Bruce A. Sumner

Sumner Enlarge photo


Former La Plata Electric Association employee Bruce A. Sumner died at his home Saturday, March 23, 2013, in Newark, Ohio, of unidentified causes. He was 67.

Mr. Sumner was born in Chicago, Ill., on February 22, 1946, to the Robert A. and Shirley (Swanson) Sumner.

His family said Mr. Sumner was very proud to have served in the United States Navy for 22 years, spending many of those years as a U.S. Navy recruiter before retiring as a master chief petty officer.

He married Bonnie Roberts on December 15, 1973.

He worked for La Plata Electric Association in Durango for more than 10 years. During his time at LPEA, Mr. Sumner worked as safety and regulatory compliance administrator for three years before becoming manager of administrative services, responsible for economic development, key accounts and marketing and communications.

While in Colorado, Mr. Sumner also played an active role in the community and supported numerous organizations and associations. He served as chairman of the Four Corner’s Touchstone Energy Golf Tournament; past executive director of the Durango Industrial Development Foundation; past member of La Plata County Economic Development Partnership; past president of Business Education Partnership; member of the D.A.R.E. committee; past president of La Plata County American Cancer Society Chapter; past chairman of the Snowdown Balloon Rally; and was an active Rotarian in his community.

Mr. Sumner’s career took him to Ohio, where he became vice president and chief operating officer of The Energy Cooperative’s Electric Operations in Newark, Ohio, in July 2004.

Those who knew him were aware of his passion and love for the game of golf, his family said. He was an active member of the Moundbuilders Country Club in Newark. During his tenure with The Energy Cooperative, he served many years as chairman of The Energy Cooperative Operation Round Up Foundation Golf Outing. Spending countless hours planning this annual fundraiser, Mr. Sumner raised thousands of dollars each year for the Operation Round Up Foundation, his family said.

He also worked closely with the Licking County Chamber of Commerce on numerous campaigns and events, as well as supporting Knox and other surrounding counties.

He was an active Rotarian in the Newark-Heath Rotary Club. Mr. Sumner also was a supporter of United Way. He participated in the Licking County United Way Community Impact Committee for six years.

“Bruce’s dedication and commitment to the community was endless and he will be truly missed by so many here,” his family said.

He also was a member of Christian Endeavor United Methodist Church in Newark.

Everyone will remember Mr. Sumner’s upbeat manner and his amazing way to bring a smile to everyone’s face, his family said. They said he was a great leader, work colleague and dear friend and will be deeply missed by those who knew him.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Bonnie Sumner of Newark, Ohio; daughters Monica Sumner Rodriguez and Vanessa Sumner; sister, Susan Rubidoux; brothers Greg Sumner and Curtis Sumner; two grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2013, at the Criss-Schoedinger Funeral Home, Newark, Ohio.

A funeral/celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 2013 at the funeral home. The Rev. Jeff Perry will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Mr. Sumner to the American Cancer Society, 5555 Frantz Road, Dublin, OH 43017, or to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 329, Durango, CO 81302.

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