James T. Sumner

James T. Sumner

GUILDERLAND – James T. Sumner, 87, of Westmere, passed away Saturday, September 28, 2013 at Albany Memorial Hospital. Mr. Sumner was born in Spartansburg, SC, but lived most of his life in Guilderland.  He served as a radio operator in the Army Air Forces during World War II in the Pacific, and was a graduate of Spartansburg Junior College.  He also attended the College of St. Rose.  He was former owner of, and was employed for many years by Arcadia Supply, Inc. of Albany.  He coached American Legion Junior Baseball through the Valek Post, and was Oratorical Chair for the American Legion 3rd District of New York.  He also was a life member of the Guilderland Center VFW, and a member for many years of the Western Turnpike Rescue Squad, as well as former President and member of the Board of Directors.  Since 1952 he was a member of the Guilderland Democratic Committee, and served as Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of the party.  He also was a member of the Guilderland Zoning Board of Appeals.  He played an important role in securing public funding for the Guilderland Emergency Medical Service System, and volunteered his time in the establishment and expansion of the Guilderland network of rescue squads.

Mr. Sumner was predeceased by his wife of 50 years Doris Meron Sumner in 1999.  He is survived by his children Donna Smith (James) of Lyman, SC, and William T. Sumner (Barbara) of Delmar;  his beloved companion Margaret “Peggy” McMahon of Guilderland; his sister in law Josephine Sumner of Robbinsville, NC; his grandchildren James J. Smith (Kimberly) and Katie Murphy (Matthew); his great grandchildren Nora and Madeline Murphy, and Joshua and Jordan Smith.

Funeral services will be held in the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., Albany, Wednesday morning at 9:00, and from there to Christ the King Church, Sumter Ave., Guilderland at 10:00.  Relatives and friends are invited, and may call at the funeral home Tuesday from 4-8pm.  The parish family of Christ the King Church will gather in the funeral home at 4:30 pm Tuesday for a service of prayer and remembrance.  All are welcome.   Interment will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Colonie.  The family suggests memorial contributions to the Western Turnpike Rescue Squad, 200 Centre Ln, Albany, NY 12203.  To leave a message of condolence for the family, send a sympathy card, or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.

Click here to view Mr. Sumner’s resting place in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Colonie, New York (zip code Albany, NY 12205).

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Messages of Condolence

  1. John & Joyce Washburn says:

    You have our deepest sympathy on the loss of Tom.
    I remember him as a vibrant young man at the end of WW2 when he came to live in Gansevoort. He was a good friend to a then 10 year old boy.

  2. Ingrid Sharke says:

    I am so sorry. Mr. Sumner was such a kind and wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family and Peggy..

  3. Howard Huth says:

    I am a fellow Life Member of Western Turnpike Rescue – Jim was simply an amazing person to be around. Even though we served the agency a few generations apart, his advice and counsel was pertinent and on-target because he stayed involved and was passionate about WTRS. I learned a great deal about business and leadership from Jim. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  4. Andrew T. Sumner says:

    Jim (always Uncle Tom to me) was like a father to me early in my life. He was extremely close to his brother and my father, Andrew T. Sumner, and mother Josephine, who were responsible for his moving to upstate NY after WWII. We visited Tom, Doris, and the children often in the early days, and it was impressive how hard-working Tom was and how he grew his company. His involvement with the Rescue Squad, church, politics, and his children was inspirational. I know he will be missed by many.

    Andy Sumner
    Alpharetta, GA

  5. Janet (Crouse) Milne says:

    Our condolences to Toms family and friends. Tom and Doris were wonderful neighbors and friends to our family living across the street on Arcadia Ave. Tom and Doris were there for my mother and father through my mother’s fight with leukemia and , offered support, help and friendship to my Dad and our family after her death.

    Stan Crouse was proud to call Tom a friend for the rest of his life.
    With sympathy and fond memories of Tom.

    Janet & Bob Milne
    Eddyville KY

  6. KELLY ZELKER says:

    Dear Bill, Donna, Peggy and Family. Please know that you are close in every thought and prayer and you have my deepest sympathy. Mr. Sumner was one of a kind and he taught me some aspects of the metal business I shall never forget. He will be missed.

  7. Bill Jeffs says:

    Donna, Bill and Family, Deepest sympathy to you and your family. It was a pleasure to have known your father. Jim was a true Southern Gentleman.

  8. Sandra Sumner says:

    Uncle Tom was one of the Best Uncles a niece could ask for. He always welcomed us to his home, He made us laugh,He surprised us in his later life with his many adventures and interests. He looked so much like my Dad, and now he is gone and I am very sad. Sandy

  9. Bob and Bobbie Grell says:

    Dear Donna and family, Our deepest sympathy to you and your family in the loss of your father. We so enjoyed meeting him and he truly was a gentleman. You all are in are thoughts and prayers.

  10. BOB HAINES says:

    DEAR PEGGY. AS YOU KNOW JIM WAS A VERY DEAR FRIEND WHO MADE MY INVOLVEMENT IN LOCAL POLITICS FUN & ENJOYABLE. MY TIME WITH YOU & JIM MENT SO MUCH TO ME. OUR PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOU & FAMILY. GOD BLESS.

  11. Doug Zak says:

    Jim was a hardworking and honest businessman who was also a friend to the many people he interacted with throughout his career. We will miss him. Condolences to the Sumner family.

  12. Colleen Biggerstaff says:

    Dear Sumner family & Peggy,

    We knew him as Tommy when we were growing up. We looked forward to the time that the family would spend the week end on the farm, Tom, Dick and Andy would roam the woods and play on
    the flying Jenny that our father had made for us. There was never a dull moment. He will be missed.. Sending love & best wishes to the family. Cousin Colleen

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