James E. Cummings
By Sparta Live | November 26, 2013 12:00 am
James Endsley Cummings, 88, of the Cummingsville Community, in Van Buren County, departed this life on Nov. 23, 2013, at NHC Healthcare in Sparta after a brief illness, although he enjoyed living at home until two weeks prior to his illness.
Mr. Cummings was born Feb. 15, 1925, in Akron, Ohio, to Emery and Bertha Wallace Cummings, of Van Buren and White counties.
He was the youngest and only surviving sibling of Julius M. Cummings (Lois, currently of Atlanta, Ga.), Nashville, Floena Cummings Anderson, Sparta, and John O. Cummings, Bellingham, Wash.
He grew up in Cummingsville during the Great Depression and joined the U.S. Army at age 17, serving during World War II for four years. He was a member of “The Greatest Generation” and reminisced frequently about his living and fallen comrades who traveled overseas with him during the war to China-Burma-India.
He was a graduate of Van Buren County High School.
Upon returning to the states after the war, Mr. Cummings became a self-employed businessman, specializing in the reproduction of oil paintings and real estate investments.
In the fall of 1962, he met and married a young school teacher, Joyce Ann Harris, of Chapel Hill, Tenn., and they lived together in Van Buren County for 51 years.
Mr. Cummings, “Jim” as he was loving called by many, enjoyed traveling, especially pleasure cruises and vacations with his family, and all over the United States with his Army Battalion for yearly reunions; political affairs, serving on the Governor’s Democratic Committee for Van Buren County for numerous years before switching political parties; vegetable gardening; sports of all kinds, especially the Atlanta Braves; and reading avidly on a daily basis.
He truly exemplified the “self-educated man.” His life philosophy was simple: work hard and be honest with everyone. Due to his conservative nature throughout his life, he frequently reminded his family of Benjamin Franklin’s timeless advice, “A penny saved is a penny earned” and “A fool and his money soon part.”
He will be lovingly remembered for his dry sense of humor, his kindness toward all people, his deep patriotism for his country, and his comical storytelling abilities.
Mr. Cummings was of the Methodist faith and worshipped at Cummingsville United Methodist Church for many years.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce Cummings, of Cummingsville; three daughters, Janice C. Smith, Athens, Tenn., Jacqueline Dixon (Mike), Cape Coral, Fla., and Joan Cummings, Spencer; and one grandson, John Brady Sherrill, of Cookeville.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m., Nov. 27, 2013, at Hunter Funeral Home, followed by burial in Cummingsville Cemetery with full military honors by the Veterans Honor Guard. The family will receive friends 5-8 p.m., Nov. 26, at the funeral home.
Hunter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.