Tifton Gazette

Obituaries

November 16, 2012

Bennie Ray Sumner Sr.

ENIGMA — Bennie Ray Sumner Sr., 69, died Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, at his home surrounded by his family. Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in the chapel of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals. The Rev. William Arnold and Dr. Danny Ray will officiate with a eulogy to be given by Gloria Dillard Harrison. Burial will follow at Oakridge Cemetery. Fred Pendarvis, Tim Pendarvis, Huelen Adams, Jerry Crumley, Josh Sumner and Jacob Sumner will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Tift County School bus drivers and support staff and the Staff of Hospice of Tiftarea. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. today at Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

Mr. Sumner was born on July 8, 1943 in Cook County and was the son of the late William Fred Sumner and Sarah Alice Howell Sumner.  Mr. Sumner lived in Tift County most of his life.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Bennie Ray "Benjie" Sumner Jr.

He was employed at J. P. Stevens Company/Forstmann Company as a department manager for 26 years. He retired from ABL Food Management Company in 2005 and was employed by the Tift County Board of Education as a bus driver for special needs children until 2012.

Mr. Sumner was a member of Vanceville Christian Church, which he attended regularly until his illness prevented him from doing so.  He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren and enjoyed hunting, fishing and working on his place.

Mr. Sumner is survived by his wife of 50 years, Barbara Yancey Sumner of Tifton; one son, Brian Otis Sumner of Tifton; one daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie and Ken Gailey of Pelham, Ala.; three grandsons, Jacob, Josh and Jeremy Sumner; and four granddaughters, Heather Heisler, Brianna Sumner, Allison Gailey and Kaitlyn Gailey.  He is also survived by two sisters and brothers-in-law, Virginia Faye and Reuben Pendarvis and Marsha and Paul Monti, all of Melbourne, Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express special thanks to Dr. Loraine Sumner, Dr. Jorge Glass and Josh Hill of Affinity Health Care for their kindness, compassion and support.  Also, special thanks to the staff of Hospice of Tiftarea for their devotion to their patient and support of the family during this time.

The family will be at the home at 194 Lower Brookfield Road in Tifton. Floral offerings will be appreciated or memorial gifts may be made to Vanceville Christian Church, Maintenance Fund, Attn: Johnny Abbott, 114 Mixon Abbott Road, Tifton, GA 31794.

You may offer condolences to the family at the online guest registry at www.bowen-donaldson.com.  Services for the Sumner family are being provided by Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

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