Walter L. Cummings
- Published: May 27, 2010
Walter L. Cummings died Saturday, May 22. He was 105.
Walter was born April 14, 1905, and grew to adulthood at his family’s farm on the Federal Pike, Greene County. He was the first son born to Arthur and Martha Hannaberry Cummings, joining an older sister, Lois, and later two younger brothers, Lloyd and Paul (Bus), who are all now deceased.
After Walter’s elementary years in a one-room schoolhouse, known as Shiloh District #7 School, he attended the “new” Ross School. May 2010 is the 87th anniversary of his high school graduation in 1923. He has been the last living member of that class for many years, and had a special place in his heart for younger alums who remained loyal friends throughout his life, continuing to visit him in his home as he aged.
After high school graduation, Mr. Cummings attended Miami-Jacobs Business College in Dayton for a time before striking out on his own for the heart of the automotive industry in Detroit. There he attended Henry Ford’s company school to learn tractor mechanics and also worked in motor sales in Detroit and Ypsilanti.
Returning to his home area, he purchased a Chevrolet franchise in 1930, establishing Cummings Chevrolet in Cedarville. Stella Pitstick (now deceased), a farm neighbor from Walter’s childhood in Ross Township, became his wife in 1934. Together they made the Chevy agency a successful business. Their two daughters, Joann and Janet (now deceased), were born in the 1940s.
During these busy years of family life, Walt was happy to spend his limited leisure time at their Indian Lake cottage — fishing, swimming and boating. Even near the end of his life, he loved to visit “the lake” and reminisce with old friends there.
Mr. Cummings served on the board of the Home Federal Savings and Loan in Cedarville, was an active Lions Club member and was especially proud to be a board member of the Miami Valley AAA well into his 90s.
After retirement, Walt enjoyed remaining active in the business community of Cedarville by being a volunteer worker at Cedarville Hardware well into his old age. In fact, his 100th birthday was celebrated there.
As he neared the end of his life and experienced increased debility, relatives, friends and neighbors generously assisted in Walt’s care. Special thanks are due to Jim and Melody Cato, the Curtis Cline family, Carolyn, George, and Gary Furay, Fred Luttenberger and Claire Cummings Scheibner, as well as private caregivers Natasha Lewis, Gloria Lewis, Joyce Goodwin, Pat White and the kind staff at Friends Care Center in Yellow Springs.
Mr. Cummings is survived by his daughter, Joann Hausser; five grandchildren; and by nine great-grandchildren.
A mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 28 at St. Paul Catholic Church, with Rev. Anthony J. Geraci officiating. Interment will follow in St. Brigid Cemetery, Xenia. The family will receive friends Thursday, May 27, 6–8 p.m. at McColaugh Funeral Home in Xenia. If desired, contributions may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018. Online contributions may be made to the family at www.mccolaughfuneralhome.com.