Obituary - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Martin Mathis Stumpf, 42, died unexpectedly on Thursday, August 18, 2005, at St. Elizabeth
Medical Center in Utica, New York.
Martin was born in Chicago and grew up in Chapel Hill, with dual U.S. and German citizenship.
He was a 1981 graduate of Chapel Hill High School and then received a Bachelor of Arts in
International Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1985. In 2004, he received a Masters of
Science in Digital Media from the International School of New Media (ISNM) at the University of
Lübeck, Germany, with a Masters Thesis entitled “eMerging Media: African Radio Takes Online
on the Air”.
Martin’s primary professional interest was sound, with over 13 years experience as a sound
engineer in music, radio and film. In New York City, Paris and Lübeck, he participated in
recordings of Manu Dibango, Ray Lema, Salif Keita, Papa Wemba, King Sunny Ade, Bongo,
Francis Mbappé, Keiji Haino, and Philip Glass, among others, received numerous album credits,
and did extensive audio post production work. He pursued music and media as a form of creative
expression and international communication. While still in high school, he began his interest in
sound and radio as a disc jockey for WXYC on the UNC campus.
Martin had a life long interest in documenting native cultures and assisting developing countries
through media. After two years as a radio engineer at the United Nations Headquarters in New
York, supplying radio programs and interviews in 7 languages, Martin spent most of 2002 in the
DR Congo with the United Nations peacekeeping mission MONUC to help establish Radio Okapi,
a network of new stations that radio-phonically unified the war torn country and continues to
broadcast in the name of peace. His roles at Radio Okapi included installing, optimizing and
managing 8 radio studios as well as his favorite activity, teaching audio production skills to the
Congolese engineers and journalists. In 2004, he participated as associate producer on a
documentary celebrating the MV Liemba, a long-running passenger and commercial ship on Lake
Tanganyika, in Tanzania. Most recently he worked as a Development Communications consultant
with the ISNM for a World Bank project to document and expand the use of community radio
stations in international development work, which included gathering voices of leading African
community radio practitioners on film.
Martin is survived by his parents, Dr. Walter Erich Stumpf and Ursula Emily Stumpf of Chapel Hill.
He is also survived by his three sisters, Andrea Emily Stumpf of Washington DC, Silva Gabriele
Stumpf of Chapel Hill, and Carolin Anne Stumpf Lloyd, her husband Robert and their three
children, Walter, Lyndon, and Emily, all of Charlotte, NC.
A memorial fund is being established in Martin’s memory. Contributions in the form of checks can
be made to “Martin M. Stumpf Foundation for the Promotion of Omani-Zanzibari Cultural Ties”.
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