Award-winning health writer hailed from newspaper family


Award-winning journalist David Rumbach died Friday, April 1, 2011, at the Horton VNA Hospice Center in Valparaiso.

Rumbach, 53, was a resident of Chesterton.

During his 24 years at the South Bend Tribune, Rumbach earned a reputation for thorough and tenacious reporting, particularly in the areas of health, medicine and science.

He won numerous awards for his reporting and writing.

Rumbach joined The Tribune’s staff in 1983 as a general assignment reporter. His skill in clearly explaining complex issues and illustrating their importance through lives in the community especially enriched his writing on medicine.

Rumbach left The Tribune in 2007 to take a job as a senior writer for communications, marketing and development at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was able to continue his work crafting detailed articles about medical research and breakthroughs.

After he began experimental cancer treatment himself last year, Rumbach said of his reporting that “from where I sit now, I’m glad that we always put patients and their interests first.”

Rumbach was born in Jasper on Nov. 21, 1957, and grew up in a newspaper family. His family owned and operated the Jasper Herald (now The Herald), a news operation that still is run by Rumbach family members. He was a graduate of Jasper High School and a 1980 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

He is survived by his wife, Marlene of Chesterton, and their son, Paul of South Bend, as well as two brothers, John of Jasper and Robert of Lenexa, Kan.; a sister, Marian Elbert of Cadott, Wis.; and 15 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, John T. “Jack” and Anna Marie Rumbach, and a brother, Joseph.

Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Chicago and mailed to University of Chicago Medical Center Development Office, 1170 E. 58th St., Chicago, IL 60637 or to the St. Joseph High School Building Fund, 1441 N. Michigan St., South Bend, IN 46617.