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Jeff Cumpston  Zimbabwe



Jeff Cumpston 1956-2009

August 13, 2009 in Zimbabwe


Loving husband, father, family man, teacher, friend, and a true inspiration to all. You lived your life and your faith on your shirtsleeve with all of us – thank you! You are loved and will be missed.


The photo on the left (click to enlarge) is of Terry, Bryce, Mary, & Jeff as they were preparing to go to Zimbabwe in 2008. On the right is Terry and Jeff during their visit  to Oregon July 2009.


Jeff, the former band director at West Linn High School, died Aug. 9, the day before his 53rd birthday, when a motorcycle collided with him as he rode his bicycle near his home in Harare, Zimbabwe. Cumpston moved to Africa, along with his wife, Theresa, and children, Mary, 12, and Bryce, 9, last summer.


Jeff taught and led jazz band, concert band, and orchestra to statewide acclaim at West Linn High School from 1996 through 2008 before moving with his wife, Terry, an elementary school teacher in the Lake Oswego School system, and their two children, Mary and Bryce, to Zimbabwe where both Terry and Jeff were teaching at the Harare International School.  Jeff was very active in the local music scene and was a regular playing a variety of instruments with nearly anyone who asked him to join them – and the local greats did so regularly.  Prior to teaching in West Linn, Jeff was an instructor at Aloha High School in Beaverton.


Jeff loved his Lord Jesus Christ with a passion and in a living way that we all admired … his wife Terry, and children Mary and Bryce, with a fervor that was clear to all knew him … his musician friends across the region with a friendship that surpassed music …   and he personally invested in every single one of his students in a way that changed them all for life – if they were good musicians he encouraged them to greatness – if not he still encouraged them to persist, excel, and achieve.   He especially enjoyed the slower pace of life this past year in Zimbabwe –because it allowed him more time with his family.


While in Zimbabwe, Jeff and his wife started raising money, food, and supplies which they personally delivered to a nearby impoverished village, Chombo. The Cumpston’s continue to supply food while working to get a “bore hole” put in so that the village can have a regular supply of water to grow some of their own crops.


The family has requested memorial gifts be made to either the “Cumpston Family Fund” at any Bank of America branch or to the Chombo project c/o Pat Cook, Jeff’s mother (more details at ).


The Oregonian ran a nice article on Jeff. Other coverage: West Linn Tidings, tributes by local musicians at


Celebration Service – will be streamed live

August 29, 2009 in Zimbabwe


Willamette Church will be streaming Jeff’s Celebration service live starting at 3:45 Sunday for those of you out of town or otherwise able to attend. In addition, they will be posting the recorded video in the near future (hopefully later in the week) for you to view after the service. Thank you WCC!


Click here to view the stream at Please share this link with others you know who are out of town.


For those of you attending, please look for the guides to help you park – Rosemont Ridge Middle School is a great compromise location halfway between the church and the reception. Due to their very small lot at the Adult Community Center, please do not plan on parking or moving your car there.


Chombo Update – August 2009 August 28, 2009 in Zimbabwe


August 28th, 2009


Hi everyone,


Jeff was passionate about the Chombo project right up to his final days in Africa.  In fact, Terry and the family delivered food and supplies to Chombo just a few days after Jeff died. While they were there the villagers held a memorial service for Jeff. You can read more about this project on the “Chombo” page.


It is Jeff and the family’s wish that the Chombo project continue.  The village continues to need food.  The “bore hole” project to put in a well for the village so they can irrigate their own crops year round is still underway.


Pat has figured out how to reliably get the funds to Zimbabwe without being diverted to the wrong governmental hands.  Once there, the funds are used to buy local food and deliver it to the village with some funds being set aside for the bore hole.


Please continue to support this project in Jeff’s honor and for the benefit of the villagers. Please call Pat if you have any questions at 503-646-2905. Although your contributions are probably are not tax deductible, they are sorely needed and all are appreciated.


Checks should be made payable to “Patricia Cook” with “Chombo” in the comment line and mailed to

Patricia Cook

8640 SW Pacer Drive

Beaverton, OR 97008




You can read the family blog at

Over the last 12 months I have followed this family's blog at


I was greatly saddened today whilst checking their adventures to see that Jeff had died.


Glenys 3 September 2009