian College in 1955. There, he met Lucy Mae Freeman, and they were married in Zurich in 1956.

In Switzerland, he began a ministry with the Church of Christ until his return to the United States in 1963 where he began a longtime profession of social work. He also had a master of social work from West Virginia University in 1971. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1967 and added the middle name Thomas.

He was a long-term member of Rotary, serving as president of the Ada club in 1983 and was a Paul Harris Fellow.

His parents, Hans and Lina Blum, preceded him in death.

Survivors include his son, Bill and wife, Kathy, of Norman; daughter, Lisa and husband, Kurt Lange, of Dallas; twin brother, Konrad of Zurich; grandchildren Katie Blum of New York City, Rebecca, Adam and Charlie Lange of Dallas; exwife, Lucy Freeman Smith of McAlester; and nieces Sonja and Melanie Blum of Zurich, Switzerland.

A memorial service took place Oct. 10 in Zurich outdoors at his father’s “garden husli.”