CHASE LAKE - Richard C. Cummings, 88, of Chase Lake, died peacefully on December 4, 2018 at his daughter’s home on Chase Lake surrounded by his family and beloved dogs while under the care of Lewis County Hospice.
Born on March 7, 1930 in Croghan, the son of late Arthur Hubbard Cummings and Jennie Riffenacht Cummings. Dick graduated from Lowville Free Academy in 1948 as Valedictorian and was a graduate from Hamilton College then from Albany Law School. Richard met his first wife, Sally Alito, while he attended Hamilton College. They married soon after and moved to Syracuse. He was employed by Hancock Law Firm and practiced there until the news of Sally expecting their first child brought them back to Lowville.
There they raised five children; Jennifer Cummings Condrey (Herb Condrey), Dean Cummings (Julie Baker Cummings), Steven Cummings (Julie Mealus Cummings), Julie Cummings Buske (Richard Buske) and Dorian Cummings Eyles (Jonathan Eyles). Dad leaves behind his grandchildren which all were so dear to him in so many ways. Brix Condrey, Avery Cummings, Quinn Cummings, Kali Eyles, Ashlyn Eyles, Kerrigan Wiley, and Brayden Wiley all had a special bond with him in their own right which they will always cherish. He very much enjoyed spending time with them especially at camp where he could watch them play on the water trampoline and share the love of camp like he did. Dick also leaves behind his faithful companions, Tica and Gypsy.
He is predeceased by his sisters, Doris (Dr. Pete) Markham, Marion (Dr. William) Higby, Mildred Cummings, and a brother that died at infancy.
Richard’s second love, Phyllis DeBruyne, became his wife on January 1, 2006. Together, they shared their passion of hunting, traveling, cooking, entertaining, and appreciating a good cocktail or two with friends at the end of their day. Phyllis died in March of 2012.
His business in law included, Attorney for J.P. Lewis from 1959-95, Climax Mfg., Beaverite, part owner of Smith Lee, Utica, and past owner of Lowville Railroad. In 1964 he opened his private practice with Honorable John Parker and later expanded to Cummings, Parker, Dunckel, McGuire, and Campany.
He worked briefly for Menter and Rudin Law Firm in Watertown and retired in 2014.
Dick believed in giving back to his community and did so as an active member in many clubs, groups, associations, and projects. Richard was a member and a former exalted ruler of the Lowville Elks Club, Director of Lewis County Trust Company in 1962, Board member of Community Bank until 2000, member of the Pratt Northam Foundation, Library board member, hospital board of manager for 12 years, Mason, and a member of the Fish and Game Club.
Richard was an incredible attorney, not only because he was well respected for his advice and expertise, but for simply helping those that needed legal advice or support when they didn’t have the means to do so themselves. A chord of wood, a basket of goodies or their heartfelt thanks was often thanks enough.
There were a few places Richard loved most; North Pond, Chase Lake and Beaver Lake. The love and appreciation for these places will continue with his children and grandchildren.
Richard was an avid hunter that shared his passion with his son, Steve, as well as collected many near and dear friends along the way that shared his passion. He enjoyed many hunting excursions throughout North America with his very dear friend, Collins F. Kellogg. Richard had an incredible memory and could recall every detail to every trip he had taken including the first and last name of every guide that led him to his next adventure.
He will be remembered as an amazing storyteller with a lot of great jokes in between. His adult humor and ability to laugh at his own mistakes, made people swarm around him wanting to hear another story even if they had heard it 100 times before.
Richard was liked and respected by so many people and believed in giving the same respect back. He was a people person and enjoyed conversing with everyone he came in contact with and had the ability to make everyone feel loved and appreciated.
Calling hours for family and friends will be on Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 2 to 5:00 P.M. at Sundquist Funeral Home, Lowville. A private Burial will be next year at the family’s request.
We would like to give a special thanks to all of the staff at Lewis County General Hospital, Home Health and Hospice for their special care and helping hand during this difficult time. Richard’s family would also like to say, a very special thank-you to Vada Marolf for her unconditional love, assistance and friendship to our family and in helping dad ever since Phyllis passed away.
In Lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to be sent to Friends of Lewis County Hospice, P.O. Box 266, Lowville, NY 13367, Taking Care of Your Own, P.O. Box 155, Lyons Falls, NY 13368 or LCGH Fund for HOPE, Lewis County Hospital Foundation, 7785 N. State Street, Lowville, NY 13367