NORMAN — 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 in 1952 after completing primary and secondary school in Zurich and the Swiss Commercial College with an apprenticeship in international shipping to go to college. 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, of which he was very proud, and added the middle name Thomas, which means “twin,” since he has a twin brother.
Henry Thomas Blum loved working in the outdoors, mainly gardening, and loved the water, swimming daily in the ocean until he moved back to Zurich.
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; ex-wife, Lucy Freeman Smith of McAlester; and nieces Sonja and Melanie Blum of Zurich, Switzerland.
A memorial service will be Thursday in Zurich outdoors at his father’s “garden husli,” weather permitting.
Norman Transcript, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013